My husband and I bought a 2001 Lincoln Continental from Holmes in April, 2008. My husband had already been pre-approved for a loan, but when we arrived at the lot, the salesmen didn't seem to know what we were talking about or who we were. We waited over an hour, while a salesman showed us several cars. We explained that we did not want to see any vehicles until he told us how much we were approved for on the loan, and what the downpayment would be. He still insisted on showing us other vehicles on the lot, wasting our time.
When we went back inside, we were subjected to another long wait, until we were finally able to speak with the person in charge of in-house financing, Jimmy. We were told he was the only associate working in this department. First of all, when he approached us, he had a completely unprofessional attitude: he looked like he did not want to be there, and his clothes were covered in food stains, he had food all over his mouth, and overall looked like a slob.
He showed us about eight cars, one of which was an Oldsmobile Alero which was in extremely poor condition. This car looked like it was salvaged from Hurricane Katrina! For some strange reason, we decided to test drive the car, and not surprisingly, it drove horribly. The suspension creaked and groaned, brakes barely worked, it had absolutely NO pick-up at all! And Jimmy told us all their cars had been inspected. At this point, I was suspicious, but agreed to look at other vehicles.
Jimmy then showed us the 2001 Lincoln Continental. He stated, "You won't find anything wrong with this car," and told us it had been owned by an elderly man who had retired from the military, and rarely drove the car. We drove the car, took it on the interstate nearby, and it drove perfectly. At this point, we were convinced we were getting a good deal, so we signed on the deal and picked up the car the following day.
We live in Mobile, about an hour away, and as soon as we got the car over the state line, it began missing, then it cut off at the next stop light, but we managed to get it home. The rest of the week, it seemed to run okay, but a week later was when all the real trouble started. We took the car to Chattanooga, TN for my job interview. Before we'd even left Mobile, the transmission began to slip and did not want to shift properly. Remember, we'd only had this car for a week at this point! But we drove it to Chattanooga with no further problems until about halfway there, when it began missing again.
We did, however, make it to Chattanooga. When we arrived, we decided to drive up Signal Mountain, to find the school where I was to be interviewed for a job. As we made the drive back down the mountain and got onto the interstate, the car would not shift out of third gear. We crawled back to the hotel, unable to drive more than about 30 miles per hour. As soon as we got back to our hotel, all the transmission fluid was gushing out of the car onto the ground.
We had the car towed to the nearest Ford dealership, where we were told that the CV axle seals were blown and the repairs would cost around $900. We had to rent a car in the meantime. We agreed to have them repair the car, and contacted Holmes Motors to tell them what had happened. They told us that we would have to speak to Jimmy, who, as usual, was not available. They also told us that they would not pay the mechanic in Chattanooga for the repairs, nor would they rewrite the contract to include the cost of the repairs.
No matter what we said, Holmes would not compensate us for the repairs, nor the rental car. We picked up the car about five days later. The lengthy time for the repairs caused us to have to stay in Chattanooga an extra six days and my husband to miss work. As we were short on money, since we had not accounted for an extra $900 on this trip, we had to have someone wire us money to help pay for the added expenses.
When we picked up the car on that Saturday, the mechanic explained to us that they had replaced the seals and put in new fluid, but that the transmission still did not shift properly. He said we should be able to drive the car back to Mobile, but that we would probably not be able to go more than 45 mph. When we drove the car out of the repair shop and proceeded to the hotel, the car would not shift at all, and we didn't even make it halfway down the block. We therefore had to rent a U-Haul moving van and car carrier to tow the car back home. Jimmy at Holmes Motors told us that we would have to tow the car to their lot to have a used transmission installed in their in-house repair shop. We would have to pay them to install the transmission, and our notes would increase by $100 a month.
About two weeks later, we picked up the car and signed new paperwork on the rewritten contract. (The same one they would not rewrite for us earlier.) We asked how many miles were on the new transmission and were told it had about 30 thousand miles on it. We also noticed that we were told the cost of the transmission would be $1800, but when we were presented with a bill, the price was $2000. When we inquired about this, they explained to us that when they installed the new transmission, they broke the pins that hold it in place, and we were charged about $80 for new pins. Why we had to pay for what they broke, I still can't figure out!
Again, on the way back home from Holmes Motors, the car began missing, and the transmission started shuddering. We got the car to our home in Mobile. The next morning as my husband drove to work, the transmission warning light came on, and he had to return home and get another ride to work. He called Jimmy, who said he would have someone come and get the vehicle and that they would look at it. They sent a tow truck to pick up the car the same day. Later that day, my husband made several calls to Jimmy, who, yet again, was not available, to find out the status of the car. The next day, he was finally able to speak to Jimmy, who said the problem was with a cellanoid and the repairs would take a few days to complete as they had to wait on the parts to be delivered to them.
The next time my husband spoke to Jimmy, he told us the car was ready. By this point, we were both so completely fed up with Jimmy, Holmes Motors and the piece of junk they sold us, that we told them to just keep the car. This was a big financial loss to us, since we put $1800 down, put on a new set of tires and several more minor repairs, including brakes, totalling around $1000, and the nightmare with Chattanooga. In all, we spent well over $2700 and lost eight days of work with this car, before we were even due for our first payment. After we told them to keep the car, we never heard from them again, except for a few letters demanding payment for the transmission and car note.
I have read several other reports of even more severe incidents than mine involving Jimmy, Holmes Motors and their lemon cars and shady deals. I strongly advise anyone with bad credit to NEVER buy a car from these sloppy, unprofessional crooks! And this is putting it nicely! I refuse to pay any more money to these criminals. After what I've read about them from other customers, I think we got off easy, but I agree that Holmes Motors is a bunch of liars and crooks and they should be shut down for good and thrown in jail for fraud! I hope that mine and other reports on these people will finally get some action taken against them.
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