Memorial Day, 1997. It began when I brought my 1985 Nissan 300Zx in to Transplant to get it's transmission replaced with a Dyno tested, remanufactured transmission and torque converter. It came with a 2 year, 24,000 mile Nation Wide Warranty. When they took the transmission out, Tim (the shop manager) said my drive shaft needed replacing. I took the existing one to Precision Drive Line who needed to manufacture a new one. I was told by TP it would only take a day or two longer to get my car done. I was disappointed but could live with it,
Every day there was a different excuse. Six, yes 6 weeks later it was done. This was just the beginning of a 4 year ongoing Z-nightmare (see Brown & Brown holding Z ransom) As soon as I got in and drove off I knew there were something terribly wrong.
In the short 3.5 mile drive home; Z lost all but 1 quart of oil. (noticed trail of oil when I got home) Valve covers were not seated properly. New DieHard battery missing Air conditioner didn't work Antenna was broken And the transmission was shifting worse than before.
I called Kurt at the Transplant remanufacturing facility and he sent a tow truck the next day. They had the car for a week and dropped it off without any explanation. It still was not driving the way it should. Before Transplant worked on the Z it was getting 21.5 MPG around town and 32 on the highway. Not too bad for a 300Zx. After Transplant worked on it: the gas milage droped down to 12 MPG in town and 16 on the highway.
I call Kurt and told him the car was still running really bad. He was going to test drive it, but was busy and couldn't before the holiday (Labor day). I needed to go out of town and was told it would be fine to drive and bring it in after the holiday. Well, the next day, in the middle of the desert, in the middle of the night, 90 miles outside Las Vegas my engine blew! I walked in excess of 4 miles before finding a telephone. I got the Z towed to Las Vegas where I was headed to do a network installation. I was able to prove the engine blew up because of TP. Fortunately TP actually turned it over to their insurance company for a claim. (Only because I made friends with the owners daughter and I called her at home from Las Vegas) There it sat for in Las Vegas for 3 months before the new ATK remanufactured engine was installed at Mr. Converter.
Before I drove a rental car to Las Vegas, I called and asked Mr. Converter to check the transmission. When I picked it up, they said they had just finished and hadn't had a chance to fine-tune it. They took it around the parking lot and thought the torque converter sounded noisy and they felt a vibration.
The car ran like *&*&%$. I took it to Nissan in Las Vegas the next morning and had it checked out because it took over 20 minutes to get it to stay started.. Before pointing the finger at Transplant I felt it my responsibility to rule out other things that could cause these symptoms. That made very little difference.
I brought it to Brown and Brown Nissan and had the components that effect the cars shifting replaced.. The report I received from the shop foreman who drove and inspected the car was very disturbing. This is what he found:
Transmission leaks at all possible locations including,
Rear seal pan, front pump seal, Speedo pinion
Drive shaft needs replacing, bad weld at U-joint
Rubber gone on back transmission mounts,
Torque converter noisy causing hard vibration
He said this is the worst workmanship he has ever seen.
I called Kurt 5 times without a response. Finally I reached him. He said his cellular phone had been stolen and never received the messages I left and didn't received the voice mail I left at Transplant. He wanted me to bring my car to the Tempe store. I came right out and told him I didn't want to do that. I told him I wasn't comfortable there and quite frankly I didn't trust them. didn't know how long they'd have it. Or worse yet, if the work would be done properly. That would leave me without a car (again) and burdened with having to find a ride, rent a car etc. I'm back to square one.
I persuaded him to let me drop the Z off at the Plant. After 1 week I started calling and leaving messages for Kurt. One week later I got a call from Transplant Plus the Tempe store saying my Z was there and ready for pick up. I took a bus down there. I asked what work was done. No one knew anything. As usual. It was a little better but still not right.
Z car was in and out of Brown and Brown Nissan for 5 months and to get it to run right. I spent nearly $2,000.00 at this point, not including $500.00 in car rentals.
I called MC and asked for my warranty papers and serial number for my engine. I said I've spent a lot of money at Nissan, and I think it should be covered under warranty. They said, we'll look for them and get back to you. I did this on a couple of occasions, but never heard from them.
My car was still not running right! It had no pick up and go it would not stay started etc. Same'Ole stuff. So again I went back to Nissan, and had a complete inspection. I needed to go to Las Vegas on business and was terrified that I may break down in the middle of nowhere again. They hadn't had a chance to inspect Z car and didn't feel comfortable letting me drive my car to Las Vegas.
I rented a car and left the Z there to have it thoroughly inspected while I was gone. When I returned from Vegas and went to pick up my car, the shop foreman said Z needed a new timing belt and tensioner. I said If it needs replacing it's under warranty from ATK. He said, ATK engine?" This engine has never been remanufactured. The timing belt and tension are factory original with 40,000 50,000 miles on them.
I confirmed with ATK that they sent my engine to Mr. Converter. It was received and signed for. I call Mr. Converter and told him I needed my warranty information on the engine. He snapped at me and said he didn't have the time to look for them. Something inside me went snap! It took everything I had to stay calm, I told him I thought his people took my engine. He hung up on me.
That was only the beginning. The transmission went out again, Yep, while in Las Vegas working and on the way to this man I thought stole my engine. Of course I was stranded in Las Vegas for the 2nd time! I called Kurt and he convinced me to have the Z tailored back to Phoenix so that he could personally inspect and repair the car. I reluctantly agreed, but he gave me his word that Transplant would reimburse me the $800.00 transportation fee to get Z to Transplant in Phoenix.
The car was there 1 month before they called and said they had only done a temporary fix. When I asked why, Kurt said that 11 of 15 men walked out them and they were backed up. It would be ok to drive around town until he could replace the torque converter and servo-bands. I brought him the receipt for the transportation and he promised to have a check cut that Friday. Friday came and there was no check. Excuse after excuse.
Kurt called to have me bring the car in so they could finish the transmission. He said the check would be ready when I picked up the Z. It was there another month! I get it back and it runs as bad as before. Still no check.
On numerous occasions I brought the car in, went on test drives with different techs, only to hear, there's nothing wrong. Kurt swore he had personally checked/inspected and drove it but couldn't find anything wrong.
Frustrated I took it to Nissan who found many things wrong with the transmission and torque converter. Two of which were the kick down solenoid was not connected and the transmission lines were leaking. I paid over $110.00 for repairs that would not have been necessary if Transplant had done the job correctly: When I got home I called Kurt and asked him straight out, Are you sure you personally inspect my car? His reply, Yes!
I said, You are either lying or incompetent, because I just spent over $100.00 at Nissan to connect the kick down solenoid and replace leaking transmission lines. Even after I told you about the burning smell and terrible way it was shifting you insisted nothing was wrong and that you'd thoroughly gone over all the components and everything was working properly. Like I said, you are either lying to me; or you are incompetent in which case you should resign
Kurt was silent for a while, and said can you bring me the original paperwork, so I can make a copy of it and reimburse you for the repairs and the original bill to have the Z transported from Las Vegas to Phoenix:. I said, absolutely
He told me to phone him the next day to make arrangements and he'd get me taken care of. They next day he was unavailable and I was transferred to his voice mail, I left voice messages. But he never returned my calls. Day after day it was one excuse after another, he's with a customer, he's on another line, he's in a meeting, he's out sick. As of now Transplant still has not reimbursed me for any of these expenses.
The only receipt Transplant ever provided, was when the transmission went out 2nd time. On that particular receipt it lists Transmission Mounts as being replaced. That is a lie! How do I know? Less than 1 year later they needed replacing. I had the service work done at Nissan for $145.00. and they gave the old parts.
And only 3 weeks later on April 1st 2000 No joke I was turning left in rush hour traffic and the transmission completely failed. It was a miracle I wasn't in an accident and killed. I called Transplant and Kurt was no longer with the company. I was transferred to Kevin who took over for Kurt. He refused to let me speak with the owner Steven Vollaro. Nor would he discuss the problem with me. They wouldn't honor the warranty much less reimburse for the repairs and the cost to have the car hauled from LasVegas to Phoenix. That is despicable, they are the ones who pleaded with me to transport the Z here and not use the Nation Wide warranty so they could fix the problem.
I contacted ATRA (Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association) whom they are members of. There was enough evidence for them to write Transplant/Steven Vollaro giving him the opportunity to convey his side of situation. They didn't respond. Thirty days later they sent a second letter; Again, no response.
I bought a used transmission that was imported from Japan. It came with a 90 day warranty for $575.00 cash and carry. (not installed) Had it delivered to Nissan for installation. (That's where this chapter ends; and Brown & Brown Nissan holding Z ransom begins Read how Z-Nightmare continues to haunt me 24/7)
I vow to do my best to warn others about Transplant Transmissions.
PLEASE HELP ME GET MY MONEY
TransPlant owes me $2621.85 in repairs and transportation charges