Report: #114184

Complaint Review: Central Chevrolet - Fremont California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Fremont California
  • Central Chevrolet 4949 Thornton Avenue Fremont, California U.S.A.

Central Chevrolet ripoff charged more for repair than original quote, tried to charge me for reconnecting items they disconnected Fremont California

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I took my 2000 Chevy Impala to Central Chevrolet to fix a power steering problem. The car would lose power steering when turning hard to the left or right. The dealership told me I needed a new rack, hose and pump. They quoted me a price of $1280 for all the work. I contacted GM to get cost assistance for this work because my power steering problem had gone undiagnosed for 4 years even though I took it in on numerous occasions to get it fixed. I also wanted to take my car back during the weekend, but the dealership told me my car was too dangerous to drive.

After I opening up a case file with GM, the dealership then tried to jack up the price of the repair and requested $1500 for the work. I called them on it and reminded them that the quote was $1280. I came in and signed a repair order for $1280. The dealership didn't list the parts and labor that had been quoted over the phone and also didn't give me a copy of the repair order until I requested it.

I get a call from both GM and Central Chevrolet telling me that my car was done. I questioned the service manager about what was actually fixed. He told me they ended up no replacing the pump. I told him to then give me an invoice removing the cost and labor for the pump. I never got the new invoice. Instead, I get a call two hours later from the service adviser telling me that my steering felt "funny" and that the tech was looking into my car again. I then didn't have my car for a second weekend. On Monday, I'm told I need to shell out $300 more for the pump. The service adviser claimed the pump had failed when she test drove it. I reminded her that the original quote included the pump and asked why they were charging $300 more for work we had already agreed to. I told them to finish the repair and give me back my car.

I later learned from my husband that the power steering completely fails if the pump fails. So, the service adviser would have had no power steering whatsoever if the pump had stopped working. She, however, claimed that the failing of the pump made the steering feel "not right" or "weird."

My husband attempts to question the service adviser about this point, but she then retracted her story and said that the pump didn't work. Again...we asked her what she meant by that. The service adviser also claimed that there was an aftermarket hose on my car or that the hose had previously been replaced. She claimed that if the hose had been replaced recently that the repair would be under warranty. We told her that we had only taken the car to a dealership for repair. (Later, she claimed it was a non-stock pump that they found on the car.)

The same service adviser had claimed that a 60,000 mile service had been done on my car and that the leaking steering had been noted 4 months ago. I never authorized a 60,000 mile service and was never informed that my car had a problem 4 months ago. When I asked how much they charged me for this 60k service, the service adviser again retracted her story and said she was just asking if a 60k had been done somewhere outside of the dealership.

When my husband persisted in pointing out that the power steering won't work if the pump fails, the service adviser then gets the service manager. The service manager then bull charges me and my husband. I'm sandwiched between them. My husband had to tell the guy to step down.

The service guy later reads off the bill. I ask him why none of my bills ever fully disclose that I brought the car in for a steering problem and omit the fact that the dealership couldn't diagnose the problem. Instead most of my service reports note a noise, but leave out my specific account of a loss of power steering when turning. The service manager tells me that what isn't on the service reports is not legally binding and too bad for me. (For four years I've brought the car in for several problems and the dealerships would only note the stuff that they did. They left off the stuff they couldn't solve and left off many of the problems I had mention. When I bring up the fact that they didn't record everything, they say they heard me and would look into it, but it never gets on the report.) He didn't revise my invoice or service report to reflect the inaccuracies even after I complained. The bill ended up being $1450, which was more than what was quoted. He also told me to sue him.

When I got my car back, I discovered that my buttons on my steering wheel did not work and my airbag light showed that my airbag was disengaged. All of this worked before I brought my car in. I called to bring my car back in to have them reconnect the line to these items. I learned from my husband that he got a call from the service manager and that they intended to charge us to reconnect the stuff they disconnected during the repair. He told me that the service manager claimed that they didn't know whether my stereo, cruise control and airbag even worked before I brought the car to them. The owner of Central Chevrolet told my husband that things break randomly when cars are being repaired and that repairing the steering would not have caused this problem. So they were going to charge us.

I mention the service reports and the fact that the dealership left off any mention of loss of power steering (and instead kept in the stuff about noise) because I had been in negotiations with GM to fix the preexisting problem with my power steering. However, because the complaints about the power steering were not fully noted every time I went into a Chevy dealership, they summarily dismissed my claim that this problem should have been fixed under warranty. Instead, they would only consider cost assistance because me and my husband were loyal GM customers. Both me and the dealerships knew I had brought the car in for a steering problem, but the history of service was vaguely written by the dealership to hide specifics -- especially when they can't figure out the problem at the time. I had no idea until now how deceptive the dealerships were in writing up the service complaints when I brought my car in. I had even complained that they weren't putting everything in, but they still wrote it up like they wanted it.

Fremont, California

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/22/2004 05:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/central-chevrolet/fremont-california-94536/central-chevrolet-ripoff-charged-more-for-repair-than-original-quote-tried-to-charge-me-f-114184. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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