Report: #1092098

Complaint Review: Dearborn Total Automotive - Dearborn Heights Michigan

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  • Reported By: Rob — Charlotte North Carolina
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  • Dearborn Total Automotive 23420 Van Born Road, Dearborn Heights, MI Dearborn Heights, Michigan USA

Dearborn Total Automotive Fraudulent Mechanic Dearborn Heights Michigan

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This is the summary of the current Better Business Bureau complaint I have against these crooks.

I was interested in buying a used vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab 4WD pickup, from Ford Road Auto Sales in Dearborn, MI, but I live in North Carolina & was concerned with making an 11 hour trip from MI to NC in a vehicle that I knew nothing about/what the actual condition of said vehicle was, despite assurances from the dealership selling the vehicle that it was "like new". I found Dearborn Total Automotive using the Better Business Bureau & was impressed with their A+ rating, so I inquired about receiving an inspection of the vehicle, specifically stating that I was out of state & that the vehicle would be making a long trip home if I were to purchase it, fly to Michigan and drive back. Dearborn Total Automotive informed me that they would be able to inspect the vehicle for a pre purchase assessment, for the cost of $95.00.

Their inspection was that the truck had developed severe rust on the hood & the serpentine belt was worn, but that it had no other serious issues, so I bought it, and drove it 11 hours back to NC.Two weeks ago, the truck developed a thermostat code (P0128), so I took it to my local shop, & had them do a complete assessment; I consider the thermostat to be a regular service item, so I was not worried, especially since it had apparently sat undriven for months. You can imagine my surprise when they came back with a LOT more than a thermostat replacement; both front wheel bearings are badly worn, both front axle seals are leaking badly & the outer tie rods are worn.

My shock was evident, so this shop (that I trust and have deal with for years) took me in the service bay & showed me the physical proof while it was on the rack. The NC shop stated tacitly, that the truck has had these problems for months, long before I bought it. It's clear the truck was not inspected, & I could have easily broken down, or been in an accident; not to mention, I would not have purchased it, much less driven it 11 hours, with these problems. Now I have a truck with a $2400 repair bill.

On 8/26/13 Mr. Britt contacted us to visually inspect a 2004 Chevrolet Colorado he was planning on purchasing from a used car dealership. He asked us to do a pre purchase VISUAL inspection. The vehicle was test driven by our certified mechanic to verify proper operation of the transmission & motor, and put on a hoist to visually inspect from underneath. RE: the customers complaints: a Thermostat is impossible to inspect visually, it reached proper operating temperature and did not overheat. The wheel bearings may have had minor "play"  but were not noisy on the test drive and wouldn't be descibed as "worn" a wheel bearing would be loose in which we did not find which also cant be diagnoised visually. The axle seals may have been seeping but did not have any noticeable active leaks.

All above concerns are typical of a vehicle of this age & mileage. We were specifically asked to find anything seriously worng & did not find any such defects at the time of inspection. We are sorry Mr. Britt is unsatisfied with our service, we visually inspected his vehcile as requested and he made it home safe.   If further information is required please feel free to contact us.
I have one question for you, in all seriousness: are you out of your mind?

What exactly is a visual inspection to you? Did you inspect it at night with no lights on? Were you wearing a blindfold? What exactly do you think a VISUAL inspection is IF YOU AREN'T LOOKING AT OBVIOUS PROBLEMS?

I SAID I know the thermostat is not only not visually accessible, it's also a periodic maintenance item- like the serpentine belt. I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt on that, but the rest of your failures are completely unacceptable. It's reasonable to expect to have to replace things like spark plugs, brake pads, belts or hoses. The whole POINT of an INSPECTION is to identify items that go above and beyond a reasonable expectation of normal wear and tear, whether the vehicle is ten years old or ten days old. Don't give me that "typical of a vehicle of this age and mileage" crap- I paid you to accurately and truthfully identify major issues with the vehicle that would have factored in to my decision to buy the vehicle, and you most certainly did not, either by incompetence, dishonesty, or both.

Also, did you even LOOK at what you reported on the vehicle? You never even mentioned these problems, and I'm sorry to contradict you, but all three CERTIFIED businesses who have given me repair estimates, from independent automotive technicians to the local Chevy authorized dealer, do not agree with you! There is absolutely NO WAY this vehicle developed this level of needed repair in a month's time! You didn't even look at the vehicle- you didn't even look at what you said were your findings!

Isn't it just a little too convenient that you did not mention the wheel bearings or the axle seals in your inspection findings, until AFTER I had three independent sources verify the problems and I made mention of it myself? And while we're at it, and parsing words- please explain to me the difference between 'seeping' and 'leaking'. What, if you saw a fountain of fluid gushing out at the time you purportedly "visually inspected" the vehicle, you might have thought that was important? The local automotive repair said the bearings are so bad I can't even drive it the 1.5 mile commute to work, and you don't think that qualifies as SERIOUSLY WRONG? What is wrong with you people?

You're a disservice to honest and hardworking automotive professionals everywhere. You performed a fraudulent service and wound up costing me thousands of dollars. I will certainly make sure that anyone who considers you for DISservice, knows full well not only how incompetent you are, but that you don't even remember what you said in the first place, and the risks they take in mistaking your greed for service and honesty.   Regards,   Robin B


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/15/2013 11:54 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/dearborn-total-automotive/dearborn-heights-michigan-48125/dearborn-total-automotive-fraudulent-mechanic-dearborn-heights-michigan-1092098. 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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