Report: #194102

Complaint Review: Sunrise Ford - North Hollywood California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Burbank California
  • Sunrise Ford
    5500 Lankerhsim Blvd
    North Hollywood, California

Sunrise Ford Service ripoff advisor lied about service needed overcharged for service high-balled quotes avoided meeting me one-on-one North Hollywood California

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My 2000 Ford Focus was at 6 years and under 81,000 miles when it died in traffic. I took it to nearby Sunrise Ford to be worked on.

Service advisor Jesse James said they were unable to find source of the problem and wanted permission to remove valve cover. I gave it. He called two days later to say that the car was still not running and they wanted to tear the engine block down for $800. I weighed my options and decided that if they could fix the car then I could trade it in (blue book value was $4,000 at best) so the cost would be worth it.

Jesse called the next day to say that a valve cover had broken and fallen into piston #3 thus killing the engine completely. He quoted me $5,000 over the phone to rebuild the engine and said that I had an $800 service bill. He then said he had a friend who would buy the car for $700 and that this would be a favor to me. I balked and said I would be in the next morning to deal with the situation personally. He said he'd meet me at 9am.

I did my research, checking local garages for quotes as well as calling friends with experience. They all said the same thing: The price of an engine would only cost $2,000 and tearing down the engine block could be no more than $350. More importantly, since the valve cover had been removed and it was a valve that had caused the engine to die, the damage would have been immediately visible. Even if the extent of the damage was not known, a skilled and honest mechanic would have recognized the problem and diagnosed the engine as dead without tearing down the block.

I took along a friend who knew a thing or two about engines and went to Sunrise Ford. Jesse was not there. In fact, we were told Jesse was on a one week vacation. All the service advisors on duty were quite rude and when I asked for help they all said "That's Jesse's ticket. I don't know anything about your car".

We found one service advisor named John who pulled up the report on the computer and defended the work and the quotes, repeating over and over than I had authorized the work therefore I could not dispute it. I asked to speak to a manager, and was introduced to a nice lady named Samantha. She lead my friend and I, plus John, to where the car was.

We were introduced to the mechanic who worked on the car (a very nice guy) who pointed out the work and the damage. They had rebuilt the engine, including new gaskets, and I was told that this was CA state law since I might want to take the car away. I was also told that my $800 quote over the phone was actually $1,118 to include the cost of putting the engine back together.

My friend started asking pointed questions about the engine, namely, what lead them to take the valve cover off in the first place and why wasn't I told immediately about the possibility of the broken valve causing the problem. He brought up the fact that when Ford runs a diagnostic on a car a four digit code comes up indicating the problem, and that this code would have suggested something wrong with the valves.

At this point, service advisor John became quite belligerent, asking to see my friend's credentials. The discussion turned quite heated, as John stated that we were not Ford Certified Technicians therefore we didn't have any business asking these questions. He dismissed every one as well as saying that our quotes from local garages and my very own personal mechanic back in North Carolina meant nothing because Ford does not compare itself to people it deems "uncertified".

I asked to speak to someone higher-up since I was not paying the bill. John and Samantha left to get the body shop manager while leaving my friend and I with the mechanic. The man said that as soon as he took the valve cover off he knew what the problem was since, and I quote "This happens to Ford cars all the time. See that Explorer over there? Same problem. And that Focus over there? Same problem. They all have broken valves. I knew what the problem was, but they said that you wanted to do the work anyway so I did it."

We asked the man to help us in our arguement but he said that he didn't want to lose his job. The body shop manager, Michael Allen, came out and the mechanic walked away. Michael was extremely rude and once again dismissed all our questions about the engine and the quotes from "non-certified contractors", as he so put it. He said there was absolutely no way to rebuild the engine for less thatn $5,000 and that I was required by law to pay the bill.

We I started yelling and using a lot of profanity, he said he'd make me a deal. I could pay off $400 and get someone to tow the car away, or I could just walk away and leave the car to them. I decided to get as much out of this screwjob as I could so I coughed up the $400 and found a salvage place to take it for $750.

I believe that once the mechanic opened the valve cover and reported it to Jesse, the service advisor made several quick assumptions, number one being that the car was dead and number two there was no way I was going to pay two grand for it since the car was barely worth that. He decided to lie to me about what needed to be done, get as much cash as possible, then highball a quote to make sure I would junk the car. Then he offered to "take it off my hands" so that I would give in and think I was getting a deal. At which point his friend could slap a new engine in it (the body was a-ok) and then sell it off as a used car to either a friend, sucker, or salvage yard.

And in the end, its really, really weak of this Jesse guy to flat out agree to meet me at a time and place and then never show up and everyone says he's on vacation. And, when Jesse tried to reach me at home before calling me on my cell, he got my housemate. And before my housemate said that he was not me, Jesse hit him with the quote of the new engine plus the offere to take it off my hands. Jesse didn't give me that offer until our third phone call of that day, and even then he said it was on "the down-low" and we should keep the arrangement between ourselves. Our phone, which records every call that comes in, shows that Jesse called my place at 12:30. He didn't call my cell until 2:30. And then he didn't give me the $700 offer until 3:30. Thus, when he called my house the first time, he had already thought this all out. When he spoke to me at 3:30, he acted like he had just come up with this idea and his friend had just made the offer. Lies, lies, lies.

It is my strongest recommendation that if you have a Ford then get rid of it, for even the mechanics know they suck. And don't ever go to Sunrise Ford because they will lie to you, dance around the issues, dismiss your valid concerns, and overall be total d****ebags because their slogan "Where Integrity has meaning" is a bunch of bullshit. All they want is your money.

Burbank, California

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/31/2006 11:57 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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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