Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Avoid Volvo of Santa Monica

My mom's story...

I feel very frustrated and sad due to the stupidity and shameful actions of Volvo of Santa Monica. While I was going home in the evening on December 23, 2008, my Volvo S80 engine started to emit a strange sound that I've never heard before. When I got home, the Volvo warning lights started to go off “Stop Engine” “No Oil”. When I saw this I immediately shut off my engine and the first thing next day, called AAA to tow my car to Volvo of Santa Monica, where I usually gofor repairs. They confirmed what the warning light said, the engine had completely run out of oil, and was in fact damaged and dead.

On October 04, 2008, I had just had maintenance done on my Volvo, and had only driven 3892miles since then. Feeling a bit frustrated at this, I asked one of the employees, Jesse, how could my car have already run out of oil? I told them that they must have made a mistake, and did not refill my engine oil enough, nor did they screw the gasket on well enough. At my home there is a palm sized black stain where I usually park. Jessie responded rudely and threatened to not bring my case to the Volvo factory if it included information on the oil leak. When I looked at the invoices, there was nothing about the oil leak. In fact I suspect that to cover up their mistake, they completely took apart the entire engine, on the grounds of “inspecting what went wrong”, no one can tell if they messed up on the engine now. I have a feeling they even took forged pictures for evidence in case I decided to go against them. The manager Ewald replied that my Volvo is 10 years old, therefore it eats 1 quarter of oil every 800 miles when it gets this old. I never heard of this weird assertion before, and neither has anyone else I talked to. But even if we do go by their logic of the engine eating one quart every 800 miles, it still means I should have been able to drive 5840 miles total without the engine running out of oil, while I only was able to drive 3892 with my engine running out of oil. So I still should have been able to drive 1948 miles, or 33% more even if we go by their calculations. They had to have not put in enough oil or screwed the plug on wrong so the oil leaked out and lied to cover up their mistake. My car is actually only 9 years old, and only about 116,000 miles on it. Before the Volvo S80, I had owned a Volvo 240 DL, which I drove for 14 years, and nothing like this ever occurred, which makes this incident of the engine running out of oil all of a sudden, ludicrous. It was the fault of the Volvo company, and whoever's at fault should pay for it.

I went to talk to Don Marino, the general manager of Volvo of Santa Monica to attempt to get reimbursed. This got me angry glares from Ewald whenever I saw him after, maybe because I didn't go through him first. Anyway, Don Marino made it seem like they were being the good guy, offering a “50% discount” for a final price of a $15000 new engine, however when I inquired about the engine price in another auto-shop, they stated that a new engine only costs $7000. 50% discount? More like a 50% mark up! Not did the Volvo of Santa Monica lie to cover up their mistake and not reimburse me, but they tried to scam me also!

I feel Volvo of Santa Monica didn't lie about the prices just once though. When I said I would just get an used engine because I did not have the funds to buy a new engine at the time, they offered to install it for an original price of $6100, along with a 25% discount to bring it to $4575. Now this seems like they were trying to be nice and reimburse me, but when I checked with other auto repair shops, their regular price without discount was $4500. I feel like they just said they would give me a 25% discount when there wasn't one in reality.

Eventually I bought a 65000 mile used engine, and the people who helped me install the engine was Viking Motors for a installation fee of $4500. After this, my Volvo has not had any engine problems at all.

Thereafter, I kept getting angry glares from Ewald, that his employee Jesse also noticed. I felt indignant, so I tried to continue to persuade Ewald to reimburse me. When they refused, I sued them. During the trial, Ewald blamed me for whatever happened to the Volvo, saying I don't take care of it, and hardly go for maintenance. I believe I take the utmost care of my Volvo that I possibly can—I usually don't even take it to work, only on my spare time, and take it for maintenance regularly, making their statement completely false. They also presented what I suspected were forged pictures of the engine mentioned before (which is actually the first time I saw them) and tried to explain them. They should have showed me these pictures when I asked for a explanation before, which is one of the reasons why I suspect they were forged. We lost the case, but the fact he had the audacity to try and blame everything on me is astounding.

I've driven a Volvo for 23 years in total, and 90% of the time I went back Volvo of Santa Monica to have my car serviced. However, I am astounded to find that they would lie to cover up their mistake and not reimburse me for it. I've given so much business to Volvo of Santa Monica, and the fact that Ewald would throw all those years of business and profits away, and even future profits to refuse to reimburse me even a mere $2500 for a new engine—in my opinion this is extremely stupid. A branch led by a manager like Ewald will hurt the entire company by driving its customers away. I hope that after reading my story, you will stay away from Volvo of Santa Monica.

1 comment:

Pete said...

Too bad. Some people don't realize that their businesses won't be able to make it without customers. That's the fact. By the way, I want to offer you a 100% success guaranteed solutions for your auto repair business. You'll be surprised at what you can do too. Good luck!