Chanel 5 Complaint
I’m a fulltime student and could not afford the cost of the assessed repairs, so I informed Steven the service manager that I would pay for the diagnostic fee of $137.00 and have my mechanic do the repairs at a more reasonable rate. Steven completely agreed with my decision to have my vehicle repaired elsewhere at a more reasonable cost. Steven commented on how it would be the best way to go and guessed the amount quoted to me by the outside mechanic which was under $900.00. Steven said that was the typical going rate to charge for such repairs, Safford charges an excessive rate for labor ($2,000 in labor). Steven said all I needed to do was take the results of the diagnostic test from Safford to any mechanic of my choice and follow the recommendation to change out the heater core and the issue with my vehicle would be resolved.
I left the dealership and took the car to my mechanic at MyTech Automotive and explained to him the issue I was having with the car and what the dealer diagnoses was to fix it. The technician started breaking down the vehicle the next day 9 December, since this was a 8-10 hour job and the shop is closed on weekends the technician didn’t complete the break down until the following Monday 12 December. There was some confusion for the technician because he asked why the heater core was being replaced and we explained that we were going off the diagnoses from Safford. The technician showed both myself and my mother that the heater core was very clean and free of water, oil, or sludge. The job was completed and paid for but before leaving the technician drove the car to insure the issue had been resolved. Upon his return, I was told it still blew only cold air. He then completed a pressure test, results proving the cars head gasket had blown and this was the reason for the car not blowing heat.
Neither my mother or I knew what to do next, we had several conversations trying to figure out what we should do next. The morning of 13 December my mother decided to go back to Safford dealership because she noticed that there were no notes on the final invoice explaining the technician’s diagnoses, she requested and received a copy of the technicians hand written notes. The technicians hand written notes did indicate possible issues with the head gasket (leaking etc.,) but he DID NOT perform a pressure test that would have confirmed the head gasket being blown. Since the information was never added to the invoice or explained to me, neither I or my mechanic had any idea about the head gasket prior to any work being done replacing the heater core.
Later in the day I returned to the Safford dealership with my mother and spoke to both Steven and Mr. Edwards (Service Managers) about the car being misdiagnosed. We showed both Steven and Mr. Edwards the technicians hand written notes showing reason to perform a pressure test that was (never done), if this test was performed it would have confirmed that the head gasket was blown. The final invoice did not show any of the technicians written notes other than replacing the heater core and flushing the system on the final invoice.
Mr. Edwards told myself and mother that he would speak to their technician and my mechanic at MyTech Automotive and get back with us later that day or first thing in the morning, which never happened. The next morning 14 December my mother called and spoke to Mr. Edwards who failed to keep his word not calling her or my technician at MyTech Automotive to discuss my vehicle as promised. Mr. Edwards informed my mother that the paper work was passed onto Mr. Bill Benson the Service Director.
On 15 December my mother met with Mr. Benson and included me in their conversation by conference call. During our conversation, Mr. Benson confirmed the mistake made by his technician. I asked would it be possible for Safford to fix my vehicle at no extra cost to me due to the misdiagnosis. His response was “Well, Ms. Bess I spoke with another technician here and he mentioned the possibility of your car’s engine gelling.” Of course, I was unaware of this terminology seeing how I am not a mechanic. He continued to throw out additional issues that could have been wrong with my car but could never explain why those specific tests were never run on my vehicle if their technician had those suspicions – NOTE: this technician was never a part of the diagnoses. Mr. Benson’s response was, my car would have been tested for those issues if my engine light had been on during testing. I explained to him that my engine light was on when I dropped the vehicle off to his tech for the diagnostic. He couldn’t explain to me then why the required testing was not performed.
Although Mr. Benson continued to agree that his technician/mechanic was at fault he was still unwilling to fix my vehicle unless I paid for it. His offer was to fix the head gasket for the price $1200.00 quoted to me by my personal mechanic at MyTech Automotive. During our conversation, I mentioned numerous times that I am a mother and full time student. It was difficult enough for me to pay out almost $900.00 to fix the heater core that (didn’t need replacing) in the first place.
I believe the staff at Safford should take full responsibility for my vehicle and make the necessary repairs at no extra cost to me. Here we are in the winter months and my vehicle is just sitting outside MyTech Automotive shop not getting repaired. It still has NO HEAT, blows out nothing but cold air and I am having to borrow my mother’s car, that’s an inconvenience to her now having to drive a rental just so I can keep my children in a heated vehicle. This is why I’m reaching out to the media not only hoping for assistance in resolving my issue but to also let others know how the Safford dealership will do poor diagnostics and over charge for services rendered. Please Help!!!!!
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Springfield, Virginia 22150