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Wentworth Buick/GM in Eugene, OR - BEWARE GM CLAIMS ABOUT THEIR CERTIFIED USED VEHICLES!
Posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 at 8:21pm CDT by 0e0f6328
Product: GM Certified Used Vehicles
Company: Wentworth Buick/GM in Eugene, OR
Warning - Certified GM Vehicles Are Not What the Dealer claims
I have had a problem with a GM Dealer, Wentworth Buick in Eugene, OR, that did not provide the certified used vehicle promised in their certified GM Vehicle advertising and their own policy about the quality of their certified used vehicles. GMs stated quality standard says that a GM Certified Used Vehicle is as new as used can get. It states that the GM offers the quality that you can trust. GM states that when you buy a GM Certified Used Vehicle, you are getting a worry-free vehicle.
I purchased a 2005 Chevy Colorado truck on February 21, 2008. When the car was taken for a test drive, the salesperson, Ms. Lisa Quint, noted that the brakes were squeaking and pointed it out to my son, Scott Johns, who was test driving the vehicle. Although the certification identified that the brakes had been inspected in December when the truck came onto the lot, we were not comfortable with the brakes as is (there was a pulsing/grabbing and squeaking/ticking sound), and negotiated in the sales agreement that the brakes be fixed by Wentworth.
Within days of the purchase of the vehicle both the right front headlamp and the rear right taillight had condensation/moisture inside both lamps. Had we bought the car on a rainy day, instead of a sunny day, this would have been caught as well. However, the headlights and taillights had been certified as part of the inspection process just two months before. Ms. Quint had told us that one of the salesmen in the office had driven the truck quite a bit after the inspection was completed.
So here is the chronology of the history of this certified vehicle:
On 12/20/07 the Colorado was inspected as required by the GM Certified Used Vehicle criteria (see attached inspection checklist. Note that the front brakes were only at 65% and the rear brakes were shown at 100%. However, according to the inspection sheet, there were no services required, and the Colorado was given a clean bill of health. A mechanical inspection was done on 12/21/07 (after the certification inspection??).
On 12/26/07 a Wentworth Buick invoice was generated on service performed. That invoice was given to us by Ms. Quint on 2/21/08. The invoice indicated a number of service/repair actions were performed as part of the certification process. Including resurfacing and turning the front rotors. See attached invoice from Wentworth Buick.
I purchased the car on 2/21/08 with the agreement that Wentworth would fix the brakes which were squeaking and grabbing/pulsing when the brakes were applied. It was agreed to order a part for a rear passenger window switch and replace it as part of the agreement.
The vehicle was taken in on 2/27/08 to Wentworth for the agreed repair work to be done. My daughter-in-law, Kimmy Johns, asked for the paperwork on the repair but was told that they didnt do paperwork on in-house repairs. She indicated that she still wanted to have the paperwork in order to keep a good record of what service and repairs had been done to the vehicle. Any service done to that vehicle should have been documented and provided to us as the owners of the vehicle. Finally they told her that they would provide some paperwork after the window switch repair had been done in week or so when the part came in. I didnt think that was a very good policy. I feel that customers have the right to documentation of services performed at the time they are performed. I believe that they provided no paperwork so they wouldnt have to document the concerns that we were having with the brakes, and they certainly were in no hurry to show what service had been provided on the vehicle. After driving the vehicle a few miles, it was clear that the brakes had not been fixed. They were still pulsing/grabbing and squeaking/ticking.
Kimmy and a friend, Jason Wilson, returned on 2/28/08 because the brakes were still not fixed. The service rep just looked at her and said What are you doing back here? in a rude tone. She told him that the brakes were still pulsing/grabbing and the squeak was back. The service rep dismissed their concerns by telling them that the brakes were fine. Kimmy was told that they had turned the front rotors the day before and that solved the problem. The front rotors had already been turned in December, so why would turning the rotors again so soon be considered a real fix to the problem? Kimmy and Jason asked if the service tech would ride with them so he could experience the pulsing/grabbing and squeak. The tech didnt say anything the entire time they were driving. He sat and acted angry that he was having to respond to a customers concern. Jason kept asking the tech if he could feel the pulsing/grabbing, but the tech wouldnt answer. Kimmy asked him if he could at least hear the squeak. The tech acted like he didnt know there had been a squeak when he serviced the brakes the day before. So, he told them to leave the car and hed check out the squeak.
Kimmy took Jason with her to pick up the truck later that day, 2/28/08, after she called and was told the truck had been finished for quite awhile, but they didnt have a phone number to reach her. She asked if they didnt have her phone number from the service provided the day before. What kind of records are these people keeping and not keeping?? The service rep told them that there had been a lot of gunk on the rear drums, and that is what was probably causing the brakes to squeak. How come there was gunk on the drums when Wentworth claimed to have checked the brakes thoroughly in December and 02/27/08?? How much gunk could there be in that short of time? Wouldnt they have cleaned the gunk off the drums during the inspection and service the day before?? The front brakes again were not addressed. Again no invoice was provided to show clearly what had been done, if anything, to fix the brakes.
Kimmy had Jason drive it around the block and in that short drive there was no obvious problem. Kimmy asked the rep again about paperwork, and he assured her that she could have the paperwork after the window part arrived and was replaced in the vehicle. So Kimmy drove the truck back to their home in Eugene.
On 3/5/08 Jason took the truck in to have the window switch repaired. When he picked the car up, again the service rep would provide no documentation as to what was done. He had promised Kimmy that she would be able to get the documentation upon completion of all the service.
The truck wasnt driven much until the following week when we drove the truck to Beaverton. The brakes were still grabbing/pulsing and braking was not normal. Over the next couple of days it rained and water was pooling inside the right headlamp and rear tail-lamp. It was clear that an attempted repair was done to the rear tail-lamp, as a screw had been replaced in the tail-lamp mounting and some sealant caulking of some sort had been applied all around the taillight fixture. The screw wasnt the proper size and was pulling away from the surface where it was screwed in. This is evidently an example of the quality of the service that was provided in December in order to get the truck certified as a quality GM used vehicle.
On 3/11/08 I took the truck to Braley and Graham, in Beaverton, OR and had to pay $344.70 because the right headlamp was cracked and the rear tail-lamp was not properly installed. As I said, if we had purchased the car on a sunny day, we would have caught this deficiency at the time of purchase. It was clear that Wentworth did only what they felt was necessary to get the car certified and out on the lot to sell it. It was a quick and temporary fix at best.
Same day, 3/11/08 I told Braley & Graham about the problem with Wentworth and asked them to check the brakes for me, and when I picked up the truck they said they couldnt get the truck to duplicate the pulsing/grabbing or ticking. I dont imagine they drove it much. Also, they would not tell me the measurements of the rotors and drums. When I asked, they said they didnt have that information. So, why did they charge me almost $50.00 for a brake inspection if they didnt keep the data that would have shown the brakes were safe or werent safe?
The next day the brakes were still grabbing/pulsing and ticking. I was afraid that the truck would not stand the test of a drive back to Eugene, and I didnt want any of my children or grandchildren to be riding in a potentially unsafe vehicle. I was so disgusted with GM dealers at this point; I didnt feel they were being very responsive to the obvious problems. I called and asked the service rep again at Braley and Graham about the measurements of the rotors and drums. He said only the tech would have that information. I did not feel that the brakes were operating correctly and safely. When I tried to get specific information about the thickness of the drums and rotors, I was told that they were fine. (Remember Wentworth showed the front rotors at 65% two and half months earlier) But, the service rep wouldnt tell me the actual measurements. I asked if he could check with the technician, and he again said that the data wasnt available. He just told me that minimum thickness was 25.6mm, which is what was put down on the invoice (see attached). He wouldnt say which rotor that applied to, or if that was the minimum for safety. He also wouldnt tell me what the measurements were for either front rotors or rear drums on the Colorado.
I recalled that Midas actually measured and wrote on an estimate of service the measurements for front and back brakes. I had recently taken my GM Pontiac Montana van in to have the brakes checked. They had provided me with the measurements, and indicated that they still had plenty of wear on them, so no brake service was needed at that time. I felt that they would provide me with the information I had been asking the GM dealers for, but couldnt get. Exactly what were the measurements of the Colorado rotors and drums? I called and made an appointment to drop the truck off that same day.
I took the Colorado to Midas on 3/12/08 and left it for a brake evaluation to be done the next day. The measurements showed that one of the drums was below discard level, and the other drum was with within extremely close to discard level. Also, the rotors were within .01 of discard levels. I paid $933.12 on 03/13/08 to have the brake work done so that my rotors and drums were within safe limits. I also had the ABS sensor, which was going bad (which could have been causing the grabbing and pulsating of the brakes all this time), replaced on 3/14/08 which cost $502.56. See attached invoices.
It was very clear to me at this point that GM dealers didnt want to have to perform this service and fulfill the purchase agreement. It would have been too spendy for them to take care of the problem. They obviously had no concerns about putting a truck out on the road that wasnt safe. And they obviously werent worried about their customers personal safety or their concerns.
On 3/17/08 Kimmy went in to Wentworth Buick and talked to the Service Manager, Ken Schramm. He told her that MIDAS had ripped us off, and that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the brakes after their service. (Which is interesting, because he seemed to know very little about the brakes, including not knowing what the measurements were on the rotors and drums)? He told her that all brakes squeaked and pulsated and that it was normal. She asked for the service paperwork to show what exactly had been done while the Colorado was in for service. Mr. Schramm ran a copy of the invoice, however it was dated 2/29/08, and the truck was never in the shop that day. It also showed that only front brake pads were replaced. It said nothing about the rotors being turned which is what Kimmy was told on 2/27/08 and 2/28/08. Wentworth was just making up their story as they went.
I called Ken Schramm a couple of days later to express my concern about the whole service/repair situation. I told him that I felt we hadnt been dealt with fairly, because it appeared they had ignored the real brake issue, and just tried to quick fix the whole thing and make it go away in the easiest way possible all for the benefit of the dealer. He had no interest in the fact that the rotors and drums were worn, and that the truck may not be safe. When I tried to get him to tell me the chronology of what they did and when they did it, he had no idea. He didnt seem to know that the truck had been in the shop three times and no paperwork was ever provided. It took Kimmy going back a fourth time to get paperwork which was dated with the wrong date, and showed that the service actually performed were not the services she and Jason had been told had been performed when they picked up the car. He also didnt know that one of Wentworth Buicks employees had driven the truck around (about 150 miles) between the time the truck was certified and the time that we purchased it. When I questioned him further he made up the tallest tale I have ever heard from a so-called professional service manager. He said that my daughter-in-law, Kimmy was so wonderfully grateful (his words) that the brake problem had been fixed (according to him on 2/29/08, which was also wrong) that after the test drive she jumped out of the drivers seat of the truck and came over and hugged the service rep. I knew immediately that he was lying and that he had no clue as to what had really happened with the vehicle. Mr. Schramm was making up this tall tale, as obviously he was unaware that Jason Wilson was the driver of the vehicle. Kimmy would never hug a service rep or any other individual in a business setting. She IS professional, and would not in a million years hug anyone not close to her. Jason was the one who test drove the truck and, unless he is the one that jumped out of the drivers seat and hugged the service guy well, after telling such a preposterous lie, Mr. Schramm has absolutely no credibility with me. He was merely trying to deflect my frustration and concerns with the situation, and my assertions that Wentworth had not fulfilled the agreement to fix the brakes. They simply fixed the squeak while giving no thought to safety or quality of their certified vehicle.
It appears to me that Wentworth Buick didnt care that the brakes were unsafe, and that all they wanted was a quick way out of the obligation of the sales agreement. They werent interested in their customers safety, and were willing to put a vehicle on the road that was already unsafe, but also would quickly deteriorate and become even more unsafe within just a couple of weeks of driving. That, to me, doesnt even come close to being as new as used can get.
Wentworth Buick did not provide what I would consider a Certified GM Used Vehicle if you apply their own standard for such a vehicle. Obviously their certification and repair of the headlamp and tail-light didnt meet any quality standard that Im aware of. They didnt care that they were putting my children and grandchildren at risk in a car with less than like-new brakes, because all they wanted to do was get the vehicle off the lot with as little expense as possible. The fact that both GM dealers refused to provide the rotor and drum measurements for this truck tells me that safety is not their primary concern when certifying used vehicles. Responsiveness to customer concerns is a low priority as both dealers repeatedly refused to provide the measurement information that would prove they had done their job. They have the mentality of lets just do what we have to do get by when it comes to the quality certification of a used vehicle. I have been a GM vehicle purchaser all my life, and I am truly disappointed by these GM dealers actions. I think this is a very poor customer service policy, and one which Ill make sure that people hear about.
I believe that GM has a responsibility to correct such attitudes and customer service deficiencies. I believe that we were ripped off not by MIDAS, but in fact by Wentworth, because of the poor quality of inspection and service/repair that was performed on this vehicle before putting it out on the lot for sale as a quality CERTIFIED GM USED VEHICLE. I feel that we should be reimbursed for the services that we were compelled to have performed for reasons of safety. We felt we had no choice because of the lack of customer service, and the fact that Wentworth and Braley & Graham were never able to provide documentation sufficient to show that they had truly done their job. I think the real documentation would have shown what the MIDAS documentation showed. That the brakes were not in as close to new condition as was required for the vehicle to be certified as quality you can trust.
A GM Certified Vehicle is supposed to be as close to new as used can get from GMs own advertising on their website, yet they do not hold their dealers accountable to that standard. And Wentworth Buick even went out of their way to hide the truth, do poor quality quick fix repairs, and lie to a customer, in order to avoid upholding the GM standard and their own used vehicle certification policy.
By the way, there have been absolutely no problems, i.e., no grabbing, pulsing, squeaking, or ticking, since MIDAS did the brakes.