1998 Chevy 1500 conversion van - Fire Hassles - Penske Chevrolet Service Dept.

Posted on Wednesday, October 13th, 2004 at 12:00am CDT by a390c20b

Company: 1998 Chevy 1500 conversion van - Fire Hassles - Penske Chevrolet Service Dept.

Category: Other

1998 Chevy 1500 conversion van - Fire Hassles - Penske Chevrolet Service Dept.

Van Fire Hassles - Penske Chevrolet Service Dept.

Our 1998 Chevy 1500 conversion van was towed to Penske Chevrolet, 3210 E. 96th St., Indianapolis, IN on Labor Day, Sept. 6, 2004, due to smoke coming from under the hood. The van had been regularly serviced, with 101,236 miles, and was in good to very good condition, prior to having it towed for service. The service dept. determined that transmission fluid was leaking from the fill tube and vent tube, which caused the transmission to overheat. They did the "needed repairs" as well as some other minor unrelated repairs which we requested (since the van was already there). I paid the $897.99 bill and took my van. After driving it for a few miles the transmission started slipping, so I returned it to the service dept. (46 miles total, from pickup until return). We were told that we needed a new transmission. After having them rebuild the transmission, on Sept. 27, 2004 (21 days after first being towed to the service dept.!) I paid the $1,558.84 bill, and again left with my van. I drove it 3.5 miles to work, .5 mile to the post office, and 2.5 miles at the end of the work day, at which time it started smoking from the front and rear of the vehicle. Knowing that I was only 1.5 miles from the dealership, I drove it back into the Penske Chevrolet service garage. When I got out of the vehicle, transmission fluid was pouring from the vehicle. A service man asked for my keys and immediately drove my van to the far side of the parking lot, at which time it visibly began to burn. The fire dept. was called, with the van 3/4's involved with fire. Although they were able to extinguish the blaze, the van was a total loss. According to the Fire Dept. investigator: "I examined the van and determined that the fire started in the engine compartment from a transmission line that was spraying fluid on a hot object probably the exhaust manifold. It is my opinion that this fire was started by a failure in a part. The leak was then ignited by a hot object." It is now October 11, 2004 and we still have no agreed upon resolution. Although Mike Blaettner, the Genl. Mgr., has provided us with a rental vehicle (only after our van was burned), trying to reach a resolution has been a major hassle! My husband, Jim, and I met with Mr. Blaettner on September 28, 2004. He told us that we have "been inconvenienced enough already" and he was going to "make it right". He had a salesman show us new Trailblazers and then met with us to try to make us a "deal" (even though we kept stating that we did not want a car payment at this time). We then said that "we needed to sleep on it" and left the dealership (after spending more than 3 hours talking with him and trying to come to a resolution). The next day, September 29, 2004, we again stated, in a phone conversation, that we did not want a car payment and would therefore not be buying a new vehicle. We asked that he find us a comparable vehicle, as well as reimburse us for the service department fees and vehicle contents. We were told that finding us another van would be "impossible". After a heated conversation, in which he threatened that he might not even pay for a rental vehicle from this point forward, he stated that he would be "turning this over to our insurance company and contacting our corporate attorney". Since that time, my husband and I have spent a lot of time looking at, and test driving, used vehicles. We then resigned ourselves to thinking that we would have to have a payment of some sort, if we were to get another vehicle. Yesterday, my husband spoke with Paul McDermot of Penske Chevrolet. He told Mr. McDermot that we would like them to find us an SUV with approximately 40,000 - 50,000 miles, and sell it to us at a wholesale price. Mr. Blaettner then contacted me to arrange for me to come in during the evening to look at some used vehicles.

After telling him that I was getting very tired of the hassles, he introduced me to his Genl. Sales Mgr. and a salesman and said he had to leave. I was then shown a 2003 Dodge Durango, with + 20,000 miles and a 2002 Ford Explorer with + 46,000 miles. I saw no reason to test drive until I was told the deal they would make us. The Sales Mgr. met with me in his office, at which time he offered me one of the vehicles at a financed amount of + $19,300.00 with a payment of + $315.00 for 72 months. I stated that this was totally unacceptable, and left the dealership. What should I do? I am sick and tired of the hassles involved with this issue and would like to get this resolved ASAP! Marla M Click this link to e-mail the above consumer: //


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