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Russ Darrow Chrysler & Daewoo, Waukesha, WI - rude service, upset with repairs on 1994 Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan
Posted on Friday, July 5th, 2002 at 12:00am CDT by 0d53e9a5
Complaints.com received the following consumer message on July 4, 2002:
RE: Russ Darrow Chrysler & Daewoo, Waukesha, WI - rude service, upset with repairs on 1994 Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan
Topic: Plymouth Grand Caravan 1994
From: Kostas Stergiou
Location: Waukesha WI.
Date: July 4th 2002
I am writing this email not only to discuss my disappointment with my 1994 Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan, but also to warn, any future owners of Plymouth/Chrysler vehicles.
1st off I like to thank your site for giving me the opportunity to bring forth my experiences and voice my complaints, to the general public, and at the same time to the dealership.
I bought a 1994 Plymouth Voyager from a dealer 40 miles away from my home, because my last experience of a different year and model car from Russ Darrow in Waukesha, was 'Terrible'.
However the warranty eventually ended , and I had to revert back to a closer car dealership , ( Russ Darrow in Waukesha) due to the distance and towing fees when any problems occurred.
Any time I brought the car back for service they were very rude, and 90% of the time I was told they could not find anything wrong with the vehicle, until the warranty expired.
Service is one of the worst ever, especially to women. My wife refuses to even talk to the service personnel on the phone, let alone drive the minivan to the dealership.
My problems are as follows:
(After going thru your web site and numerous others , I found out that I was not the only one with 'Identical" mechanical problems , but the majority of the owners )
1. During warranty the 'Antilock' brake light came on and off interminably. I had my wife take the minivan to Russ Darrow service department to have them check it out. Of course when you turn off the vehicle, and turn it back on the light went out.
I told the dealership about that and they said they could not find anything wrong, so I needed to bring the vehicle in when the light was on, which I did, but still could not find anything wrong, and they said it must have been the way I drove the minivan.. ( I was very hard on braking)
As soon as the warranty expired ( 500 miles to be exact) both of the front brake pads sheared off and lost complete control of the vehicle. I called in the service department and I was told there is nothing they can do because the warranty was over, and it was also considered normal wear and tear.
But they could fix the brakes for approximately $750.00
I had the brakes and the rotors replaced, (NOT BY RUSS DAROW) after that, because of the damage having metal to metal braking.( total cost $325)
After looking in the newsgroup found out the ABS light coming on, was a problem with the design, and the culprit was a bad pump, but never received any info about the defective part, from Chrysler.
2. Problem 2: While the minivan was in warranty the paint from the rear bumper kept on coming off, and a yellow primer was showing instead.
My wife took it in to show the service department about the flaw in the paint, but instead of cooperating they said it was her fault because she was 'Dragging ' groceries from the back of the van to the bumper. However when she pointed out the paint was also flaking off, from the side of the bumpers, they just said 'Oh' and they fixed the paint ( retouched it up).
The paint on the bumpers still kept on coming off after the warranty expired and when I contacted Russ Darrow service I was told, that there is nothing more they can do because it was out of the warranty even though the problem existed when the minivan was in warranty. They said it would be an out of pocket expense, if I wanted to paint the bumpers.
3. Problem 3: Paint flaking off from the front of the hood, and most of the paint is gone from the roof of the vehicle. I contacted again Russ Darrow and I was told the same story 'Out of warranty" too bad.
4. Problem 4: My 'BIGGEST' complaint. Transmission problems. At about 40k miles the minivan started to exhibit a shudder effect when driving between 40-45 miles and hour and the minivan went to the higher gear. It was very unnoticeable in the beginning, because it appeared to be the condition of the road. It became more noticeable as time went on.
I took it in to Russ Darrow only to be told there is nothing wrong, with the minivan, and this is the first time they heard about it., but if I want they can rebuild it for a fee. I told them I would think about it.
Lately the minivan developed a few more problems, with the transmission and all of those problems other owners with the same transmission are experiencing.
a. Loss of power ( no driving power ) after the minivan is driven for approximately 30 minutes in a hot weather.
b. If you try to do a rolling stop the van shakes ( on the downshift) like you got hit from the rear. ( they call it the bump shift)
I took the minivan to the service department to have them run it thru the diagnostic computer and tell me what were the codes and the problems associated with them.
$92 dollars later and about 5 minutes of work, I received a printout of
I asked them for an estimate, on what it will cost to repair it, and I was told, due to the complexity of the transmission, and since the problem I was experiencing was not common, it would be in the neighborhood of $2500 dollars, but it could be a little more depending if anything else ( sensors) needed to be repaired.
I also asked them to 'Flash' the TCM module ( it should have been free of charge) but I was told it could not been done due to the TCM module being too old. When I asked then what is needed to fix the TCM I was told a new or a refurbished one can be used, and they could flash it then.
The price for the refurbished module was approx $150 dollars ( with a $40 core exchange) also there would be a $200 fee to install it.
I purchased the TCM module and installed myself, to my surprise it was only 4 screws that hold the box in place and 1 screw on the connector.
After the installation, the paperwork indicate the pinion factor needed to be set and could be done by the dealership. I took the minivan in and I was told that I have to pay another $92 dollars to have them set it. Since I had no other option ( speedometer does not work if the pinion factor is not set, but everything else works) I gave the go ahead to have it set. 5 minutes later and $92 dollars I was back on my way home.
After driving the car for less that 2 miles it went out of gear again, but the kick down was worst than ever. Apparently either the TCM was not programmed properly of it was defective.
As soon as I got home called the dealership again, and told them about the problem, and I was told, that it was possible to be bad, or something got messed up with the programming , and I could bring it back to have them look at it, for a price of $92 dollars, again. I mentioned that they just did the programming, and I was told oh well, nothing else they can do without putting it back on the computer and programming it again , but could not do it for free.
I finally gave up ( That's exactly what they wanted in the first place) and I am taking the minivan to a local transmission place to have it looked up.
How a dealership like Russ Darrow receives the 5 Star award if they do not help/satisfy their customers? Maybe is something that you get in a serial box, or you pay a fee. I know now why they were sold to Dhmamer Benz , and I hope that they just kick them out.
After a 22 years of buying Chrysler vehicles, I will no longer purchase any more due to the workmanship problems, Service problems, and the rudeness of the dealership overall.
I also make sure that everyone that I know they hear about my problems with Russ Darrow, and especially with the Service Department
My email address is
Waukesha, WI. 53189
The information on the Russ Darrow dealership is:
Chrysler & Daewoo
2145 E. Moreland Blvd.
Waukesha, WI 53186
Russ Darrow Group Inc
W 133 N 8569 Executive Pkwy
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Fax 262-253-7530 Kostas