Range Rover - 1998 Range Rover 4.6HSE with all options - chronic electrial problems - upset with service received from dealership where repairs were made - Frederick Cadillac / Land Rover / Brotherton Automotive Group, Seattle, WA

Posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2002 at 12:00am CST by 9d2d6815

Product: 1998 Range Rover 4.6HSE with all options

Company: Range Rover

Category: Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Vehicles

Hi Frank, I found your website (http://www.worst4x4landrover.com) and couldn't resist but forward to you my Range Rover story. By the way, I am forwarding it to Land Rover and Ford, for their expected inaction. I think they need to know (I cant imagine they are not aware about consumer dissatisfaction with this junk brand). I bought a 98 RR 4.6HSE with all of the options, paid cash. It had been one of my long time goals to own a RR as I really liked the design.

However, problems from the outset caused me to deeply regret buying a RR and I would strongly recommend against anybody dumping $75,000 on such a poorly built vehicle. Not only was the car a total lemon but the dealership in Seattle (Frederick Cadillac/Land Rover/Brotherton Automotive Group) is one of the worst repair facilities I have ever experienced as a car owner. My RR experienced chronic electrical problems starting with the climate control (the outside temp continuously read 32 degrees, causing the heater to constantly run on high no matter the interior temperature setting).

This problem persisted for 4 YEARS and after at least 7 visits to the Brotherton Auto Group repair facilities for this specific repair supposedly covered by warranty. Finally, as my warranty was about to expire, I scheduled another service at Brotherton to see if they could correct the problem once and for all. When I brought it in late June 2002, I was informed that my warranty had expired as of April 2002 (even though I purchased the vehicle from Brotherton in July 1998). Even with a preexisting, well documented problem, they were going to try to stiff me on this repair bill. The service representative would not give me any reassurances that this would be fixed under warranty.

He wanted to charge me for the RR mechanic to diagnose the problem at an estimated cost of $160.00 I informed him that with their track record of misdiagnosing the previous 7 times, there was no way in hell that I would trust Brotherton enough to pay them for the privilege of finding out what has been wrong with the vehicle for 4 years.

As I walked out of the dealership pissed off beyond belief that I was going to have to pay these con artists for them to find out what is wrong with this vehicle after paying $75,000 cash 4 years ago, and fully expecting to buy Range Rovers for the rest of my life, it dawned on me that I purchased the vehicle in July 1998 on a 4 year warranty (from the same dealership) so it should still have been in effect in June 2002. I called the service representative back and he got quiet as I read to him off of my sales invoice the date of delivery and the invoice number and asked him to check their records.

He had the Service Manager call back and she said that I was correct and she then went on to blame Land Rover Corporate for shoddy record keeping as the cause of the date discrepancy. Further she explained that Brotherton Auto Group would agree to cover this preexisting electrical problem under warranty, though she indicated that she needed to contact Land Rover for a date change to my Warranty (for her, technically, I was out of warranty). Apparently at Range Rover a 48 month warranty is really only a 44 month warranty. To make matters even worse, I was then informed that a recall on this item had been sent out previously and they "wondered" why I had not contacted them for service?

It was because I never received a phone call or a notice by mail. They did fix this problem (so I thought) and when I went to pick up the vehicle the Service Manager was their to greet me, apologize for any confusion and indicated to me that someone from Range Rover would be contacting me and "would I please respond positively to the service experience". This wasn't the first time that I was asked by Brotherton to respond favorably to a consumer evaluation of their service department. The arrogance of this particular dealer is incredible. Further, the Service Manager acted like she was doing me a big favor by covering this one repair under warranty when it was clearly a preexisting flaw in the car.

The next day the car broke down (smoke poured from the engine compartment) when I started the vehicle on a car ferry waiting to offload. I called Brotherton on the spot and asked to speak to the service manager. She was unavailable and I was asked to leave her a message. I did and she never returned the phone call, apparently putting out car fires somewhere else. I had the car towed to a nearby Chevron station and they fixed the car within 2 hours at a cost of $260.00 They told me that the hvac system and hoses had been improperly attached to the vehicle.

To summarize, Brotherton has a virtual monopoly on Land Rover distribution in Washington State, Land Rover needs to know that their reputation is being ill served. Please note that this horror story is only one of them. I didn't mention the other time that the engine stalled at a major intersection in downtown Seattle and started smoking. At least that time, Brotherton had the car towed (after waiting roadside for a tow truck for 3 hours)and had to rebuild the engine (aren't these engines built by Buick?) but I don't have the stamina to keep writing. My desire to own this vehicle has vanished. Its too bad. The design is pretty cool, and I would of bought the new model if the local service wasn't so incompetent. But this has got to be the most overrated vehicle on the road.

When you combine an unreliable product with bad service the ownership experience is catastrophic. Not a quote you want printed on next run of product brochures.



Indianola, Washington


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