Cottman Transmission - Cottman Transmission, New Port Richey, FL - trouble with repair to 92 Honda Accord - unnecessary work done - original problem remains

Posted on Thursday, September 18th, 2003 at 12:00am CDT by 1eff5cae

Product: transmission repair

Company: Cottman Transmission

Location: 7400 Us Hwy 19
NEW PORT RICHEY, FL, 34653, US

Category: Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Vehicles

Re: repair to 92 Honda Accord at Cottman Transmission, NPR I brought my car in for repair of a problem that suddenly appeared within 1 hour and within 5 miles of Cottman Transmission, NPR. I agreed to a diagnostic charge of $358 and left it with Mark Connell, Center Manager. I showed him the D4 light that was stuck on and he took it for a short drive with me riding. Both of us observed that the car was not shifting gears automatically. I expressed concern about spending too much on such an old car but felt that an electrical problem might be easy to fix. He sampled the transmission fluid and said it smelled burnt. The fluid had been replaced only a few months earlier by my local mechanic and it looked fine to me (clear and pink). The fluid did not smell bad to me and the problem had only begun an hour ago. The car worked fine up until now. When Mark called me at home, he explained that the transmission was in terrible shape and needed a complete overhaul for $1850. He faulted my mechanic for the detergent flush and fluid replacement a few months ago. I reluctantly agreed to it over the phone. About five days later he called to tell me about a bad computer. The mechanical work had been completed. I was upset at this surprise and wondered why the computer had not been discovered earlier. The new computer would cost about another $400. I suggested getting a used one from a scrap yard. He agreed, but I had to pay $125 cash for it. He also spoke of 3 additional hours of troubleshooting at $85 per hour that would not be charged to me. He noted this on the invoice as N/C. When I picked up the car, I paid cash for the computer and charged the $1961 on my Master Card, Mark explained that electrical components are not covered in the warranty and that I should read the exclusions (fine print) on my paperwork. I drove the car for 3 days and the exact same problem reappeared (D4 light stuck on, car won't shift). I brought the car back but the problem was not their responsibility at this point. Mark said he would try to get another computer.

I got a copy of their wiring diagram to study it. After about five more days I asked Mark if he had done all he was willing, or able, to do. He said he could do no more. I had the car towed to Aamco for their assessment. Dave Ames, Aamco Customer Service Manager, confirmed that the computer was bad and agreed to work with Cottman to fix the problem. He agreed with me that the computer should have been the prime suspect. The D4 light is directly controlled by the computer, and only the computer. A note from him is attached. Aamco obtained computer #3 from Cottman and satisfied themselves that everything else was in order. I paid $80 to Aamco and picked up the car. By now, I had gotten another car and planned to sell the Honda for the repair cost. I offered it to Cottman and Aamco first. When I had a buyer for the car, it did it again. The D4 light was stuck on and it wouldn't shift. I finally gave the car away.* It is now clear to me that the car has an electrical problem that is damaging the computer. The damaged computer lights the D4 light continuously and the car fails to shift. I think nobody could have determined this without damaging a second computer in the process. I would have discarded the car at this point since it is not worth fixing. I feel the problem was incorrectly diagnosed at the beginning and I should at least have some settlement that doesn't place the entire burden (of the mechanical work) on me if the car cannot be fixed. Although Aamco couldn't fix it either, they agree with me that the computer problem should have been discovered and dealt with first.

Mark proceeded with the mechanical work first and assured me that this was needed. An appeal to Cottman headquarters elicited a response about a "dual problem" and that I should discuss it with Mike Passarella (Cottmann NPR owner). A copy of this is attached. I spoke with Tom, Mike Passarella's assistant (3/7/03) to attempt to reach a fair compromise. I suggested a half refund of the $1961 charged to my card. I have not heard back from him. I feel I did nothing wrong by bringing the car in for an estimate, agreeing to the recommended work and expecting the car to be useful afterwards. My car is 11 years old and electronics is part of the transmission function in most cars made since 1992. It is unfortunate that the car could not be fixed by either of two sets of experts.

In accepting the car for repair diagnosis, Mark Connell (Cottmann) did not mention any risks that electronics would be excluded from any service or warranty coverage before I left my car with him. I did not pore over the back of the document or consult my lawyer before signing the paperwork to begin the diagnosis. If this is the norm, the industry needs to be regulated. The D4 light was a clear indication of the presence of electronics. I am the only one hurt by this. I lost my car and another $2166 for a failed effort to repair it. Everyone else got paid in full. In my own business dealings, I have never insisted that a customer pay if I was unable to deliver for any reason. I think the customer relationship and my reputation is more important that a single bad transaction.


2 Comments

4755ea41, 2008-04-21, 07:20PM CDT

Hi,

I am a builder who had the unfortunate experience of going to work for these clowns, after the ownership changed. Not surprisingly, the old franchise went out of business. Somewhat surprising is that the new owner took no consideration of what happened to the old one...

The manager did not know what a bushing driver was...

He marked up my parts arbitrarily, up to a factor of seven...

I built a unit, the right way, and was fired for not doing it in 45 minutes...

I witnessed unnecessary and inaccurate diagnosis over and over again.

I witnessed lies told to customers.

I worked on this unit for 2 days, cleaned their filthy "build room," repaired their washing machine only to wait one week to be paid a whopping $40.00.

The new owners' name is Dave Smith. He is not to be trusted. The "manager" got his hand caught in a V belt a couple days after I left. (He is brilliant.)

All in all, I'd say if after reading this report on them from the inside, if you let them touch your car you'll get exactly what you deserve.

This Cottmans Transmission is owned and operated by crooks.

chris, builder, 8 years as an owner.

GO ELSEWHERE.

5d0ed52a, 2008-04-30, 03:20PM CDT

no one in this world will warrenty a junk yard part

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