Opinions please


Old 08-24-09, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: somewhere down in texas
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Opinions please

I had the fuel pump replaced about 2 years ago on my wifes 01 Suburban. It was done a the local Chevrolet house and cost about 1,100.00. At the time my cost was 100.00 as I had extended warranty. Lately it started stalling a lot and dying some. The dealer said I was out of factory warranty on the new pump and that it sounded like it was getting weak and was about to fail again. They blame it on the owner running the tank too low and heating up the pump, but I believe it is a factory design flaw. Nonetheless, I went and bought a pump (335.00) from the local parts store and replaced it myself on Sunday. As I was looking inside my tank for any misc. debris I found TWO shop towels inside the tank! Before I go confront the dealer, I would like to get some opinions on how to handle the issue and what should I expect from the Dealership as fare compensation. Remember the first one was mostly warranty but the second was on me with my labor and should not have needed to be replaced so soon.

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Old 08-24-09, 09:37 AM
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Well, after I calmed down (which would probably take quite a while), I'd take my receipts from the first repair and the parts for the second along with the towels and old pump, down to the Dealer. Talk to at least the Service Manager..not the service writer. Explain what happened, what you did, and what you found. Then just say straight up "I feel this was caused by improper repairs done here originally..how are YOU going to compensate me for my expense and time?" Not "how will the dealership compensate me".

See what he offers..if he tries to give you just "store credit" for the part..I'd want to talk to the Dealer President or Owner. Unless the credit would be acceptable to you.

Personally I'd want at least $500.

Oh...I wonder what the dealer price for just the pump is? Prob more than $335?

Old 08-24-09, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
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I wouldn't be surprised if the dealership contends that it cannot actually be proven that the towels were actually in the tank as you said because it's only your word.If they do this and/or just give you a bunch of poop over it throw publicity in thier faces.Threaten to go to a local TV station,almost everywhere at least one local station has some sort of consumer affairs reporter or something like that,here there's an "on your side" reporter who goes after stuff like this.

Also making statements suggesting legal action can also make things happen because it's cheaper for them to settle with you than fight it in court even if they win.

This would all be tactics if being nice doesn't get you anywhere or if the dealership is hostile to you.

I had a brake job done at a dealership once,it was expensive and major,and it failed in a year.The delaership tried to tell me it was because I didn't drive enough and the system had developed rust.they weren't going to do a thing so I said I'd was going to talk to my lawyer and they pretty quickly agreed to redo the job.
Old 08-24-09, 02:07 PM
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Location: somewhere down in texas
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Thanks for the replies gentlemen. It's late in the day and I'm not in the mood for tense negotiation right now so I will probably go there tomorrow to hash it out. More opinions welcome!
Old 08-24-09, 03:19 PM
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Are you the original owner? Just checking because if not they could have been in there already.
Old 08-24-09, 03:24 PM
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Location: Sw FL
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I know they shouldn't be there but is there any evidence they contributed to the failure of the pump ?

unless they have the dealers name on them it would be hard to prove they where in left there by them
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Old 08-24-09, 04:52 PM
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Hate to break it to ya, but the "On your Side Guys" cant do a Thing legally........And if the Service manager has his ducks in a row , and is polite and courteous..And reasonably explains his stance on the issue...The scenario will never make it to print....Its hard to get a diamond out of a sandstone......

It would go something like this

"The technician that worked on Mr Kerry's car has all of the necessary credentials to handle the task competently and efficiently. He has worked at this location for the last 12 Years , and Ive never heard of a situation like this, nor do I reasonably have any reason to Question his ability or Integrity.

Obviously and with good reason, Mr Kerry is upset. I can understand his point, But If My technicians can be put under Scrutiny, because Mr kerry feels he is entitled to compensation...Then I feel My technician and the reputation of my business, Entitles Us to require Proof of wrong doing.....

At this point the camera crew finishes their coffee, packs up the lights, and it is never mentioned again....

Unfortunately Kerry....Your best bet at this point , is to suck it up, and just not do business there anymore......And word of mouth travels fast...So dont recommend them to anyone either. Offering up Slanderous remarks to potential customers while standing in the doorway of the shop with a Billboard or Picket sign is a surefire way to get you arrested .

On the other side of things....Calmly and Politely speak to the service Manager and Explain your situation.. You may be surprised at the response you get ... If you run in there with guns blazing and making threats and accusations.....They will likely roll out a RED CARPET for you...leading straight to the EXIT...
Old 08-24-09, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 905
fuel pump

Everyone is approaching this as something that happened at the dealership. I have seen some wierd things that came from the factory. I saw a guy fight a new Ford pickup for two days, it would stall when you tried to accelerate. He finally pulled the tank and removed a pair of womans under pants and cured the problem. I cant see how you would accidently get two shop rags in a gas tank.
Old 08-24-09, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: California
Posts: 214

If while removing the old pump from the tank in an effort to control fuel spillage a tech could conceivably place rage around the old pump as it is removed. I've seen dumber stuff happen. As for a method to approach the softer approach to the servive manager would probably be the most rewarding for you. If that doesn't get an acceptable response a letter to the area zone offices of the manufacture many times gets an action. If that doesn't work then of course small claims court gives you a chance to plead your case.
Old 08-27-09, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 171
I am curious as to how this may have been resolved.

Towels seem like a great way to force someone to come in for a general diagnostic check. An on again, off again car problem with no direct or obvious signs sounds like a good couple of hours of high $$ diagnosis.

Also how old did the towels look? What kind does the dealership use? Do they match up? Kinda' hard to 'accidently' drop two towels into a gas tank.
Old 08-27-09, 12:18 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: somewhere down in texas
Posts: 506

I went in yesterday and asked to see the Service Manager. When he came I asked if we could set down in his office. He agreed and I closed the door behind us letting him know this was an important discussion as far as I was concerned. I then very calmly explained the whole situation and gave my opiion as to how it happened. At that point he looked up the date of the service and the Tech involved. He then stated that that particlar tech no longer worked there but was concidered to be very good at his job. I then stated that I was not looking to get anyone fired but felt that he needed to know that this had happened so that he may be able to prevent this in the future. I also stated that I feel that they at least owed me for the cost of the replacement and he did not bat an eye. He agreed and apologized more than once and called about two hour later to tell me my check was ready. Thanks for the replies everyone. Sometimes being nice does work but I was prepared to throw a fit if I needed to.
Old 08-27-09, 12:25 PM
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Ahhhh jeez....You only got the cost of the new pump? Nothing for your time..no free detail...2 oil changes....something?

LOL...I'm just kidding (mostly)...but I always let them make the first offer of compensation, then when they say they'll pay for the part..I say what about my time and labor?

But I agree..being nice is normally the best way..right up until its NOT.

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