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Hello everyone, I was recommended to pursue assistance through this forum as I have reached a dead end in resolving my issues .

I purchased my 2012 JKU Rubicon in February of 2018 and began experiencing mechanical issues this fall. On my drive home from school for Thanksgiving, my jeep was experiencing symptoms that were indicative of the extended warranty (D-14-12) put out for 2012-2013 Wrangler's left side cylinder head (Malfunction indicator light on, cylinder 4 misfire, rough idle).

I dropped it off at the nearest dealership, Williamsburg Jeep, due to increasingly concerning symptoms and the engine running somewhat hot. I informed the service department that the symptoms were indicative of the extended warranty, but they assured me that was not the problem. They managed to rack up $600+ dollars of work to include replacing the thermostat which I had just recently replaced, and diagnosing and repairing the rough idle which they said was not present when they inspected. It was all a bit suspicious. When issues were still present, they informed me that the left side cylinder head was faulty, but it would not be covered under the extended warranty. Some time later they informed me that they would be replacing the entire left side cylinder head (to include gasket) under the extended warranty, but there may also be issues with the right side. They did not conduct further investigation (a leakdown test) on the right cylinder so I opted not to have the work done. After waiting over 35 days for the necessary parts to come in, I contact customer care and informed them of everything that was going on to include the questionable thermostat repair and rough idle work.

The parts finally came in on January 9th and the Jeep was put back together on January 10th. They advised that they noticed a leak from the oil cooler but assured me it was a minor leak and not urgent, and that I should just keep an eye on the oil levels. On the afternoon of January 10th, the Jeep was ready to be picked up. The service adviser informed me that the vehicle had been test driven, no longer overheated, and was good to go. I was only to pay $250 for all of the work done.

Less than 20 miles from the dealership, the jeep began smoking from the engine bay, severely overheating, violently shaking, and spewing coolant. I had to pay to have it towed home. I called the service adviser, who then told me, "It still needs more work, man." I then spoke to the mechanic who was working on the car who explained that the car was not test driven prior to pickup, and the engine was not taking coolant when they attempted to top it off.

A few days later I had it towed to Starr Motors who began investigating what went wrong. They determined the thermostat was leaking coolant, cylinder 4 was leaking coolant, and a probable blown thermostat. They also noted that there were "several nuts and bolts missing, loose, and improper" on the left side cylinder head.

Customer care recommended I have the vehicle towed back to Williamsburg as that would be the easiest route to take for resolution. I was initially extremely hesitant to bring my Jeep back to the dealership who had lied to me and released an unsafe vehicle, but I initially agreed after being assured that the area manager and customer care would be heavily involved in the investigation, preventing Williamsburg for lying once again to cover their mistakes. The vehicle arrived on 2/7 partially disassembled and began undergoing diagnosis on 2/15. On 2/18, the service manager completed his diagnosis/investigation and recommended a new engine. On 2/19 and 2/20 I was unable to reach my case manager or the service manager even after calling several times. On 2/21 I was informed that Chrysler would not be providing financial assistance due to my refusal of work on the right side cylinder head; however, they would still offer a 20% discount on an engine purchased through them. The service manager then tried to tell me that the tests on the right side were done and reported to me but I still refused to have the work done, which then caused damage to an extent that I need a new engine. When I refuted his false claims, he continually stated "we will just have to agree to disagree." I then paid to have the vehicle towed back to Starr and elected to replace the engine with one supplied by Chrysler. Today, I was able to get back in contact with customer care, and was then told the offer was only to be used at Williamsburg Jeep. My customer care agent never mentioned this stipulation, even though she helped coordinate the tow back to Starr.

Overall my issues are as follows:
  • I was deliberately attempted to be overcharged
  • The dealership had suspicion that the right side cylinder head may have issues, but proper testing was not conducted as any reasonable dealership would.
  • I was not offered the thermostat they replaced (per VA Law)
  • The service manager deliberately lied to me as well as customer care regarding the initial testing on the right side cylinders in an obvious attempt to cover their mistakes. The documents they provided me show the testing was not conducted.
  • My vehicle was improperly repaired. Discovered and reported by an unbiased 3rd party (Starr Motors) who understandably declined to service my vehicle and directed me to return the vehicle to Williamsburg as they needed to rectify the issues they created at their expense
  • An unsafe vehicle was released to be driven (not even the hood was latched correctly)
  • The stipulations regarding the discount on the engine were not communicated to me, which directly influenced my decisions.
  • My vehicle has been out of service for 108 days as a result of Williamsburg's mishandlings

This was my first experience with a Jeep dealership and feel absolutely cheated. If any of you can provide assistance, or direct me to assistance I would be incredibly grateful as all avenues through customer care I have taken thus far have ended poorly and do not rectify the situation in a manner that is sensible or fair given the circumstances.
 

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First, welcome to the forum.

Second, I wish I had something to offer you other than the welcome, but I've been following your thread on another forum with horror for the last several weeks and haven't had anything constructive to add.

I'm in Parts. My power extends only as far as where I work, not to Corporate.
 

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I would threaten to take them to claims court with all the documentation and that you are pushing to be reimbursed for ALL expenses.
 

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A few suggestions:

What Bob L suggested above - small claims court.

Contact the nearest TV station's (Richmond?) Consumer Affairs department (or something similar) - let them investigate. Quite often the NBC affiliate in Washington is successful in helping resolve such issues. (I live 60 miles S of DC).

Contact the State Attorney General.

Lastly - contact a lawyer and see what they say.
 

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Did your original work order mention that it overheated? That isn't one of the symptoms listed in the LH cylinder head fix TSB.
It sounds like there may have been issues beyond the LH head problem, but the dealer didn't handle it well.

I think small claims court (no lawyer expenses) is going to be the best route. No lawyer is going to take this case without you paying fees upfront because there is no large settlement for them to take fees from.
 

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You are not alone! What I've learned from this experience was that my personal knowledge was instrumental in identifying these guys as B.S. artists and more importantly being able to call them out on lies and/or diversion tactics. In hindsight, it may have been wise to secretly audio record both conversations I have had with the service manager, I would have had him red-handed contradicting himself completely. However, I am not clear on the legality surrounding voice recordings taken without a warrant or consent, or their admissibility into court.

Here's a post I'm spreading around, it sounds familiar. I am not revealing the dealer, location or names as this is an ongoing dilemma.

The saga continues:

I want to share an email with everyone I sent to some friends of mine in regards to the trouble they have had with our local Dodge/Jeep dealership. But first, some back-story. My friends came to me with concerns about an extremely expensive transmission replacement they had done based on original symptoms of the vehicle's engine dying in reverse. The real trouble is the vehicle overheated in less than 1,000 miles of the transmission replacement (They had also replaced the starter and installed an ATF cooler, which is fine) Due to overheating the oil cooler assembly was compromised thereby creating a second, but not the original source of overheating. (Coolant leak at oil cooler assy.) Upon my first inspection of the vehicle it was immediately apparent that an engine oil and/or ATF leak was originating from within the bellhousing of the trans , although I did not confirm which or if both. I replaced all of the damaged parts pertaining to the overheating. Oil cooler, Head gaskets, oil pump, cooling system-radiator, cap, water pump, heater core, all hoses and fluids are verified to be correct and working properly. This is where it gets interesting. During my first test drive, in 4 low at operating temp, the engine immediately begins to overheat driving up a steep grade slowly. I forfeit the test drive and feel the transmission which is quite hot. I decided to drive the jeep to the dealership because the transmission was still under warranty and I knew from previous test drives that I would make it there without overheating the engine, which I did. However, and this is where it gets REALLY interesting, I made a pit stop at my friends to let them know what I was doing. Literally the moment I get into the jeep, turn it on and put it in reverse, guess what; the engine dies. I managed to get it turned around slowly without killing it, and proceeded to the dealership. The CEL/MIL comes on, and the transmission slipped in a major way three times in total before arriving at the dealership. The CEL stored a code for the catalyst, funny right? So at this point, I know I'm looking at a possible torque converter malfunction (in the "new" reman-trans) and/or a fused/blocked cat. In which case we could see a not-so obvious potential cause of overheating there as well. The following email attempts to illustrate my personal experience with the dealership over two visits, on two consecutive days. Names have been omitted: "I spoke to **** when I was leaving Dodge today and told him I should probably just cool it and let Dodge do their thing. But it wasn't until I got home and really started processing everything that has transpired since I first made contact with "Service Manager" in the service department yesterday that I finally figured out what they're doing and I'll try to keep it as straight and to the point as possible: First of all, my understanding is that the jeep died in reverse, was taken to dodge, and given back to you with a $6,000+ bill primarily for a remanufactured transmission. And as we all know the jeep made it just under 1,000 miles (according to Dodge's record) before overheating and coming to me for repair. After fixing all of the damages caused by overheating, it begins to die in reverse, and the transmission seems to be slipping. Not only did it die in reverse, the vehicle died in reverse when "Service Manager" moved it. This is important later. The first day I spoke to "Service Manager", he literally lied to me and said that your vehicles transmission is extremely dependable. And this is something I already knew to be a blatant lie because I have already extensively researched your transmission; so I challenged him on that point blank. His response was to stare at me, say nothing and change the subject. Which is exactly what he did all three times I demanded an explanation for the possible rear main and/or torque converter seal(s) leak at the transmission. The reason this is really important is because when I spoke to "Service Manager" again today he changed his story to the truth and said these transmissions are well known to be junk. Why does this matter? Because before he said that, I asked him (on purpose) "Did the vehicle die in reverse on you?" And he admitted that it had, which I knew because I watched it happen yesterday. At that point I asked him: "What was the diagnosis on the transmission that caused you to replace it?" And this is when he said they replaced your transmission and charged you over 6,000 dollars because these transmissions are well known to be crap and they were apparently doing you a favor...this is the problem: My understanding is that you consented to a transmission replacement to fix the dying in reverse problem. "Service Manager" tells me they made an executive decision to replace your transmission because they know they're flawed. That's the polar opposite of what he said the previous day when he was trying to get rid of me. I even pointed it out to him that he was doing that. So, I know he's lying. Why is he lying? Because they guessed the transmission was the problem, replaced it, charged you and sent it down the road. Less than 1,000 miles later the vehicle overheats, does a ton of damage, its dying in reverse, and the transmission is slipping. Was it ever explained to you that they replaced the transmission because it's a piece of crap and you should get a new one, or did they replace it because it was dying in reverse? Also, I asked for a detailed service history, and all I got was a piece of paper with zero information....which I have. That's a problem too, because if they have no record of their own work, how can they prove you needed a new transmission? Repair Orders are legal documents that are intended to protect the business AND its customers....but even more importantly they describe how you reached a conclusion which is very important in a shop, like showing your math for a solution. That's how we did it at ********* anyway, so I'm not 100% sure of all the legality but I don't think it would behoove them in anyway to not have them, and I would certainly hope they wouldn't go so low as to contrive records. If you or ****** have any questions, or would like to sit down and discuss further, I do feel like you have enough evidence to take them to court as it stands, but it is possible court could be avoided entirely via a formal meeting with "Owner" and "Service Manager", with me as your witness. Maybe if "Owner" and "Service Manager" are confronted privately with the lies I've already caught them in (Not to mention "Owners" terrible attitude when I suggested "Service Managers" customer service is garbage because he is dishonest) they might come to their senses and give you a refund, which I adamantly believe they owe you at the least. I have been told "Owner" has been the new owner for a year and they are struggling, I don't think what they've done here would be something they want to be public knowledge, even though it should be. Anyhow, that's where I'm at with it. I'm very concerned about their morals, and whether or not they will do this repair honestly, or even properly; if at all. So if there's anything I can do to help, I will. But I also understand if it's just too much drama and stress for you guys and you just want to forget about it. Either way I am sorry about all of this, and I really hope it gets resolved as easily as possible. Sincerely, ************." Please feel free to share your thoughts. Questions and/or any suggestions are welcome. I hope this info can raise some awareness, because this is just a fraction of the scamming I've encountered in my 12 years as an auto technician.
 

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Small Claims Court can be a crapshoot ;)

I've been involved in a few cases, some I've won, some I've lost, but I have won more than I've lost. A couple I had a lawyer, but most I've represented myself. :)

They are nothing like what you see on TV (Judge Judy, The People's Court, etc).

If you have another shop that may tell you bad things about the work done by another shop, when it comes to gathering the evidence and proof for your case, most shops are very hesitant to put any of their bad or negative comments about another shops work in writing. And getting anyone from the other shop to show up in court on your behalf, is almost impossible.

Also, if you decide to take your case to the court of public opinion (online sites: YELP, Google Reviews, etc) be very careful of what you post as your online comments can come back to haunt you, even though there is such a thing as freedom of speech. ;)

My most recent case involved faulty repairs done to my PT Cruiser by a shop. I had the repairs completed by another shop and went after the first shop for their faulty work. That shop refused to take any responsibility and I thought I would just cut my losses and move on.

I posted a couple of reviews online about my experience with the first shop. The next thing I know, I was served with a $9500 Small Claims Court suit for slander and libel for my online postings.

I was able to get a lawyer that took my case on a flat rate basis and I filed a counter-suit to recover my vehicle repairs as well as attorney fees. In the end, the shop and myself agreed to dismiss both of our cases and I got a small payment from the first shop that did the faulty repairs. Even though I didn't get everything that I was seeking, I got something and something is better than nothing, and IMO, getting something is a win, and the shop got nothing out of me, except that as part of the settlement, I had to remove my online postings.

Sometimes, just the filing of a case can get the other party back to the negotiating table, as nobody likes to go to court, especially large corporations as it can be very costly, especially for their high-paid legal teams.

The best thing that can be done is to try to come to some kind of a compromise where both parties can be satisfied with the final outcome. ;)
 

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Since you obviously live somewhere close to where I used to (Newport News) you might consider one of the local stations there (WAVY, WTKR or WVEC). All of them have some form of consumer advocacy. Biggest problem I see from reading through, is most of the interaction is verbal rather than in writing. Even if you did take Williamsburg Jeep to court, it becomes a case of "he said, they said" and depending on the judge or if it went that far a jury, it definitely becomes a crap shoot.

You can bet that any paperwork that was filed with FCA will, at a minimum paint a picture that you refused the extra diagnostic work, or if they are crooked, possibly be "lost" or "misfiled". Is Starr an FCA dealer? How about Pomoco?

I gather the other forum is a Jeep forum, which I am not a member of, my main interest in here is the old turbocharged models from the 80s. Unfortunately the dealership I worked for, Tysinger Motors, lost their Dodge franchise during the bankruptcy cycle in the early 2000s.

Good luck with it!
 

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I know Pomoco is an FCA dealership, I was more suggesting he try them. I actually am friends with Pomoco's owner.
 

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I guess it really doesn’t matter. The original poster never came back.
 
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