$5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

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Helo80
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by Helo80 » Thu May 21, 2020 9:45 am

UALflyer wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:58 am
Respectfully, from the moment that you posted your experience upthread, I knew that there had to be a lot more to the story.

Auto dealers and manufacturers get threatened with legal action multiple times a day, so those things tend to elicit a yawn on their part. An overwhelming majority of these threats don't carry much weight, and tend to be counterproductive, as there is no viable legal theory behind them. It doesn't matter how much you threaten to go to war, whatever that means, as empty threats simply don't move the needle.

In your daughter's situation, the fact that the engine was rebuilt by the dealer 10 months prior to its failure was almost certainly the key factor that caused them to approve the repair. In the absence of a service campaign by the manufacturer, if we were talking about the original engine, the repair request almost certainly would've been denied, all these threats notwithstanding.

100% agree and thank you for taking the time to post. I'm glad that I'm not the only one that noticed that there was more to the story as it slowly unfolded by that poster.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu May 21, 2020 5:39 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 7:58 am
jabberwockOG wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 9:54 am
There was no written warranty whatsoever on her used car. It was purchased as is. Getting Subaru to rebuild the engine literally required politely but firmly threatening them with legal action as well as media and governmental involvement if they did not correct the situation. The primary point of my post was to assert that a customer simply does not have to accept being blow off by a car dealer when they make a request to repair or replace a defective vehicle but it does take a professional non emotional strategy to get reasonable results.
Respectfully, from the moment that you posted your experience upthread, I knew that there had to be a lot more to the story.

Auto dealers and manufacturers get threatened with legal action multiple times a day, so those things tend to elicit a yawn on their part. An overwhelming majority of these threats don't carry much weight, and tend to be counterproductive, as there is no viable legal theory behind them. It doesn't matter how much you threaten to go to war, whatever that means, as empty threats simply don't move the needle.

In your daughter's situation, the fact that the engine was rebuilt by the dealer 10 months prior to its failure was almost certainly the key factor that caused them to approve the repair. In the absence of a service campaign by the manufacturer, if we were talking about the original engine, the repair request almost certainly would've been denied, all these threats notwithstanding.
It's good for the forum to have different perspectives. Readers get value from seeing different opinions and different points of view on specific topics. They can make up their own minds based on their specific context and ability and desire to take action.

I would encourage anyone that feels they have been sold a defective vehicle to adopt an attitude that they can create a fair and reasonable outcome if they stick to their guns and recognize and use their limited leverage to best advantage. You are absolutely correct, there are many dealers who will just laugh at the typical customer regardless of whatever threats or warnings. This is mostly because the typical customer does not follow through and almost always just walks away with their tail between their legs instead of putting in the work to take action.

In the corporate world I regularly worked with our most difficult customers where the division was in real danger of getting sued, thrown out, going to the media, refunding consulting fees, etc. Being polite and professional, but also firm and understanding the leverage in each context we could usually negotiate our way to an acceptable and fair solution even in situations others had called hopeless/too late, etc. Much the same technique can work in consumer situations like working with recalcitrant car dealers and service managers. A lot more depends on demeanor and attitude than people realize.

UALflyer
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by UALflyer » Thu May 21, 2020 6:49 pm

jabberwockOG wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 5:39 pm
It's good for the forum to have different perspectives. Readers get value from seeing different opinions and different points of view on specific topics. They can make up their own minds based on their specific context and ability and desire to take action.

I would encourage anyone that feels they have been sold a defective vehicle to adopt an attitude that they can create a fair and reasonable outcome if they stick to their guns and recognize and use their limited leverage to best advantage. You are absolutely correct, there are many dealers who will just laugh at the typical customer regardless of whatever threats or warnings. This is mostly because the typical customer does not follow through and almost always just walks away with their tail between their legs instead of putting in the work to take action.

In the corporate world I regularly worked with our most difficult customers where the division was in real danger of getting sued, thrown out, going to the media, refunding consulting fees, etc. Being polite and professional, but also firm and understanding the leverage in each context we could usually negotiate our way to an acceptable and fair solution even in situations others had called hopeless/too late, etc. Much the same technique can work in consumer situations like working with recalcitrant car dealers and service managers. A lot more depends on demeanor and attitude than people realize.
The issue with all these posts about needing to "stick to your guns," "following through" and not "walking away with your tail between your legs" is that they're completely meaningless. All the tough talk in the world is not going to cause a dealer or a manufacturer to change its mind when the person on the other side is simply puffing out his chest. Sure, the person may end up filing a lawsuit, but a meritless lawsuit isn't going to go anywhere, and car dealers and manufacturers wouldn't stay in business very long if they simply gave in every time a person did this. After all, why buy a new car or an extended warranty, when you can just buy a used car and then threaten and make them pay for your repairs long after the original warranty has expired.

I do completely agree with you that recognizing your limited leverage is key. Threating to file what will amount to be a meritless lawsuit is actually the exact opposite of leverage, as it demonstrates that the person making the threats is largely incompetent and is not to be taken seriously. So, by engaging in these tactics, you are undermining your position, and making it that much more difficult for yourself to get what you want.

If you've identified a viable legal theory, then by all means assert it. Just don't think for a second that all this tough talk is going to be effective without it.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by jabberwockOG » Fri May 22, 2020 10:41 am

UALflyer wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:49 pm
jabberwockOG wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 5:39 pm
It's good for the forum to have different perspectives. Readers get value from seeing different opinions and different points of view on specific topics. They can make up their own minds based on their specific context and ability and desire to take action.

I would encourage anyone that feels they have been sold a defective vehicle to adopt an attitude that they can create a fair and reasonable outcome if they stick to their guns and recognize and use their limited leverage to best advantage. You are absolutely correct, there are many dealers who will just laugh at the typical customer regardless of whatever threats or warnings. This is mostly because the typical customer does not follow through and almost always just walks away with their tail between their legs instead of putting in the work to take action.

In the corporate world I regularly worked with our most difficult customers where the division was in real danger of getting sued, thrown out, going to the media, refunding consulting fees, etc. Being polite and professional, but also firm and understanding the leverage in each context we could usually negotiate our way to an acceptable and fair solution even in situations others had called hopeless/too late, etc. Much the same technique can work in consumer situations like working with recalcitrant car dealers and service managers. A lot more depends on demeanor and attitude than people realize.
The issue with all these posts about needing to "stick to your guns," "following through" and not "walking away with your tail between your legs" is that they're completely meaningless. All the tough talk in the world is not going to cause a dealer or a manufacturer to change its mind when the person on the other side is simply puffing out his chest. Sure, the person may end up filing a lawsuit, but a meritless lawsuit isn't going to go anywhere, and car dealers and manufacturers wouldn't stay in business very long if they simply gave in every time a person did this. After all, why buy a new car or an extended warranty, when you can just buy a used car and then threaten and make them pay for your repairs long after the original warranty has expired.

I do completely agree with you that recognizing your limited leverage is key. Threating to file what will amount to be a meritless lawsuit is actually the exact opposite of leverage, as it demonstrates that the person making the threats is largely incompetent and is not to be taken seriously. So, by engaging in these tactics, you are undermining your position, and making it that much more difficult for yourself to get what you want.

If you've identified a viable legal theory, then by all means assert it. Just don't think for a second that all this tough talk is going to be effective without it.

There is a difference between tough talk and tough action. Students of language will even recognize that some talk is action while other talk is not. Missing the point entirely is debating that frivolous demands and lawsuits and the like are contra-productive. Yes of course they are. Taking a firm stand, and sticking to your guns, following thru, etc., only has power (ie. leverage) if and only if a person actually has a viable, fair, and reasonable position/reason for making a request/demand. I am certainly not suggesting asking a dealer to correct a defect at no cost when there is no reasonable or legal expectation or reason to ask them to do so.

ncbill
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by ncbill » Fri May 22, 2020 12:09 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:49 pm
jabberwockOG wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 5:39 pm
It's good for the forum to have different perspectives. Readers get value from seeing different opinions and different points of view on specific topics. They can make up their own minds based on their specific context and ability and desire to take action.

I would encourage anyone that feels they have been sold a defective vehicle to adopt an attitude that they can create a fair and reasonable outcome if they stick to their guns and recognize and use their limited leverage to best advantage. You are absolutely correct, there are many dealers who will just laugh at the typical customer regardless of whatever threats or warnings. This is mostly because the typical customer does not follow through and almost always just walks away with their tail between their legs instead of putting in the work to take action.

In the corporate world I regularly worked with our most difficult customers where the division was in real danger of getting sued, thrown out, going to the media, refunding consulting fees, etc. Being polite and professional, but also firm and understanding the leverage in each context we could usually negotiate our way to an acceptable and fair solution even in situations others had called hopeless/too late, etc. Much the same technique can work in consumer situations like working with recalcitrant car dealers and service managers. A lot more depends on demeanor and attitude than people realize.
The issue with all these posts about needing to "stick to your guns," "following through" and not "walking away with your tail between your legs" is that they're completely meaningless. All the tough talk in the world is not going to cause a dealer or a manufacturer to change its mind when the person on the other side is simply puffing out his chest. Sure, the person may end up filing a lawsuit, but a meritless lawsuit isn't going to go anywhere, and car dealers and manufacturers wouldn't stay in business very long if they simply gave in every time a person did this. After all, why buy a new car or an extended warranty, when you can just buy a used car and then threaten and make them pay for your repairs long after the original warranty has expired.

I do completely agree with you that recognizing your limited leverage is key. Threating to file what will amount to be a meritless lawsuit is actually the exact opposite of leverage, as it demonstrates that the person making the threats is largely incompetent and is not to be taken seriously. So, by engaging in these tactics, you are undermining your position, and making it that much more difficult for yourself to get what you want.

If you've identified a viable legal theory, then by all means assert it. Just don't think for a second that all this tough talk is going to be effective without it.
So are you just making a generic argument, ignoring that the OP claims there really is a TSB covering the specific type of engine failure they experienced?

Per the OP: "That service bulletin is VIN specific and does affect my vehicle."

Ideally, if the above is correct the OP would leverage it for partial coverage...e.g. splitting the costs would make fixing it worth it IMHO.

Were I the OP I'd keep moving up the chain...then looking for free or cheap options like local consumer advocates (e.g. local TV station) if I couldn't get satisfaction via the OEM's appeal process.

valleyrock
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by valleyrock » Fri May 22, 2020 12:50 pm

Without reading every word above, naturally, one would want to first explain the issue to the head of the business that sold the car if they would please take care of this problem. That can work. You just never know unless you try. If they say there's nothing they can do, ask them who else you can talk to "up the food chain." People relate to that phrase, because everybody reports to somebody, until you get to the owner, but they will have to report to the manufacturer if this is a dealer. It's not a matter of being mean or threatening, but of letting them know that you will not leave anyone out in your search for help here. You're going to let everyone know what happened and ask everyone possible who is in some position of authority to help.

That said, I generally avoid dealers for everything, including used cars, but there are exceptions. If it's a car that they've been maintaining and they will show you the service records, etc. and they are asking a fair price, well, then, maybe.

Why avoid dealers? Well, one big reason is all those people in there sitting at computer monitors, sitting at desks, doing very little. How do all those salaries get paid? Well, by charging a lot, that's how! A competent garage is the way to go, in my experience.

What's a fair price for a used car? Some folks don't believe it, but there is an industry standard for that, and it avoids having to haggle and having to feel ripped off on both sides of the transaction. It's used by bank loan officers who grant car loans on used cars. It's used by dealers when they set used car prices. And it's used by buyers and sellers who know the scoop and don't want to haggle. That's the NADA price, available at nadaguides.com. It sounds too easy, but that's the fact.

The other important place to check is Consumer Reports because they use records of repairs of used cars when putting out their periodic used car reports. Look for cars with decent repair records, of course. Once a car is identified (say, on Craigslist, or wherever), I make an appointment for a look, but early on in the discussions, I tell them that if I decide I want the car and we agree on a price (but I just bring a printout from NADAguides.com for that car, with that mileage; and I might should have run the Carfax report on the car, for a small fee, but a carfax report only tells you about insurance claims; other damage not repaired under insurance, no. Carfax also can have maintenance records), then I will want to do a buyer's check by my mechanic, at my expense, and ask if that would be OK. (I get an idea of what a good, independent garage will charge for that, and an idea of how long it takes to get a car in for a buyer's check.) I explain that I would not do a buyer's check unless I really am serious about the car, and that I plan to buy it unless the buyer's check turns up something, in which case I'd be willing to talk about amending the price appropriately. Reasonable people just are fine with a mechanic's check; they'd do the same if roles were reversed. I often ask during the first phone call if a mechanic's check would be OK, presuming that I like the car and we agree on a price.

Topic Author
bogler52
Posts: 32
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Thu May 28, 2020 8:29 am

Outer Marker wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:54 am
Would be interested to hear from the OP if he's had any success in wrangling a repair out of Acura to fix the defect?
Hi Outer Maker,

I've had no success with Acura Corporate. Even sharing that with very little research I was able to learn about the oil consumption issues and a VIN specific issue to my car that there is a manufacturing defect with my engine. They told me to pound sand.

At dealership, Acura of Boston, I spoke with the GM and he's going to let me get my car out of there for the cost of labor for the mechanic that took apart the engine. However, I spoke with my local mechanic and they suggested trying to get a lawyer involved. My local mechanic's point is that if I can find a service bulletin that shows there is a known defect with my car that the dealership should have known this and are just taking me for a ride. And by removing my car from their garage I won't have any recourse after.

I've been without my car for 2 months already and this is just exhausting.

Replacing the engine will cost $4-5k at an independent shop. I owe $8k on the car. I don't know how much I would get for it if I fix it then sell it. It seems like fixing and selling is the best course of action though.

My local mechanic didn't even give me a quote to replace the engine and suggested I just try and dump the car.

Thoughts?

researcher
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by researcher » Thu May 28, 2020 9:09 am

bogler52 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:29 am
I've been without my car for 2 months already and this is just exhausting.
You've let this saga drag on for 2 months???

You should have paid an independent mechanic $4K to fix it 8 weeks ago!
That is a small price to pay to move on with your life.

tibbitts
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Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by tibbitts » Thu May 28, 2020 12:33 pm

bogler52 wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 8:29 am
Outer Marker wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 10:54 am
Would be interested to hear from the OP if he's had any success in wrangling a repair out of Acura to fix the defect?
Hi Outer Maker,

I've had no success with Acura Corporate. Even sharing that with very little research I was able to learn about the oil consumption issues and a VIN specific issue to my car that there is a manufacturing defect with my engine. They told me to pound sand.

At dealership, Acura of Boston, I spoke with the GM and he's going to let me get my car out of there for the cost of labor for the mechanic that took apart the engine. However, I spoke with my local mechanic and they suggested trying to get a lawyer involved. My local mechanic's point is that if I can find a service bulletin that shows there is a known defect with my car that the dealership should have known this and are just taking me for a ride. And by removing my car from their garage I won't have any recourse after.

I've been without my car for 2 months already and this is just exhausting.

Replacing the engine will cost $4-5k at an independent shop. I owe $8k on the car. I don't know how much I would get for it if I fix it then sell it. It seems like fixing and selling is the best course of action though.

My local mechanic didn't even give me a quote to replace the engine and suggested I just try and dump the car.

Thoughts?
In my case there was a TSB for a problem but that didn't translate into fixing the problem for free or even participating in the cost.

Topic Author
bogler52
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:07 pm

Re: $5k - $7k to replace engine, or get something else? (loan on car)

Post by bogler52 » Thu May 28, 2020 2:41 pm

That’s exactly where I am. Acura Corporate doesn’t want to help at all. I even offered to pay for materials I’d they pay for labor (since the car is at an Acura dealership). I’m getting quotes from independent shops now.

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