Screwed by Criswell Chrysler - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Screwed by Criswell Chrysler

TL;DR: Bought a vehicle with a hard to notice body damage, the dealer told me to go pound sand.


I purchased a 19 PacHy Limited from Criswell CJDR in Gaithersburg, MD. I found Carl on this forum. The purchase process was swift, I was in and out in an hour. I did a casual walkaround, didn’t notice anything unusual. The van was parked tightly between other vehicles and I couldn’t see it in its entirety. In the evening of the same day (it was Saturday) I glanced on the van across my garage and one body gap seemed rather large. I looked closely and found that the skirt running under the cabin didn’t fit right. It didn’t have any visible scratches, so I chalked it off to an assembly error. Not a bid deal, next Monday I took it to another dealer close to my home. They agreed that the it could be a misaligned part. Their shop was busy and we had an upcoming July 4th trip, so I scheduled for the next week. When I brought the van back the dealer still kept it for a better part of the week before informing me that once they put the van on the lift, they found a damage- someone jumped a curb dislodging the skirt and ripping a felt underbody cover panel. It was a dealer’s lot damage, not an assembly issue covered by the factory warranty. I emailed Carl and explained the situation. After some emails we set up an appointment for me to bring the van for an assessment.



Oh, the change of the attitude… Everybody was so polite when I came in with a cash for a quick and easy purchase. But all smiles suddenly disappeared when I needed an actual assistance. Despite having an appointment, I was told that a lift was not available because they were already backed up (at 9AM, mind you). About an hour later it became clear that the lift wouldn’t be available at all and they were not going to accept responsibility for the damage.



Much fuss was made about me not calling Criswell right away. It was a fair question, and I explained that I acted based on assumption that my problem was a manufacturing defect which could be fixed by any dealer. Criswell is an hour drive and their techs couldn’t even figure out how to make a simple option adjustment I requested at the delivery. The nearest dealer is 5 minutes away from me and I had a good experience with their service department. It didn’t occur to me to inform Carl that I was taking the van to another dealer. I emailed Carl as soon as I learned about the damage.



While at Criswell I was talking mostly with their sales manager, Kevin, if I recall correctly. His position was that I couldn’t prove that the damage wasn’t done much later. I showed him the pictures on my phone taken on the night of the day I purchased the van. I could hardly believe his response. He said that the date on the pictures could be altered. He had an audacity to not so subtly hint that I was a fraudster. Never in my life I was treated that way. Especially not at a business where I was a trouble-free paying customer. At that point it became clear that they had no intention to stand behind the product they sell. Kevin was on the roll with insults and mockingly advised me to call Chrysler. He knew perfectly well that Chrysler wouldn’t get involved in a dealership matter. I had enough and left.


Any dealer can sell you a car if you come in knowing exactly what you want and don’t waste their time with endless test drives, quotes from competitors or financing problems. But a situation where something doesn’t go as planned is the true measure of the customer service. And Criswell failed it hard.



I’m realistic. I know it is caveat emptor if I buy a used car privately or from a shady used car dealer. However, when purchasing an expensive vehicle from a new car dealer I expect a certain level of respect and service. Not be accused of a fraud.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 12:07 AM
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This just isn’t a Chrysler problem but is a industry wide problem. The problem here is he said she said, people pointing fingers at each other . The shipping company also has done damage to new cars that roll of the truck . Curious to what the cost to fix the problem would be . The dealer could have done this during the pdi ( even though they really just wash it ). Would splitting the cost be a issue ? Some dealers are the worst to deal with for anything, buying a car is more than just saving 100 bucks on the deal . I’d probably by pass the service guy and speak to the GM , the lack of shop lift and altering the pics story is ridiculous. Hope all works out for you .
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 12:30 AM
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Wow, disappointing to hear that! My experience with both Kevin and Carl was so overwhelmingly positive. My deal was initially really simple, but got a bit more complicated when the van I'd originally purchased had charging problems just before I drove off the lot. They voided the sale, bought me lunch, gave me a very fair price on a slightly better-equipped van, paid my airfare, and tossed in a 2-year Chrysler service agreement. When I went to register the van with the DMV, it turned out there'd been an overpayment on the registration. My state's DMV returned the overpayment to Criswell (that's where the check to the DMV was from). Carl arranged to have Criswell send me a check after the DMV check arrived at Criswell. I'm 1,000 miles away and would've had no recourse had they decided to keep the money, but they sent it to me without any hassle at all.

It's like we were dealing with two different dealerships. It's pretty far-fetched to suggest that a person would modify the Exif data on a phone photo.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 09:48 AM
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Would be curious to hear what Criswell @carlw8 had to say. Hopefully someone can chime in. There are 2 sides to every story and I would like to hear why they took the stance they did with you. Sorry to hear about your situation nonetheless.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 10:01 AM
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Odd that it wasn't sitting out for unobstructed inspection.

How much time elapsed between pick up and bringing it back?

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 10:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irpilot View Post
Would be curious to hear what Criswell @carlw8 had to say. Hopefully someone can chime in. There are 2 sides to every story and I would like to hear why they took the stance they did with you. Sorry to hear about your situation nonetheless.
The biggest problem my Manager had was that it was 3 weeks before the damage was brought to our attention. I have never had a client wait that long to let me know about damage to a vehicle, The damage was pretty visible as far as the misaligned rocker panel so we find it hard to believe that we all missed it at time of delivery. We wish we could have been of more assistance, but too much time had elapsed.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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The biggest problem my Manager had was that it was 3 weeks before the damage was brought to our attention.
Two false statements here, Carl. My purchase date was 6/29. I noticed the problem late at night, the earliest I could contact you would be Monday 7/1. I emailed you on 7/16. Not quite 3 weeks.
After I confronted Kevin about his suggestion about the altered file dates, his reason for denial wasn't the delay:
Quote:
The damage was pretty visible as far as the misaligned rocker panel so we find it hard to believe that we all missed it at time of delivery
Was the damage easily visible? You can see for yourself. Keep in mind that this 1/2" gap was well below the eye level and the van was parked between other vehicles.

I wish I was more observant. I did a walkaround, but I was looking for things like scratches or door ding. Neither me nor my wife noticed the gap. The damage was more evident from below, but how often do you see new car buyers getting on all four on the dealer lots?
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by stop-eject View Post
Two false statements here, Carl. My purchase date was 6/29. I noticed the problem late at night, the earliest I could contact you would be Monday 7/1. I emailed you on 7/16. Not quite 3 weeks.
After I confronted Kevin about his suggestion about the altered file dates, his reason for denial wasn't the delay:

Was the damage easily visible? You can see for yourself. Keep in mind that this 1/2" gap was well below the eye level and the van was parked between other vehicles.

I wish I was more observant. I did a walkaround, but I was looking for things like scratches or door ding. Neither me nor my wife noticed the gap. The damage was more evident from below, but how often do you see new car buyers getting on all four on the dealer lots?
Has there been a dollar estimate of what it would take to correct the problem?

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CANADAHYBRIDGUY View Post
This just isnít a Chrysler problem but is a industry wide problem. The problem here is he said she said, people pointing fingers at each other .
What are the scenarios of the damaging the van after the delivery? I see two:
  • I jumped the curb and didn't notice it.
    I don't see how it would be possible. It was a violent smack and the hard parts were dragged.
  • I did it, but tried to blame on the dealer anyway.
    If this was the case, why would I go to another dealer and try to fix it under the factory warranty? An accidental damage wouldn't be covered. That dealer also presumed it was an assembly defect and even gave me a loaner, which I ended up paying for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CANADAHYBRIDGUY View Post
The shipping company also has done damage to new cars that roll of the truck . Curious to what the cost to fix the problem would be . The dealer could have done this during the pdi ( even though they really just wash it ). Would splitting the cost be a issue ?
I'm still working on getting it fixed, but we aren't talking about a major repair. The sheet metal has only a single scratch in an invisible area, it just needs to be touched up for a corrosion protection. The rest of the damage is on the plastic parts.

They didn't offer to split cost or any other solution. I didn't go there screaming and throwing tantrums, we could have a reasonable conversation.
And you're right, I'm also sure that the pre delivery inspection consisted from driving the van through a car wash and no one looked at the van closely. The tires were still inflated to 45-47PSI when I got it. This is the long term pressure, it should be adjusted during the final inspection- the last page of the prep instructions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CANADAHYBRIDGUY View Post
Some dealers are the worst to deal with for anything, buying a car is more than just saving 100 bucks on the deal . Iíd probably by pass the service guy and speak to the GM , the lack of shop lift and altering the pics story is ridiculous. Hope all works out for you .
I'll write to a GM, mostly because I already have the text. The response will probably be "I have a complete trust in my employees and stand behind their expert decisions" and so on.

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-30-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RC Mike View Post
Wow, disappointing to hear that! My experience with both Kevin and Carl was so overwhelmingly positive.
Mine was too- while I was spending the money, I even wrote about it.

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Originally Posted by Frig View Post
Odd that it wasn't sitting out for unobstructed inspection.

How much time elapsed between pick up and bringing it back?
Dealerships typically have crowded lots. I'm not implying they intentionally made the inspection more difficult.


The timeline went like that.
6/29- purchase
7/1 (next business day)- went to the local dealer. Scheduled appointment for 7/10
7/2 posted about the problem in the Criswell thread
7/10 Left the van with the local dealer

7/16- the dealer notified me about the damage. Emailed Criswell right away. Scheduled an appointment.

7/26- brought the van to Criswell.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Longtimemopar View Post
Has there been a dollar estimate of what it would take to correct the problem?

No. They wouldn't even put the van on the lift for evaluation. I should know more soon.
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