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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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:
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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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 .
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.
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.

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 .
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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Discussion Starter #10
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.

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.


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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I’m saddened to hear that you had this bad experience. All new car dealers are heavily invested in having outstanding deliveries as they are all trying to achieve 100%in CSI scores. Money from the manufacture often is tied to customer satisfaction index.
If you get surveyed over the delivery, you have the right to skewer them.
 

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You posted in the dealers thread here on the Pacifica forum on July 2nd about the problem where you clearly indicated the problem and made it clear you thought it was a manufactures defect at the time. The manager who suggested you doctored the dates on the photo would probably tell you the same thing about the forum post. To me it’s pretty obvious that you are not trying to pull a fast one, but you will likely get no where with this Kevin manager.

The best advise I can give you is to write out a detailed, clear & concise accounting of what happened on their Yelp page (including your photo and reference to your July 2 post on this forum). Do not put your emotions into the post, keep it fact based. This will hurt the dealership far more than if they accepted responsibility for the problem and fixed it. In the end it is very unfortunate that this happened to you and that you are on the hook for it, but at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing this will cost the dealership one way or another. Be sure to also be 100% honest on the manufacturer survey.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Guys, thanks for your support. I wrote this post because I needed to vent (obviously!) and to obtain unbiased opinions. In my mind I don't see how this damage could conceivably occur post purchase. I thought that if Criswell had a valid reason to doubt my words someone would point to flaws in my logic. I'm glad that we are on the same page.
 

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Criswell is a terrible dealership. My business partner had his Jeep Grand Cherokee there for like 6 months trying to have it repaired, they never could diagnose it and it would just sit there untouched for months on end, then they would tell him it was fixed and it would break down again...and again... they ran another car into it on the lot while it was sitting there, and offered no apology, just an "Oh, we'll fix that". Chrysler Corporate sided with him and paid him out $7,000 for his trouble.

I would never, EVER give Criswell Chrysler $1.

I've had good experiences with the service department at Darcars in Rockville and for purchase I would recommend Fair Oaks out in VA.
 

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Mine was too- while I was spending the money, I even wrote about it.


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.





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

Thanks for posting the time line of events. Pretty much you complaining about the issue one day after delivery nullified any argument they had about you taking too long to bring it to their attention. @carlw8 you should make this right or I highly doubt you'll be getting much more business from this group. I'm thinking about making this a sticky but I'll wait to see what @carlw8 response is.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@irpilot, thanks for your post. It is reassuring that the forum administration places ethics first when an advertiser is involved.
When I visited the local dealer on Monday 7/1, they connected the van to their scanner and its info popped up on the tablet they use. A simple scan isn't logged in the system and my visit wasn't recorded there. However the service manager offered to confirm it over the phone if Criswell was questioning my words.
 

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@irpilot, thanks for your post. It is reassuring that the forum administration places ethics first when an advertiser is involved.
When I visited the local dealer on Monday 7/1, they connected the van to their scanner and its info popped up on the tablet they use. A simple scan isn't logged in the system and my visit wasn't recorded there. However the service manager offered to confirm it over the phone if Criswell was questioning my words.

Sorry to hear all this man. It's really starting to sound like they're gonna weasel their way out of taking responsibility. Hopefully I'm wrong. Waiting to see if they respond.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
OK, about the damage. It involved two major parts- the skirt, or as Chrysler calls it “Cladding” and the underbody shield.


Many clips holding the skirt were broken and it had a deep scratches on the bottom.

When I looked up the parts fiche I found only the skirt, but no clips. The worst case scenario would be that the clips weren’t sold separately and/or the clips attachment points on the skirt were broken. I jacked the van up and took the skirt off. It wasn’t bad. Several clips were on stands and those stands were partially torn- nothing that couldn’t be fixed with epoxy.

Everything else looked good. The metal was untouched. I took a pair of clips and went to the dealer. Their parts fiche showed them as available, and they had them in stock. Also bought a plastic epoxy from Home Depot. $20 for everything.

Back home I heated the torn stand with a heat gun- it may help to return the plastic to its original shape and epoxied the stands back in place.


Let it dry, installed the clips- there were about 20 of them- and skirt snapped back in place with minimal troubles. It is still just a bit off- the plastic in the stands stretched and the heat gun couldn’t fix it. This is still better than having to purchase a new skirt and have it painted. Not only it would be more expensive, I don’t believe that a body shop paint job can match factory in its quality. Even if Criswell agreed to repair the damage I would ask them to save and reuse the original part. I left untreated the scratches on the bottom. They aren’t visible and it is not like the skirt is going to rust. I'd prefer to have this spot sanded and painted though.

Next I went to work on the shield. I found a surface scratch on the metal above the shield, covered it with a metallic tape to prevent corrosion. The shield itself is made from a thick felt like material. (The large black part in front is the door kick sensor.)


I tried to remove the creases with steam. It helped, but the rip still couldn’t be completely closed off.


I repaired it with staples and duct tape, which may hold for a while. Ultimately the shield will need to be replaced in a shop. I’m not going to crawl under the van.

Fixing the damage is simple and not expensive. That shield is $160 online with free shipping, the dealer cost has to be under $100. It makes me wonder even more why Criswell flat out refused to help me. I didn’t come in screaming and demanding a replacement van. We could come to a reasonable solution.
 

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Before and after.
Wow very impressive. To bad for Criswell Chrysler, that $100 in parts and say $150 in Labour is going to cost them MUCH MORE than that in lost business and BAD PR.
 
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