Claimant says: Summary description of the issue and complaint:
1."tI brought my car into oil express for an engine oil change
2."tIn addition they sold me a transmission flush for $119 (I never had a problem with the transmission prior to taking it to Oil Express).
3."tTwo weeks later the transmission failed and the car needed towing.
4."tDuring this two week period, no one else had performed any kind of service on the car whatsoever.
5."tAn independent mechanic and transmission specialist determined that the trans service was done incorrectly (transmission was 4qts low on fluid and the transmission gasket was installed incorrectly).
6."tAlthough it was still within the 30 day warranty period, Oil Express refuses to pay for damages because we violated the terms of their warranty by taking it to an independent mechanic without their approval (a reputable transmission team of mechanics, who have been in business for over 30yrs).
7."tOil Express also denies any wrong doing despite the evidence discovered by the independent transmission specialist.
8."tNo repairs have been done to the car, only diagnosis of the problem.
9."tMy car has been in the shop for two weeks waiting for approval for the repairs ($2000 transmission rebuild)
10."tI feel that I have been victimized by first being sold an unnecessary repair, and then the repair was done incorrectly which led to a catastrophic failure of the transmission, resulting in a $2000 repair bill which I can???t afford and shouldn???t have to pay for!!
11."tThe only definitive response I???ve receive from Oil Express is, ???I am sorry, but Oil Express will not provide any coverage to your claim. We stand by our warranty???
12."tApparently ???standing by our warranty??? supersedes factual evidence, good customer service, and the golden rule of treating people fairly.
Additional, detailed description:
I Went to Oil express for a routine engine oil change. While waiting for the service to be completed, they informed me that my transmission was ???low on fluid???, and recommended a transmission oil flush, an additional $119 charge (I had no prior problems with the transmission, to the best of my knowledge). Not having the funds at the time, they agreed to top off the fluid level to hold me over until I could come back for the trans flush service.
Three weeks later I returned, and they performed the trans flush, and charged me $119. There was NO mention of any other service performed at that time (the trans flush service only included removing ALL of the old trans fluid and replacing it with new fluid).
Approximately two weeks later, my car broke down (i.e. engine would start, but would not go when put in gear), and needed to have it towed to a reputable independent mechanic. Upon inspection, it was determined that the transmission was missing 4qts of fluid, resulting in totally worn clutch plates, rendering the transmission useless.
It was also determined that the transmission pan gasket had been improperly replaced (Oil Express never told me or charge me for a pan drop and gasket replacement). Also, there was NO sign of a leak, which begs the question, where did the missing 4qts go, if they were even there at all?
Why did Oil Express not tell me of the ???pan drop and gasket replacement??? when they did the ???transmission flush service????
Why was I not charged for that service (there is a significantly higher cost to that service over just a transmission fluid flush)?
Did they simply ???forget??? to tell me and charge me for that service?
After notifying Oil Express with this information, their initial response was ???we???ll take care of it???. The next day they sent two people to the mechanic???s shop to confirm the damage.
Two days later, the Oil Express store manager call me and said that my mechanic ???told??? them that the car could not have been driven two to three weeks being 4qts low on transmission fluid, and based on that, refused to cover the repair (in other words, they were denying that they were responsible for any wrong doing from their ???trans flush service??? and therefore not responsible for the transmission failure, even though there was no sign of a leak and no one else had serviced the transmission since they had touch it two weeks prior). Again, where did the missing 4qts go? At this time, the Oil Express manager also admitted to replacing the transmission pan gasket, but couldn???t explain why I was not told about it or charged for it at the time of service!!
The fact of the matter is, my mechanic told them NO SUCH THING. In fact, they said just the opposite, that a car COULD be driven a few weeks while low on trans fluid. The clutch plates would slowly degrade over that time period and eventually fail, which is exactly what happened in this case. Why would Oil Express claim to have been told just the opposite?
In addition to not claiming responsibility for the ???missing 4qts of trans fluid???, the Oil Express manager said because I violated the terms of their warranty by not getting their approval to take it to an independent mechanic, there was nothing they could do to help me.
Basically it appears that they are refusing to consider and listen to all the evidence that logically points to their improper repair and filling of the transmission as the root cause of the failure, simply because of ???legalese??? wording on their warranty statement.
Words on the warranty do not change the facts and evidence of this issue, evidence that has been provide by a very reputable mechanic (actually, team of mechanics) and transmission specialists who have been in business for over 30yrs. Taking the car to a totally independent transmission specialist was the only way to accurately assess the damage and determine the root cause of the failure. These mechanics are 100% confident in their assessment and are willing to back up their statements (i.e. improper replacement of the trans pan gasket, no leaks, and missing 4qts of trans fluid).
To this point, NO repairs have been done to the car or transmission, only assessment of the damage.
In the meantime, my car has been in the shop for the past two weeks (and counting) waiting for approval to go ahead with the repairs.
I feel like I have been totally taken advantage of by first of all being ???up-sold??? for a service that was unnecessary to begin with, then besides having to pay $119 for something I didn???t need, I???m now faced with a $2000 repair bill which I cannot afford!!
This is outrageous and wrong!! All I ask for is to have my car restored to the state it was in before I took it to Oil Express (fully functional and drivable). To accomplish this, I expect them to rightfully pay for the transmission repair.
As a consumer I feel that I have been completely ripped off and then brushed aside and neglected when trying to get satisfaction through Oil Express???s customer service (or lack there of). After visiting the store in person, calling the store to speak with the manager, and calling Oil Express???s corporate HQ, the only call back I received personally was from one of Oil Express???s secretary/receptionist, telling me that the word from the president of their company was ???there was nothing they could do???. The supervisor did not even return my call in person, but rather delegated it to his secretary/receptionist!!
To their credit, the predident of Oil Express did promptly exchange emails with my boyfriends father (who has been trying to help me with this issue), however, the result of those emails has yielded the same response, ???there is nothing we can do to help you??? (because I violated the ???terms??? of the warranty by not getting their approval before taking it to an independent mechanic, even though I was within the 30 day warranty period).
My hope is that Oil Express will realize the personal side of their business (especially a service business like theirs), and that their actions (or lack of action) directly affect people???s lives. I can???t afford a $2000 repair bill. I shouldn???t have to pay for something that I was not responsible for. I have already been without a car for over two weeks now as this issue continues to unnecessarily drag on. There is no reason that this can???t be resolved immediately.
Once again, this whole incident has been outrageous and wrong from beginning to end as I have been victimized, ignored, and basically told to go away facing a $2000 repair that I was not responsible for causing!! So frustrating!!*