Public Mediation

Mort Kranitz Automotive Sales & Service, LLC-Dispute-#1274167

N. S. vs. Mort Kranitz Automotive Sales & Service, Llc
7301 East 22nd Street, Suite 10W, Tucson, Arizona, 85710, United States
    • Status: In Negotiation
      This claim has posted for public comment and negotiation. It will remain posted until resolved to the claimant's satisfaction. Suggest a resolution to help these parties reach a settlement.
      (seeking public comment)
    • Claimant Seeks: View.
    • Claim #: 1274167
    • Amount Involved: 3,600.94
    • Filed On: Aug 25, 2012
    • Posted On: Sep 05, 2012
    • Complaint(s):
      • Bad business practices
      • Problem with a service
      • Problem with a product
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Statement of Claim
Claimant says:
"I purchased a 2001 Toyota Corolla on June 23, 2011 along with an extended warranty. Less than 1 year later I was traveling home with my daughter to Tucson, AZ from College Station, TX and the engine blew a rod, 8 miles west of Sierra Blanca, TX, approx. 400 miles from home. We had to spend the night there.

The next day I called the auto broker I bought my car from, Ed Gallick with Mort Kranitz Automotive Sales & Service, LLC and asked him for the warranty information. He gave me contact information for American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc. I called and they did not have any record of me or my contract #. I spent the entire day back and forth on the phone with Ed. I was finally told that my money and contract had never been sent in. He said that the owner, Mort Kranitz would pay the mechanic/owner of A&A Repair in Sierra Blanca who visually inspected my car (I was told later the bill was $160) and also they would have their mechanic in Green Valley send out a wrecker to tow my car back to his shop in Green Valley for repair (they told me later the tow bill was $300). After returning home Ed said they would pay for 1 week rental car (my 1 week car rental was $143.84, so I'm assuming that is what they paid for the 1st week’s rental from the same place I used).

On Wed. June 6, 2012 I was told by their mechanic, David Delich, over speaker phone while in Kranitz’s office, that he had completed the inspection and found the Carquest oil filter on my car was the wrong filter, and then he obviously felt the need to tell me that his shop never used this brand filter.

David Delich's name was not on anything that came from his shop, not even on the quote dated June 8th. It was a quote for $3,291.41 to install a used engine they could get from Japan that had 47K miles on it. It was an approximation only since they stated on the invoice, "does not include transfer of optional equipment." The Service Writer’s name noted on the quote was Brent and the Service Tech was a Joey and it was not signed. This unsigned invoice said that due to the wrong oil filter it had leaked oil which caused the engine to run out of oil which then threw a rod. I never had any oil leakage from the time of my last oil change to the time it blew a rod. I even called my son who we were visiting in College Station, TX to go out and look on the street where my car had been parked the entire time I was visiting with him and his family (we went everywhere together in their car). So, from when we arrived, Friday May 25th until we left to go back home on Tues, May 29th, there wasn't a single spot of oil on the street. The mechanic in Sierra Blanca told me that there had been plenty of oil in my car when it blew because he saw a whole lot of oil on the undercarriage of my when he inspected it the very next morning after the faulty engine blew a rod.

Because of this inspection report, Kranitz Automotive said they would not be paying for repairs and that I would need to go after whom ever did my last oil change. My last oil change was done by Goodyear, so I approached them with my situation and they said they did not put on the wrong filter.

When Kranitz wanted me to go after Goodyear, they asked David Delich to write up an affidavit and have it notarized. It was given to me along with a picture of the oil filter they said was on my car. It was signed by James "Jack" Gillespie, Service Manager, who I spoke to in person when I went down to the Green Valley shop to retrieve my belongings from my car. He was sitting at the counter in the office while I was speaking to the owner's son, who was behind the counter. I asked the guy that was sitting there the whole time, if he also worked there and he said that he did, but that he never worked on or even looked at my car. After I left the shop I called them back as I had gotten side tracked while there and forgot to ask them about the parts I had found in my trunk. I found it curious because David had said that he had not removed anything while doing the inspection. I asked who I was speaking to and he said his name was Jack, the guy that was sitting at the counter when I was just in their office. So, this guy, Jack, who had told me face to face that he never worked or even looked at my car,is the one who signed the affidavit dated June 8, 2012. This notarized affidavit did say that they removed the plastic engine under-paneling and alternator in order to inspect the engine.

David Delich threatened to put my car in storage because he wanted me to remove it from his lot as he did not want to get in the middle of whatever was going on between Kranitz and me. He said if I didn't get it moved that he would put it in storage and then I'd also have to pay those fees.

At the time, it didn't make any sense to me why David Delich was yelling at me to come get my car. I asked him why I needed to come get it when he had provided me with a quote to repair my car. That is when he said he didn't want to get in the middle of things. I asked him what he meant by that and he said that Mort had said that I had wrote Mort a letter that said I didn't trust their mechanic . He obviously took offense to that and that is why he was yelling at me to come get my car. I had no reason to trust David and said such in my letter because his inspection report from his shop did not consider any other possible reasons for the engine to blow other than the oil filter. This was the 2nd reason I had not to trust him. No one from his shop had done their homework on the matter. After I did the research I knew his inspection report was not true and certainly not complete. The 3rd reason I had not to trust him was that as a mechanic/business owner he was not even willing to discuss the possibility of my findings. Not only had I never met this David Delich, but based on the inspection report, that was supposedly written by someone who told me he never even looked at my car, the only thing they could find as to why my engine blew a rod was because of a wrong oil filter. If there was no other reason(s) stated in the report and I disproved the one and only reason, then it only stands to reason that I was sold a vehicle with a faulty engine and had I had a warranty on the car, the warranty company would be paying for the repairs, but since there was no warranty, then Kranitz would now need to pay for the repairs by default. All of this evidence/research should have been gathered by them and considered before they made their claim, and at minimum, at least considered all of the information/facts when they were presented to all of them. Instead they just repeated the same claim over and over again that the wrong oil filter was put on my car. I had to pay for a tow dolly to retrieve my vehicle from Green Valley since Kranitz would not pay to get my car back to me. My car sat in my carport for about a month while I called around for a place to fix it and also while I continued my research on what options I had regarding the entire mess.

I researched the entire situation; called the manufacturer of the WIX filters in question and was told that both model #'s would perform correctly for my vehicle and the fact that I had gone 5,000 miles on the filter on my car proved that it worked because if the wrong filter had been on my car it would have caused problems as soon as I drove away from Goodyear. I did further research online and called a Master Mechanic who purchased both oil filters to show me that both would work on my car and he also called WIX and was told that the oil filter model on my car would not cause damage to my engine. I also spoke with three other local mechanics who all came to the same conclusion after hearing all the facts which are: I had my oil changed 3 times by local car centers since the time of purchase (June 23, 2011 I purchased the vehicle with 101,000 miles – 1st oil change was 10-14-11, mileage 106,066; 2nd oil change was 12-4-11, mileage 109,060; 3rd oil change was 3-6-12, mileage 112,021). At time of engine failure there was 117,533 miles on my car – window sticker recommended a change at 116,021 which was at the 4,000 mile mark, not the 5,000 mark. I made the decision to have my 4th oil change done upon returning home from the trip. The first two places noted on my paperwork that no other items needed to be addressed; that brakes, fluid levels, etc. were all good. The last place, Goodyear, indicated that I needed a front end alignment; air filter and to do a fuel injection cleaning. I bought my own air filter and fuel cleaner at O'Riely Auto parts and waited on the alignment. Since owning the car I had performed all the needed maintenance I was instructed to do with regards to my engine.
I presented all of my research information and facts to both Mort Kranitz, owner, and Ed Gallick, auto broker and they still told me that the wrong filter had been put on my car and that if I had had a warranty this would have made the warranty null and void and that they would not pay for the repairs. I let them know that due to their negligence of not turning in my money for a warranty, that they took away my opportunity to deal with the warranty company with regards to all the facts of the matter, therefore they would not only need to reimburse me for the $1,294 I paid for the warranty, but also for whatever cost of the repairs to my car would be. I asked them for my warranty money back. They said that they were acting as if the warranty was on the car, that they did not have to pay for repairs because of the wrong oil filter and that my 2 yr. 24,000 mile warranty was now one year old, so they said that after I fixed my car they would buy me a one year / 12,000 mile warranty, which would cost them the same amount of what I paid them for the 1st warranty, which was $1,294.00.

I wrote to them with all of the facts and sent it via email with no response and then also sent the same letter via certified mail return receipt, dated July 10, 2012, which was signed by their office on July 11, 2012. During this entire mess I was only able to afford to pay for 1 week of a rental car. The rest of the time until I had my vehicle repaired on July 26, 2012, almost 2 months later, family members picked me up for work and brought me back home which is 36 miles round trip.

To date, I have not had any response back from Kranitz. I am seeking to have reimbursed to me $1,294.00, the money I paid for the extended warranty I never received and $2,306.94, the money I spent to repair my car, for a total of $3,600.94.

In addition to this whole mess, upon test driving my vehicle after the new engine was installed by the repair shop I found to do the work, called to tell me that my car was automatically changing into neutral. They took it back to their shop and found the transmission fluid to be black, not the cherry red color of a good transmission (they showed me the fluids). They said this was due to poor maintenance and that it could go out the very next day or a year or two down the road!

The story I was told by Ed about my car was he had located it for a couple that then agreed it was what they were looking for and to go ahead and buy it for them. Kranitz purchased it from Dobbs Honda and then the couple changed their minds and purchased another car somewhere else. Kranitz then had this vehicle at their office and wanted to sell it as they do not run a used car lot. It was offered to me below blue book for this reason. Ed presented me with the car fax report and an invoice from Dobbs showing inconsequential items they repaired. Ed told me that those were the only items that Dobbs found that needed to be repaired after they performed their 125 point inspection and that for an older model car it was real clean and in great condition. He then showed me the line item on the paperwork that stated “125 point inspection.” He led me to believe that I was looking at the report and that the items listed were the only things wrong with the car. It was later pointed out to me by the Master Mechanic, that the paper Ed gave me wasn’t the inspection report, just an invoice listing that Dobbs did perform a 125 point inspection , but that what I saw was not the results of the inspection….it was just showing the stuff they decided to fix and that I should get a copy of the actual, full “125 point inspection report” from Dobbs. I called Dobbs Honda and was told that since it was a 2011 report that it had been scanned into their system and then shredded, but that they now could not find the scanned report, so I should get the report from the dealer I bought the car from as he would have it. I asked for the inspection report from Kranitz and never got a response back. I did not go to Kranitz blindly. I was recommended by my nephew who got his truck from them. From this recommendation one of my daughters also got her vehicle from them. So based on the vehicles they got from Kranitz I decided to use them as well. My experience with them has been nothing short of a nightmare!

I asked the owner of the shop that put in my used engine what a transmission would cost and was quoted approx. $1,700!

In addition to the warranty and repair money I have paid I have also paid the following expenses associated with this faulty engine situation: approx. $58 for motel; $100 to mechanic to personnally drive us to El Paso to catch a grey hound bus back home since Ed made us miss the grey hound leaving from Van Horne, TX by not getting back to me with regards to what they were going to do about getting my car back to AZ. The mechanic/owner in Sierra Blanca did not want me leaving, nor did I want to leave my car, until it was determined what would be done with it; $103 for bus tickets from El Paso to Tucson; $144 car rental; both my daughter and I missed a day of work (my daughter had been out of work for months and her scheduled day back from the trip was to be her first day of her new job); I missed additional time from work to go down to Green Valley & on several occasions met with Mort & Ed during working hours; met with a master mechanic during working hours; $57.77 for a tow trolley to get my car from Green Valley to home and now the worry and possible expense of transmission work.

I have documentation for everything I have stated above. It is my belief that because of the way they have handled this whole situation that it is very possible that I am not the only one they have sold warranties to and then pocketed the money instead of turning it over with the contracts to the warranty companies, playing an "odds game" if you will, by betting that most won't ever need the warranty by the time it expires and for those that do, using their mechanic to make a claim that would them void any warranty, had they gotten one. I could very well be the first willing to take them to court over it. I was doing small claims research online when I ran across your site, so if this online PeopleClaim site does not yield results, settling out of court, which is how reputable businesses deal with these matters, I will be suing them for fraudulent business practices which at minimum will pay for every penny that I have paid out along with fixing the burned out transmission and any court costs and attorney’s fees. They will also be reported to the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General's Office for continued investigation."
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What Claimant Wants Hide
1. Recovery of Losses: Reimbursement for Repairs to my vehicle. Sep 30, 2012 $2,306.94
2. Refund: Warranty Purchased, but never rec'd. Sep 10, 2012 $1,294.00
3. Other – Copy claim to regulators Sep 10, 2012 $14.95
4. Other – Pay for claim posting cost Sep 10, 2012 $7.95
5. Other – Physical delivery charges Sep 10, 2012 $2.99
Cash total : $3,626.83
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Respondent's Counteroffer

There has been no response to this claim from Mort Kranitz Automotive Sales & Service, LLC. This claim will remain posted until resolved
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