The Bob Rohrman Auto Group
has a dealership located in Park City, IL and also known as Gurnee Volkswagon
, sold me an unsafe car. I am able to say this because it was deemed to be unsafe and a fire hazard by a VW Service Center. I was a proud owner of what I thought was a GREAT car, when I purchased the Volkswagon Jetta
6 months ago on December 31, 2001. I was told that I had a warranty with my auto purchase and that my car was VW Pre-owned Certified
, which meant that I had a 2 year warranty on the vehicle and it was inspected and passed VW standards (I have the tag that hung in the window showing this). I would not have taken the car had it not carried a warranty. The car was a 2000 VW Jetta GLX with 10,000 miles on it. The car visited the VW service office in Park City 4 times in the last two months for a Service Engine Light and Emmissions Workshop light going off. Gurnee VW
fixed it each time that I brought it (which I have the paperwork for each visit). Just this week, June 24, 2002, the check engine light came on again, the car felt like it was going to die on me. Gurnee VW
told me to drive it to the Liberty Auto Plaza to be serviced in Libertyville, IL. I found out at that point that my warranty was to expire in 4 days. I stated that there was something wrong, this couldn't be. I called Gurnee VW
and Regina told me that she did not see it in my file to talk to Dan Bundalo. I spoke with the service manager and was told that they lost my paperwork but he'd speak to his manager. Dan Bundalo in the finance office told me if he was going to screw me that he would tell me that I was on my own and he was not going to help me. He told me to get him the card that came in the car and he'd talk with the service manager about it. I faxed it over to him. I have a witness that was there with me on the day of December 31, 2001, the day I picked up the car when the salesman, Mark, and Dan Bundalo, both stated that the car had a two year warranty on it and I could probably have it paid off in that time. I was concerned about this because they told me that the car had a bad battery in it but that they would replace it before I took it home. I wanted to make sure that all of my bases were covered, especially seeing as I went with dealer financing and the cost of the car was going to be high. I was also told that my warranty was in the computer and I was all set.
I waited for a call from the Libertyville VW Service Center. The service advisor, Bill, from Liberty VW called me and let me know that the car was unsafe to drive due to an "Auto Start" on the car. I said, "what do you mean, my car doesn't have an auto start. No one has ever told me this before." He stated that its a fire hazard and I'm having electrical problems due to the "hack job" someone did installing this prior to me purchasing the vehicle from Gurnee VW
. An Auto Start automatically starts the vehicle with a wireless remote control. The service advisor stated that my car is 80% computer and 20% car. The Auto Start was a "hack job", in his terms, and installed to the heart of the computer on the car. It is causing electrical problems and failures. It could start a fire. Thank you Libertyville VW for being honest, extremely attentive and for finding the issue that Gurnee VW overlooked and/or blew off in my opinion.
Most people would wonder what are the chances of my car starting on fire. I am not prepared to take that chance, AGAIN. The car I owned prior to this was a 1997 VW Jetta that burned to the ground in my driveway. Which, by the way, I paid $9000 in cash for it, because I had the money to pay this.
This car was also serviced at the Gurnee VW
prior to starting on fire. The fire chief on the scene stated that it looked to be an electrical fire due to where it started on the engine. I thought that the chances of this were one in a million, not for me, it happened to me already. This vehicle was very well maintained and had records to proove it. This I account to the fact that the car was an older model and was bound to have problems.
Once I was made aware by the service advisor, at Liberty Auto Plaza Service Center, of the problems that my 2000 Jetta had, I called my Auto Insurance company, Farmers Insurance Group, to make them aware of the problem at hand. I explained that this is my second VW Jetta in the last year with electrical problems. I wanted to make sure that he knew that I was not happy about the situation and would spend any amount of money to fix the situation so that my family didn't live through the horror of the first car starting on fire. I LOVED my Jetta. I thought that they were safe family cars. I've always beleived that Volkswagon cars were better built cars than any other imports. In my opinion, I was unfortunately wrong. I wanted to be sure that my insurance agent did not think that this was my fault and I wanted to explain the facts as they came to me. He assured me that my vehicle is fully covered and no need to worry. Its not the value of the car I worry about, its the value of the lives in it.
I called Jim Kennedy, General Manager, of Gurnee Volkswagon
to discuss the matter. I told him that I wanted the problem fixed, that he sold me an unsafe car. Safety to me is extremely important, and protecting my family is my job. I emphasized that I felt that I just wanted the vehicle to be safe for my family to drive in. When I purchased the car, I thought that it was VW inspected due to it being VW Pre-owned Certified
, and that the car would be safe seeing as it only had 10,000 miles on it and was two years old. Jim Kennedy called me 7 hours later to tell me that they couldn't find my paperwork on my warranty and there was nothing that he could do about it and that he was not going to fix the unsafe car that he sold to me 6 months prior to that. He told me that I never had the VW Pre-Owned Certification Warranty
on the car. Which in my opinion, again, is a cover up due to the fact that I have the card that was hanging in the window and witnesses were present when two people from the dealership told me the day that I took home my car that I had that warranty. I then asked if he would sell me an extended warranty seeing as he was not going to honor my original warranty. He stated that he just couldn't do that. I found this amusing seeing as two other Volkswagon dealerships that I spoke with offered me the extended warranty when they heard of the problems that Gurnee VW
had given to me. He apologized. I felt if he was truly sorry, he would correct the problem that they gave me and make sure that my family was safe. Where is the value for human life?
I wanted a Volkswagon from the time that I had a drivers license. With all of the problems that I've faced, I no longer want my Volkswagon or the problems that come with purchasing one. This whole situation has me disgusted, upset, and unsure of whether or not I should get rid of this car even after repairs have been made.
Buyer Beware, Don't make the same mistakes that I have. Is it impossible to find a reliable, SAFE, family vehicle? I dread having to think what I'm faced with at this point or what kind of issues I will have to deal with next with this car. Honestly and to the best of my knowledge tried to have the problem corrected through every known route to me and the dealer was still not helpful.
DON'T PUT YOURSELF IN THIS SITUATION. FIND A RELIABLE, HONEST DEALERSHIP TO PURCHASE A CAR AND HAVE THE CAR CHECKED OVER BY SOMEONE THAT DOES NOT WORK FOR A DISHONEST DEALERSHIP. YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT A LAWYER TO ACCOMPANY YOU TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU GET EVERYTHING THAT THEY PROMISE YOU. REMEMBER TOO, ITS NOT ALWAYS THE DEALERSHIP, BUT USUALLY THE FEW BAD APPLES THAT REPRESENT THEM - IF YOU GET A REFERRAL FROM A FRIEND BE SURE TO USE THE SAME SALES PERSON.
If this were you, or your child or grandchild put into a car like this, wouldn't you be upset that they were put in an unsafe car if it could have and should have been prevented?