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I recently purchased a Jeep Wrangler 2009 on the 7th of July at Auto Showcase of Bel Air. After haggling back and forth, I was convinced to buy the Jeep with 70,000 miles when I insisted on getting an extended warranty for one year, good thing! Within 48 hours of driving the car off the lot, I took it to the Jones Junction Jeep Dealership to check for any recalls that may or may not have been taken care of. The mechanics there informed me after inspecting my car that my rotors were completely rusted and needed to be replaced. I was confused by this because the one thing I did know was that brakes are definitely part of the Maryland State Inspection guidelines. I was so flummoxed, that the mechanic took me into the garage area where he showed me the rust by flicking pieces off with a pen. He gave me a comparison by showing me a nearby vehicle's rotors to show me what they should look like. Mechanics there also were adamant that there was NO WAY my vehicle should have passed inspection with the rotors in that condition. The mechanic advised me to take it back to where I bought it and insist the brakes/rotors be replaced and if they did not do so, to report to the state police about the fraudulent inspection.
On Monday morning, July 11th I returned to Auto Showcase of Bel Air and spoke to Mike. Mike implied that the Jeep dealership was trying to make a sale and that the brakes were just fine. He continued to tell me he drove it on demo several days and knows himself there is nothing wrong from his own experience. I insisted and had to threaten to take to State Police before he would relent and get his service people to at least look at my vehicle. Obviously, the rotors were found to be illegal by MSI (Maryland State Inspection) standards because they were replaced at Auto Showcase's expense.
On Thursday, July 14th I found myself stranded for almost 2 hours during one of the hottest days of the summer on I-95 South Baltimore after having one of my tires blow out. I was told by the tow truck driver I had to call and by the tire people I had to purchase new tires from that my tire had been dry rotted. You may be asking, why was I towed for a flat tire? I was towed because Auto Showcase of Bel Air failed to give me the key/device that unlocked the spare tire to allow me to change my flat. I had to purchase two tires and I haven't even had the car one week.
Prior to my blowout on July 14th, because of my rotor experience, I had a objective car repair inspect at my cost of $70. They informed me that my U-Joint was bad on the left axle and that I needed to take it to the dealership which I did on July 15th. I was informed once again at Jones Junction Jeep Dealership that both my left and right axle needed to be replaced along with both U-Joints. It is my understanding that after my conversation with all these mechanics that U-Joints are part of MSI which was confirmed by the Jones mechanic. I was informed replacing all these items would be $961. Luckily, I had insisted on an extended warranty on my vehicle. Even so, I am now paying a $200 deductible in order to get my car in safe running order. I have had it for a total of 8 days. This should not be acceptable under any circumstances.
After paying a $200 deductible, I STILL was hearing and feeling the engine type dragging as though the engine was having trouble accelerating resulting in a kind of grinding noise. Horrible! Now, on top of everything, the mild squeaking noise I heard every once in awhile was now every single bump I hit in the road, where I couldn’t drive without music and had to keep the windows up, which is ridiculous when it’s meant for windows and top down and bumps, rocks, off-roading etc. It is a JEEP! In between all of this, if my car was running or driving for a long period of time like 45 min+ the buttons on dash would get extremely hot and the floor would be hot to the touch as well.
After getting last repairs made, I had put too much into a car for only having it for 11 days. I consulted a lemon law attorney who advised me to get another state inspection. Of course, now that I fixed everything it passed leaving me with less of a case in the eyes of the court. Throughout this ordeal, as you might imagine, I have been complaining to friends and co-workers. Unfortunately, it is now coming to my attention that Auto Showcase of Bel Air is well-known in the area to have a dubious reputation for fraudulent acts in their car sales.
At this point was extremely upset because I felt as though I had no control over the situation at hand. After calming down I had to consider what my “realistic” choices were. A) Drive the car with the one year warranty I begged for and hope for the best. B) Voluntarily turn in the car and ruin my credit C) Trade the car in and hope for a good deal on another car.
I chose C. I went to a reputable Honda Dealership in my area and asked what they could do for me knowing that I was going to be upside down as I have not made a payment yet. I explained I just got the car and I did not like it. I did not go into detail about the problems. I had very low expectations of being able to make any kind of deal I could afford. Luckily, they worked quite hard and worked a deal I could afford and feel good about.
Spread this story around to your friends and their friends so no one you love or care for has to learn the hard way. Even though I managed to get a decent deal in the end, I will be paying for my mistake for the next 6 years. So word to the wise DO NOT SHOP at AUTO SHOWCASE OF BEL AIR!!!
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