My Review Of Gengras Chrysler Dodge Jeep Fiat:
My girlfriend purchased a car from Gengras Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in December of 2012. Before that, she was in a car accident that totaled her car and we needed to find her a car quickly. We found a 2006 Honda Civic LX that was listed at the dealership, and I went on December 1st to check out the car and take it for a test drive (my girlfriend was not with me at the time as she lives in Stamford). Jim Vincek was the sales representative that was taking care of me and everything regarding the test drive went very smoothly. There were some concerns with the battery (car did not initially start, had to be jumped) and the rear tires (were essentially bald but was told that they were of legal tread depth). After the test drive, I asked if there were any other issues with the car, which was a concern because of the high mileage (over 100,000 miles). Jim was kind enough to show me the internal inspection report for the car. My main concerns with the inspection report were the "FRONT BRAKE JOB" and "DRIVE BELT" (since there was already an agreement to replace the battery, rear tires, and perform an alignment), and asked Jim to clarify what this meant. I was then introduced to Kamran Kafi, the Pre-Owned Manager. Regarding the "DRIVE BELT", I was informed that this was the accessory belt that was only a $15 part and I should not be worried about it. With regards to the "FRONT BRAKE JOB", Kamran had informed me that this meant the brake pad thickness was low, but we should still be able to get 5,000 - 10,000 miles depending on the type of driving. At that point I was satisfied with the test drive and the inspection report, and we called later in the date to put a deposit on the vehicle.
We took delivery of the vehicle on December 15th and again, everything went very smoothly. Jim greeted us when we came in, and even managed to find a spare valet key that was not available when I initially took the test drive. He showed us that the car had been very well cleaned and detailed, and battery and rear tires had been replaced as promised. With all the paperwork, we were in and out within 30 minutes. Kamran had even stopped by just to say hello before we left. Up to this point, we were very happy with the service we had received when buying this car.
The day after we picked up the car (December 16th), we noticed that there was a very loud, high pitched squealing noise which only occurred when the car was put into reverse... a noise that was not present when I took the car for a test drive. At first I thought this was just the reverse gear, but it sounded more like metal on metal contact. Aside from this, the car drove normally, so we initially didn't pay much attention. However, every single time we put the car in reverse, it made the same noise, so we knew there was an issue. Since it was Sunday and the dealership was closed, we could not bring the car back in to be inspected. Additionally, since my girlfriend lives Stamford, we were not able to bring the car in on Monday since he had to drive back Sunday night to prepare for the upcoming work week. As she drove the car back and forth to work that week, she continued to notice the high pitched squealing noise when the car was put into reverse, but also a squealing noise when applying the brakes on the highway. Concerned that the brake pads may fail, we decided not to bring the car back to Gengras to be inspected but instead had the front brake pads replaced in Stamford. When we replaced the brake pads, the squealing noises were no longer present. Upon further inspection of the brake pads, I found that the inner pads on both driver and passenger side were down to 1mm, and the pads themselves were not evenly worn. I did some research and the factory serviceable limit for the front brake pads is 1.6mm.
Our main issue is that we were sold a car that had defective brake pads even though we were told that the pads still had 5,000 - 10,000 miles of life left on them. This was also an item on the inspection report that I specifically expressed my concerns about, and wanted to make sure the pads were OK before my girlfriend drove back to Stamford. We were given a limited used car warranty which I'm sure if we had brought the car back, the brake pads would have been taken care of with no issues... the problem is that Stamford is 80 miles away from East Hartford so it is not exactly convenient to just drop the car off. Aside from that, I did not want my girlfriend driving back 80 miles on brakes that could have potentially failed.
The fact that the decision was made to sell the car with defective brake pads is a major issue, even when the internal inspection recommended that they be changed. Additionally, we feel that we were deceived when we were told that the pads still had 5,000 - 10,000 miles of life remaining, when clearly they did not. "Service grade" replacement front pads for a 2006 Honda Civic LX cost around $20. For a dealership to ignore its own inspection report and sell a customer a used car with brake pads that were below the serviceable limit is completely unacceptable. I advise anyone who is looking to purchase a used car from Gengras Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to be very aware.
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