"Do not trust this dealership"
- Lamar V
Story Highlights – for those who do not wish to read the longer version found below:
• Do not trust Romy – he will try and earn your trust with ‘hotel deals,’ absolutely garbage grocery bags, and most importantly A DEAL ON YOUR VEHICLE IN EXCHANGE FOR A POSITIVE YELP REVIEW.
• Like Volkswagen’s recent lies about their emissions, THEIR CERTIFIED PREOWNED VEHICLE INSPECTION IS A JOKE – my car’s fuel injector blew causing two major misfires in my engine and SIGNIFICANT CARBON BUILD UP WAS FOUND IN THE ENGINE after LESS THAN 3 MONTHS OF OWNERSHIP. The carbon build up cleaning was quoted at $1200 because it was not covered by warranty.
• After 3 months of ownership the following problems occurred with my vehicle:
o Faulty injector
o Multiple engine misfires
o Injector seals faulty
o Intake manifold error
o Engine oil was saturated with fuel
o Black smoke out of rear of vehicle
o SIGNIFICANT CARBON BUILD UP THROUGHOUT ENGINE
• My car broke down after less than 3 months of ownership, Romy responded to my call for help with “I am not a mechanic, I don’t know what to tell you,” leaving me at the mercy of 1-800 numbers 500 miles from home.
• Do not trust their valuation of their cars OR your car – they told me the car I was purchasing was worth more than the one I was trading in – I found out later, it was worth significantly less. I found this out after taking my VW down the road to Timmons VW in Long Beach - I took the car to get a trade in value– McKenna put me in a car worth $11,000 and put me in debt $25,000
I purchased my 2011 VW GTI, used, ‘certified pre owned’ vehicle, from Huntington Beach McKenna Volkswagen during the first couple weeks of November 2015. I was told my vehicle (2 door GTI with 53,000 miles) was not worth as much as the GTI (four doors, 74,000 miles) I was looking to buy. This ended up being false as I had the car appraised by a local VW dealer and the value was quoted at well below my old car. The VW in Long Beach said the most they could give me for my car was $11,000.
DO NOT TRUST THEIR POSITIVE YELP REVIEWS: Romy, and I assume the other salesmen, offer customers discounts on down payments, money off the sticker price, etc., all in exchange for good Yelp reviews. I literally said “take 500 bucks off the down payment and I’ll give you that Yelp review.” Romy made sure I was going to write it and, trust me, I was pestered until I finally posted the review. Once the review was posted, all the disrespect and poor customer service started.
My brakes began squeaking almost immediately. And I’m not talking about the morning wake up squeak for a couple minutes. It happens continuously, for miles, even after driving for over 30 minutes. There was also a large internal piece that broke off the car and was rattling around in the trunk. I called Volkswagen to make an appointment because Romy told me during the sale that if anything goes wrong with the Volkswagen within the first couple months of purchase, the dealership will fix. I called and McKenna kindly said to bring in the vehicle. I thought it was strange that I did not need an appointment, but they said since I just purchased the vehicle to come in and they would “take care of me”. This was strange to me, but I TRUSTED them.
I arrived to get these things fixed. I dropped my keys and waited hours, only to get a call saying that NONE OF THE ITEMS WERE COVERED UNDER WARRANTY AND THAT I WOULD HAVE TO PAY. Of course this enraged me, but I reached out to Romy. He helped me get my car back in and they “fixed” the trunk issue (trunk would continue to make the noise afterwards). The brakes, however, STILL SQUEAKING WHEN THEY RETURNED THE VEHICLE TO ME, were not going to be fixed because I needed to PAY for them, despite the dealerships word, promises, and “certified pre owned inspection.” Is this what Volkswagen’s certified pre-owned warranty is all about?
Then comes my glorious adventure to San Francisco. My soon to be wife and I decided to take my ‘new’ car because WE TRUSTED VOLKSWAGEN’S SALE and assumed my car was in the best shape to make the 400 mile trip. We drove the speed limit the entire way, perhaps going slightly above in order to pass some slower trucks, but the speed limit is pretty lenient and so no need to exceed. We paid the toll for the Bay Bridge and within minutes, I felt an HUGE JOLT IN ACCELLERATION AND A SLIPPING OF THE ENGINE. As if to make matters work, my fiancé started panicing because there was SMOKE POURING OUT OF THE ENGINE. THE CAR BROKE DOWN AND THE CAR WAS COMPLETELY DEAD, IT WOULD NOT START.
When I had purchased this vehicle (along with the Roadside Assistance), I specifically asked the Finance Manager (the individual who signs all the paperwork with you) to write down the EXACT phone number I call in case of emergency. THIS PHONE NUMBER DID NOT WORK AND WAS SIMPLY A 1-800 NUMBER DESIGNED TO FOLLOW UP ON ALREADY FILED CLAIMS. I was stuck stranded on the side of a dangerous road in heavy traffic (Super Bowl weekend) because all this gentlemen seemed to care about was getting my signature, and not my safety.
The tow truck finally arrived and my vehicle was brought to the local authorized VW dealership for fixing. The VW dealer called me to explain that my FUEL INJECTOR HAD BLOWN causing major errors in the engine and SEVERAL MISFIRES. HOW DOES THIS PASS A CERTIFIED PRE OWNED WARRANTY TEST? When the fuel injector and engine were finally fixed, the VW dealership took it for a test drive. IT BLEW AGAIN. I had to wait even longer for my car because the CERTIFIED PRE OWNED vehicle’s engine was in ruin. On top of all this, the VW dealership fixing my vehicle had reported that there was SIGNIFICANT CARBON BUILD UP IN MY ENGINE THAT WOULD REQUIRE FIXING AND WAS NOT COVERED BY WARRANTY. THIS WOULD COST ME OVER $1200 DOLLARS.
I was stranded in San Francisco for 5 days and was out THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. This is when I called Romy to see why this Pre-owned certified vehicle I purchased from him LESS THAN 3 MONTHS PRIOR was BREAKING DOWN, SMOKING FROM THE TAILPIPES, AND LADEN WITH MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF CARBON BUILDUP. ROMY’s response “I’M NOT A MECHANIC, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU.” THIS IS THE KIND OF CUSTOMER SERVICE YOU WILL GET WITH THIS DEALERSHIP. DO NOT TRUST THEM. I was made to feel like a valued customer and then thrown to the wolves once my name was signed on the dotted line.
Their certified pre owned guarantee is worthless. Perhaps they are cutting costs because of the recent emissions scandal, but there is no way that a self-respecting dealership who values their customers and their reputation would sell a vehicle that breaks down, smokes, does not start, and is laden with carbon buildup after only 3 months of ownership! To add insult to injury, the disrespect I have received from the dealership is unprecedented! There is no way that a dealership who values their customers would respond to an inquiry with ‘I’m not a mechanic, I don’t know what to tell you.’
Things happen in life and I truly understand that the blame does not always fall at the feet of the dealership. I have always trusted the dealerships I have purchased my vehicles from and this is the first time I have felt taken advantage of and disrespected. I do not believe it is wrong of me to expect my vehicle to NOT BREAK DOWN AND SMOKE FROM THE ENGINE after less than 3 months of ownership. I have owned multiple Volkswagens in my life and so has my family. WE WERE SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE EMISSIONS SCANDAL BUT REMAINED LOYAL BECAUSE OF THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE. MCKENNA VOLKSWAGEN HAS DESTROYED THAT TRUST AND I WILL NEVER PURCHASE ANOTHER VOLKSWAGEN FOR THE ENTIRETY OF MY LIFE. I hope to alert as many people about this before they fall victim to the swindling, disrespect, and dishonesty this dealership has shown me.