I previously wrote a good review soon after the purchase of my vehicle. Unfortunately, I have been forced to change my opinion based on the recent actions of the sales department. I will leave it up to my reader to determine whether or not Santa Fe Ford has acted in an ethical manner.
I purchased a used 2005 Mini Cooper S late in the evening on 1/22/16. I was looking for this specific vehicle, and Santa Fe had posted one on their website for a reasonable price. It had some aesthetic blemishes (head liner falling, head lights faded, small dent on the hood, a couple missing plastic trim pieces) which are to be expected on an older vehicle, and justified the lower sales price. My primary concern was the car being mechanically sound. Joey Key was the salesmen I worked with, and was very pleasant. I asked him very specific, pointed questions about things I already knew were issues on this model year of the Cooper S (his answers are in italics):
* How much life is left on the brakes? The brakes have been changed.
* Have the air filters (engine and cabin) been changed? The air filters have been replaced.
* Are there any oil leaks, especially around the supercharger, and has the oil had been changed? The car has no oil leaks, and the oil has been changed.
* Have the engine mounts been examined, and what was the result? I am not sure about that.
* Has the front suspension been examined? I'm not sure about that.
My wife and I took the car for a test drive and it felt solid. I asked Joey for the shop records to prove that the work he assured me had been performed had actually happened. He went inside the dealership and returned a short time later and informed me that he couldn't produce the shop records - it was around 6:30 pm and the service department had already closed. This seemed a plausible excuse to me and Joey seemed very above board with his relaxed manner and low pressure sales strategy - the entire exchange was very pleasant. I purchased the car in a cash, "as-is" deal.
I recognize that I should have waited until the next day to purchase the vehicle, forced Santa Fe to produce the shop records, and then taken the car to an independent shop to verify everything. Normally, I would go through all these procedures. But, having read all of Santa Fe's online reviews and Joey Key's reviews, coupled with the low pressure sales technique it lulled me into a false sense of security.
Fast forward a little more than 3 months and 2,300 highway miles later and my throw out bearing went out on the clutch. This required a new clutch assembly and flywheel. No problem, I expected something like this would eventually occur on an 11 year old manual transmission. I took my car to Continental Imports on Main Street in downtown Gainesville. They are an honest shop and provide more than adequate documentation of everything they do. When they had my car taken apart they informed me that there were a lot of issues lurking beneath the surface:
* The brakes needed to be replaced - pads, discs and fluid
* The air filters hadn't been changed in many, many years - in fact the engine air filter was so dirty that a flash light would not shine through it...
* The car had 4 oil leaks - on the supercharger, the oil filter gasket, valve cover gasket, and crankcase, though the oil had been changed recently
* Two of the engine mounts were bad
* The front struts were near end of life
I was shocked and called the service department at Santa Fe. The service department manager informed me that they had recommended to the sales department to change the brakes and pads, change the air filters, and repair multiple oil leaks. The sales department had declined all of the suggested repairs. Also, repair suggestions are all electronic, and the sales department has access to them at any time. I was very disappointed and upset to hear this news. I subsequently placed over a dozen calls to the sales department and they refused to take my calls. I left voicemails many times. Finally, I drove to the dealership and spoke with Joey. His body language immediately informed me that he knew of the issue, but had no desire to deal with it. Over the next few days I finally hounded him into calling Continental Imports to discuss the problems. While on the phone Joey slandered me to the owner of the shop, saying I was a difficult customer and lacked integrity. Santa Fe refused to take any responsibility for anything relating to the car, saying if I didn't want to face these problems I shouldn't have purchased a cash car.
Let me clarify here that I have no expectation for Santa Fe Ford to cover any of the repairs that they didn't know about. I take full responsibility for repairing the clutch, engine mounts, and suspension (over $2100). However, I take offence to the fact that I was told that the brakes and air filters had been changed, and that the car had no oil leaks, when that was clearly not the case. To make matters worse they then ignored any attempts on my end to even have a civil conversation about the issue, and finally when I forced their hand they questioned my integrity to a third party that was not in any way involved in the sale. Santa Fe Ford supposedly prides itself on their customer service. Good customer service is the last phrase I would use to describe my post-sale experience with the dealership as they dodged my calls and attempted to cover up their deception and finally resorted to slander.
Finally, I want to point out that I am a mechanical engineer by profession. I have solid mechanical aptitude and have repaired many a car earlier in my career. I could have purchased a brand new car, but I wanted this particular make, model and year because I am a driving enthusiast. I'm not trying to nickel and dime Santa Fe Ford. If they had provided full disclosure of the issues with the car, I may still have purchased it. What bothers me is the lack of integrity, and the subsequent refusal to make things right.
I Recommend This Dealer:
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