"Don't do it..."
In December of 2016 we began to consider purchasing a newer vehicle. I was tired of never seeing my hard working husband (because he was always working on our older cars). I approached the car buying process with enthusiasm and excitement searching endlessly to find the “perfect” car. There is this legend out there about buying a car on December 31st. The rumor is that you can find great deals on this particular day because the dealerships want to meet their goals. Finally, we found a listing for a vehicle online and immediately called the dealership to look at it. As luck would have it, the day was December 31st. Upon arriving for our appointment we learned that the person we had spoken to on the phone wouldn’t be able to meet with us. No big deal, we were introduced to Dave and we were taken to the car that we had called about. To my surprise, the sticker price on the car was more money than I had seen online. I was ready to walk away at that moment, but my all too trusting husband wanted to continue our quest and look through the lot a little more. I am sure that the numerous weekends spent fixing cars had an impact on his optimism…
After looking at a few cars he stumbled upon THE CAR. It was a 2011 Honda Civic that only had 8,715 miles on it. Dave (the salesman) proclaimed that it “must have just come on the lot, I haven’t seen this out here.” I approached the car cautiously but once I saw that the sticker did indeed say that the car had only 8,715 miles on it, I started to become interested. We decided to test drive the car. She still had the brand new car smell, and it just doesn’t get much better than that. We were taken with the car and the charm of Dave. He was Canadian and I think the accent made him appear more trustworthy than a salesman normally feels.
Then comes the usual game of haggling that we all know and don’t really care for. The sticker price is of course bulked up as it was explained to us because of the “Zaktek” coating. Oh, you don’t know what “Zaktek” coating is? Well, as Dave explained, it is this amazing coat that protects your car from sun fading and all sorts of other hazards. He also said about five different times that the car had new tires and that they fill each tire with nitrogen (it makes the tires stayed aired up longer). Okay, we decided that we were getting a fair deal and we agreed to purchase the “certified pre owned Honda”. It was explained to us all the things that they do in testing a certified vehicle and the sales manager even asked if we would be willing to negotiate a little higher because the certification costs him extra. We settle on the details and head to the finance department. My nerves don’t feel quite right, but I decide to push past that as my dear husband assures me that this seems like a decent vehicle.
We are then introduced to Brandon. We quickly begins to tell us about how unreliable the new cars (like the one we had just signed up for) are and that we should most certainly be sure to purchase an extended warranty. We decline and the happy newish car owners head home. Once I get home, my mind begins to race and the uneasy feelings return. I begin to peruse the internet and all the cars that I had been looking at. There it was, the car that I had just purchased but for about $2,000 less than what I had purchased it for. I was instantly upset. My sweet husbands attempted to soothe me saying that it is a great car and that we were lucky to find a car with such low miles on it.
One thing that I must mention is that I work a lot and worked even more at the time immediately preceding the purchase of the car. A few days pass and I receive a text message from Brandon (the nay saying finance manager). He stated that there was a document that I needed to sign and asked me to return to the dealership to have it signed. We live in Maricopa and the dealership is in North Phoenix. I was honestly pretty frustrated that a detail was missed. We are busy people and don’t have two hours to spare driving to and from the dealership just because someone forgot to have us sign something in the 6+ hours we spent there. I received a call from the guy we had originally talked to when we made the appointment to view a car at Showcase Honda. He asked how our experience was. I returned his call and began to tell him that I wasn’t feeling good about the car because I saw it advertised for less than the sticker price. He recommended that I speak to management about my concerns. I called the dealership and asked to speak to the manager. I was then transferred to Clay, the assistant manager. We played phone tag for about a week due to my 12-13 hour work days (as well as his). I then told him about my experience and explained that I was disappointed and that I didn’t feel good about things. He seemed sympathetic and asked what would make me feel better about it. I thought about it and stated that I would like an extended warranty. The long days that my husband had spent working on cars paired with the gloomy finance manager had made my desire for peace of mind even stronger. I asked him if they would be able to include an extended warranty for the vehicle as I would have used the difference in price to purchase the warranty had I been able to. He agreed and said that he would send the missing paperwork over along with the extended warranty agreement so that everything could be finalized.
Dave personally came to my work on January 18, 2017 so that I could sign the paperwork. I felt relieved and had restored confidence knowing that I had gotten a fair deal.
On May 5th, 2017 (5 months after purchasing the vehicle) I began to notice a thudding noise. I mention it to my husband who brushes off the noise and reminds me that we are in a practically new vehicle and that there was nothing to worry about. On May 6, 2017 I was leaving Maricopa to go to my Sister-In-Law’s graduation in Phoenix. I embarked on the 347. The same highway that was labeled “notoriously deadly” by ABC 15 less than 2 months prior. I hear a noise in the passenger front steering tire and the tire pressure light come on. I consider quickly whether or not my tire could have blown (the tires are brand new I say to myself). I loosen my grip on the wheel and the car veered dangerously to the right. I decide to pull off. The story could have ended far differently had there not been an immediate turn off that I could have safely gotten to. I also can’t say what could have happened had the low tire pressure light not come on. I had never experienced a tire blow out before. I missed my Sister-In-Law’s entire graduation ceremony. It was an achievement that she had worked years to accomplish and I wasn’t there to support and cheer her on. I count that as a pretty inexcusable loss. It was also a steamy 98 degrees that day and I was a sweaty mess.
My husband came and we put the spare on the car and limped to Sam’s Club where they replaced the tire for $107.00. When we picked the car up from Sam’s Club, I noticed that the steering wheel veers noticeably to the right. It now veers in such a way that the “H” Honda symbol now sits askew constantly when you are steering the car in a straight line. We also feel a noticeable vibration when we drive the car. We then took the car to get an alignment hoping that it would help. We take the car to Big O tires on or around 05/10/2017 and spend an additional $99.58. The friendly staff member completes the alignment but warns us that the tires on the car are old and that the tread is beginning to separate on all of them. He recommended replacement and stated that the alignment may not fix the issue. We were shocked. We were told that the tires were new. We couldn’t believe it. What kind of dealership would leave 7 year old tires on a vehicle that they were dressing up as “practically new”? This can’t be accurate we think to ourselves. My husband even checked the tires (not believing that the salesman had lied). The tires are indeed from 2011 and the tread is looking questionable. In case you are thinking that I am a driving fiend, I am not... The car had less than 14,111 miles on it when the tire blew.
We decide that it might be a good idea to take the car in to have our growing list of concerns evaluated. My husbands’ grandfather passed away and we attended his funeral on June 3rd. While we were loading our car up for the trek back to Maricopa, we left the car idling so that it would cool off. It was 107 degrees that day. 5-10 minutes had passed and we climbed inside after saying our goodbyes. The car was scalding hot. It hadn’t cooled down at all. There was now something wrong with the air conditioner.
The vibration continues to worsen, despite our hopes that it would get better. I stop driving the car due to my concern that another tire will blow out and because we were rapidly approaching 120 degree temperatures. My husband drove the car to Showcase and I followed in our other vehicle because he was too concerned about my safety to allow me to drive it all the way there. We made an appointment and dropped the car off at 10:30 a.m. on June 17th listing our concerns about the pull to the right in the steering, the tire tread, the noticeable vibration and the AC that doesn’t work unless you are going 50 mph or more. We leave the car with Mike Conner; a service technician with Showcase Honda. We inform him that we have the extended warranty and he said that he would call us. He calls us later that day around 4:30 p.m. to tell us that they believe the vibration is coming from a loose engine mount that needs to be replaced and that the air conditioner was low on Freon. He said that the warranty company was closed (because it was a Saturday) and that he would need their approval but should have the engine mount fixed on Monday, June 19th so that we could pick the car up then. We make arrangements for my husband to pick me up from work and I leave work early so that we can head across town to pick up my car. My husband speaks to Mike as we are headed to the dealership. Mike informs my husband that he spoke to the extended warranty company and that I had called and cancelled the extended warranty. I will admit, it was not one of my prettier moments when my dear husband informed me that I had cancelled my extended warranty. I immediately started asking questions like “how do I get ahold of the extended warranty company?” Mike had given my husband the phone number to the warranty company and a friendly man answered my call. He informed me that the cancellation department had left for the evening. He then very politely and gently asked if the car was a certified vehicle. I told him that it was. He stated that it was not his specialty at all but that he believed that all certified pre owned vehicles came with a 12,000/1 year warranty. He then said that the repair may be covered under that. I thanked him for his advice and the glimmer of hope he had given me. I then called Mike and asked him if the repair would be covered under the certified pre-owned warranty. He paused for a moment and then stated that it would. He laughed it off and said that he hadn’t thought about that. I want to stop here and say that I think Mike could be a decent guy. Maybe the intent wasn’t to make us pay full price for a new engine mount (that didn’t fix the problem). At this point however, I don’t believe that. I think that this just goes into the ever growing pile of reasons not to ever trust Showcase Honda. So, the car was not finished. We sat in my work parking lot musing about what to do next in sheer disbelief.
My very trusting husband states that there was likely a mistake and that the warranty company probably just had it wrong. I will also admit that we fought vehemently that evening about how crazy and wild of an idea it was for me to think that the dealership was conniving enough to do call and terminate a customer’s extended warranty. But, women are always right, aren’t we?
The following morning on my way to work, I contact Renee at MPP extended warranty (cancellations department). She informs me that my extended warranty was in fact cancelled. I asked her who had cancelled the warranty. Without hesitation she stated that the dealership cancelled the warranty (contrary to what Mike had told my husband). I then asked her how they cancelled it. She informs me that it was done in writing. I asked her to email me the cancellation documents which show that a representative from the dealership terminated my extended warranty (without my knowledge or consent).
So now, I have this car that doesn’t steer straight, has the tread separating on the tires, an air conditioner that doesn’t blow cold air until you drive over 50 mph and a vibration in the steering wheel. Along with a dealership that was unwilling (or too incompetent) to repair something first under the certified warranty, breached a written and verbal contract regarding an extended warranty and lied countless times.
This dealership has taken advantage of my husband and I. We trusted them to provide us with a vehicle that was in good condition at a fair price. It turns out that Showcase Honda and its representatives lack integrity. They would do anything to scheme and lie about the products, services and goods that they offer. If they will go behind your back and cancel an extended warranty that you legally signed, there is no telling what they will do. My husband and I erroneously placed our trust in the dealerships hands and advise with every measure possible to avoid this dealership and its affiliates at all costs.
Here is a review of the things that have gone wrong (so far)
• The extended warranty was cancelled illegally without my consent or authorization by the dealership
• Showcase Honda attempted to make us pay full price for a repair (that did NOT fix any of the problems/concerns we were having) claiming that no warranty was on the vehicle.
• The salesman lied about new tires being placed on a certified pre owned/thoroughly inspected vehicle
• The car was with us for less than 6 months when there was a tire blow out
• There is a vibration in the steering wheel (likely from other tires about to blow)
• Showcase Honda has said that they do not warranty tires even though the tires were driven less than 6,000 miles when the tread separated
• The Air Conditioning doesn’t blow cold anymore unless you are going over 50mph
• The car now pulls noticeably to the right
"Great experience "
I was in the market for a Honda Pilot Touring. I worked with internet salesman Atul Sharma to negotiate the price. He was not going to be onsite for my visit so he arranged for me to complete the purchase process with Aaron McDonald, also an internet sales manager. The process was smooth (I knew what I wanted) and the price was very competitive. I was surprised that they matched an offer from a national chain. I got a very fair price, no gimmicks or games. I would recommend that folks contact either Atul Sharma or Aaron McDonald at Showcase Honda ic you are in the market for a Honda.
Employees Worked With
Other Employees :
Fiancé person is not listed above. He was great (from Yuma)!!
"GREAT EXPERIENCE BUYING OUR NEW HONDA!"
We have bought a lot of cars over the decades and know the "drill" so we went in saying "just show us the car we want to see" - a Honda Pilot Elite. Paul our salesman has a really fun personality and knows cars and when he didn't know every last detail of the questions that we were asking, he called over Jon to help and between those two we were fully educated on the 2017 Pilot. We thought about it overnight and the next morning called Paul on his cell to tell him he had the sale. He was not working but set us up with Jon who then had Dakota help us with the deal. Again, we said we did not want to haggle and be there all day - "just give us your best offer on our trade-in and the new car" - and so one of the 2 Treys came over with the offer and it was A GREAT OFFER! No haggling, no going back and forth. So, that was it - we signed it and now we have an awesome new Pilot! The sales people here actually listened to us - most painless car buying experience ever. My husband actually "hoped" to pay about $1000 less BUT because everyone was so helpful and up-front, he said it was worth it to work with such good people. We still got a really good deal and NO GIMICS!
Employees Worked With
Other Employees :
Paul Hapeman, Dakota, Trey