Unless you have $32,000 to just throw away, do NOT do business with Henkel Automotive OR Chrysler!
On July 30th 2016, I purchased a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport from Henkel Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Battle Creek. It was my dream car and I worked very hard to be able to purchase it. I experienced many issues during my first 46 days of ownership including the following: the Security Indicator light comes on while I am driving, the roof leaks, and on seven occasions I have attempted to start the Jeep and it doesn’t even turn over. I first took the Jeep in to be serviced on 09/14/16. Since then, my Jeep has been in the shop 7 times. After further research, I discovered that my Jeep was actually a Lemon buy-back from Chrysler which was never once disclosed to me during the sales process. I went to pick my Jeep up yesterday (12/13/16) and 10 miles down the road the security light came back on. I returned the Jeep immediately and am yet again in a loaner vehicle instead of my own. It has been out of my use and in service for a total of 49 of the 137 days I’ve had it, and counting. When I purchased the vehicle there were 15,500 miles on it, today there are 22,100. The drive one way to Henkel from where I live is 55 miles. The time and fuel alone have been a big expense to me. The service department has put hundreds of miles on my vehicle trying to ensure that the light doesn’t come back on. After Henkel’s service department attempted to fix the problem five times, I contacted Dan Henkel, the owner. I was told I purchased my Jeep from a reputable dealer and they would attempt to make this right. He asked me to bring my Jeep in for one more attempt at repairs and if unable to do so we would discuss trading it in, them buying it back and possibly selling at an auction. The GM at the dealership (Jeff Spanninga) told me I needed to open a case with Chrysler to see if they would buy it back. I did so and also contacted an attorney for guidance. Because I contacted an attorney, Chrysler canceled my case. I informed the dealership of this. I was then told to contact National Center for Dispute Settlement and start a case with an Arbitration Board. Long story short, they denied having Chrysler buy my Jeep back stating, “We have reached a unanimous conclusion because although the vehicle was subject to repairs due to a manufacturer defect, they do not rise to the level of substantially impair the use, value or safety of this vehicle.”
Since the start of my troubles, I have dealt directly with Jeff Spanninga – GM, Dan Henkel- Owner, Aaron Hinten - Service Manager, and Wally Fox- salesman.
The following are the dates, repairs, and miles in/out.
In: 9/14 out 9/15- Mi in: 18,950, mi out: 18,956. Replaced seal for freedom top, code B1A28, performed diag and performed PCM update. Wireless control module reset.
In: 9/16, out 9/20- mi in 18960, mi out: 18,977. B1A28 code, contacted STAR center replaced wireless control module.
In 9/22, out 9/29- Mi in: 19,201, mi out: 19,217. B1A28 code mismatch with skim, found internal failure in PCM, replaced PCM and programmed computer. Tested batteries in fob.
In 9/30, out 10/6- Mi in: 19,233 mi out: 19,291. Code B1A28 code ECM mismatch with skim, internal failure in TPM module, replaced TIPM module.
In 10/12, out 10/19-Mi in: 19,649 Mi out: 19,820. B1A28 ECM mismatch with skim, contacted star center. Replaced ignition switch.
(Missing two forms that are in my jeeps glove box)
In 11/21, out 12/12- Mi in: 21,972. Mi out 22,010. Contacted Chrysler, They replaced the keys.
In 12/12 – Currently still in service – I got 10 miles down the road and light came back on. Returned to dealership and in loaner, new code fired. “ignition switch” (technician already replaced that)
After Chrysler denied the buy-back of my Jeep, I contacted Dan Henkel on Friday 12/9/16. The receptionist always informs me that Dan “only accepts messages”. I didn’t hear back from Dan on Friday so I called again on 12/12, 12/13, and again on 12/14/16. Dan finally called me back last night with no resolution. Dan indicated to me that “Chrysler has a lot more money to buy things back than he does, so he is pushing them to buy it back.” What that tells me is that he hasn’t followed up on my case at all or he would have known that Chrysler refused. I asked him for a direct number or an email so I can stay in touch with him without having to wait days at a time for a response and also because my attorney suggested I do so, and Dan got very defensive and responded saying, “don’t call me anymore, just give me your attorney’s information so I can give it to my attorney and those two can talk.” Dan also told me to just, “keep driving your loaner and we’ll eventually come up with a solution.”
I have avoided taking this issue to the public end of things for 3 months now, but after the absolute nightmare that I’ve had to deal with, I feel that it is my responsibility to not only hold Henkel accountable, but also to warn consumers about the risk they’re taking by doing business with their dealer group.