Aamco Transmissions / transmission, engine
On February 27, 2012, I brought my 1998 Honda Passport in to AAMCO for a diagnostic check. My vehicle had been jumping from 1st gear and having difficulty starting. I met with Randall who stated he was the Manager. He said he would call me in a day or so and provide me with the results of their findings.
On February 29, I spoke to Randall and he informed me that I had two issues. One was that my transmission had leaks from the transmission to the radiator that caused damage to both the torque converter and valve body. Secondly, I had vacuum lines that were cracked and in need of repair and that this resulted in my hard starting issues. At this point in time, per Randall’s verbal quotation, I was already indebted to AAMCO for $300 for their removal and diagnosis of the transmission.
I then asked Randall to provide me with a quote of how much repairs to these items would cost. A few days later, having not heard from him, I called him and he told me that he was having a difficult time finding a valve body and torque converter for the car. He did not like the prices the dealer provided him. A week later, he provided me a verbal quote on the costs to repair/rebuild my transmission and vacuum lines. To follow:
1. Remove, Rebuild and Reinstall Transmission Labor - $1100.00 (remove/reinstall – 6 hrs.
rebuild – 7 hrs).
2. Overhaul kit - $244
3. Filter - $23
4. Fluid - $32
5. Torque Converter (remanufactured) - $292
6. Valve body - $291
7. Vacuum line repair - $100
Grand total - $2000
After hearing the quote, I informed Randall that as I had only $800 to fix the car and due to unemployment situation, I would not be able to fix the car for quite some time and would see what other quotes I could get. I asked Randall if I could let the car remain with him for some time as I needed to gather money up. He stated that would be fine, and that he would not charge me storage fees. I asked him how much notice he would require if I changed my mind and wanted to take it elsewhere for repairs. He stated that it would only need the transmission pan put back on to have ready to leave the garage.
On March 20th, I received a lesser quote from a mechanic in the amount of $1200 to replace the transmission and repair the vacuum lines. On March 21st, I called AAMCO and asked to speak to Randall. A lady answered the phone and informed me that Randall was no longer with that location and that she was the manager and her name was Linda. I inquired about my car and told her that I wanted to take it to another mechanic for repairs. She told me that the car had been okayed for repairs and that it was ready for pickup. I was shocked as I had not authorized anything to be done to the car. I asked her for Randall’s phone number and she would not provide me with it. She stated she would try and reach him and hung up with me.
A half hour later, I had not heard back from her so I called her again. She then told me without apologizing, instead laughing, that she had mixed my car up with another Honda Passport that was in their shop and my car was not repaired already. She then began a long diatribe about Randall being a “con-man” and her losing a lot of business since Randall came to work there. She also wanted to know why I could not let her have the repair job as she would “repair the car for $500 or whatever I could afford”. After much rebuttal on my part, she stopped trying to sell me on her doing the work. I told her that I was coming to have the vehicle towed to my mechanic.
A half hour later, I drove down to AAMCO to meet the tow truck driver at 11:00AM. I asked the gentleman, one of the mechanics, that was at the lobby desk to please let Linda know I was here. She never came up front and when I asked him again, he said she was working on a car in a bay. I asked where my vehicle was and he informed me that it was being finished to bring up to the front. Another ½ hour passed and I asked what was taking so long. At this point, I was very frustrated and walked around the side of the building to see where my car was. Through a door entrance to a bay located up on a hill, I could see my car up on a lift and Linda and another mechanic were in the bay with my car. I could not see all of what was going on as they had the large bay door closed. When Linda saw me, she said I had to leave the area. I told her the tow truck driver was waiting over a ½ hour now to hook my car up.
Finally after another 10 minutes, the bay door opened and the mechanic was backing my car out of the bay. I heard a horrific knocking noise coming from my car as he backed it down the hill around to the front of the building. I asked the mechanic driving it and he said that noise was the drive shaft. I recalled that such a noise was not coming from my car when I had brought it in to AAMCO. What I am about to describe then answered my question as to why the car was making such a horrific noise.
As the tow truck driver was hooking my car up, two AAMCO mechanics started bringing pieces and parts of a transmission and asked me where I wanted to put them. I was aghast and could not believe what I was seeing. MY TRANSMISSION, IN PIECES AND PARTS!!! They placed the parts in the back of my car where they have remained to this day (I am taking pictures of all of the pieces). I did not know whether all of the parts were there or not and I would soon find out that they did not give me everything. On March 23rd, a phone call came from my mechanic telling me I was missing over twenty five bolts that held everything together as well as a mount that the transmission went on. I then made another trip back down to AAMCO that day and after waiting fourty minutes, a mechanic walked a box of assorted bolts (estimate of 20 bolts and mount to transmission) in to me and I left. Today, I received a call from my mechanic telling me that they are still missing 6 bolts and will have to charge me an additional amount for them (quote to be provided).
In addition to receiving my car back with a transmission in many pieces, before the car was pulled up on the flat bed tow, I looked inside and realized that the faceplate to my car stereo was missing. I went inside and asked Linda why it was missing. She told me that they (AAMCO) remove them as a safety precaution. She then opened a drawer with a few other stereo faceplates in it and asked me what brand mine was. I took one that was a JVC and then realized it was not mine when I compared it to the paperwork I had kept from the purchase of the stereo. On March 22nd, I brought the faceplate back to her and again asked her where my faceplate was. She then stated that my car must have been one that was broken into a week or two previously and that it must have been stolen. She told me she would give me a copy of the police report (Athens-Clarke County Police Dept. Incident Report#[protected]) but as of this date, she has not and I am getting a copy today myself. Along with the stereo faceplate, I discovered other items missing from my car to include CD’s and a remote control unit that went to the stereo. I am in the process of itemizing a list and will forward to AAMCO corporate if need be. I have to stress this one fact. Why did AAMCO not have the mind to call and notify me that MY VEHICLE HAD BEEN BROKEN INTO WHILE IN THEIR POSSESSSION? Very WRONG!!!
This whole incident to now include a break in to my vehicle while it was in AAMCO’s possession has been a nightmare that is still in progress as I will not know for sure what else may be “wrong” with my car until I get it back from my mechanic again and drive it. I have used two full days of round trips back and forth to AAMCO to get parts my vehicle that belong to me back. I have suffered loss of use, tow expenses, loss of time and extreme emotional duress from this whole situation.
I believe that…First, Randall had told me that only the transmission pan needed to be put back on the car, why then did I receive the car back with a transmission fully removed ? Having a bad feeling about Linda and the way things were being run there, I believe that this was done intentionally after I informed Linda that I was not having her do the job. Thus, why else would I have had to wait almost an hour with the tow truck driver for them to release my car?
Secondly, I never received any paperwork with the release of my vehicle, showing anything to include the diagnostic that was performed. Third and foremost, Linda exhibited the most unprofessional mannerisms I have ever experienced in my life. I have had my run of dealings with suspicious mechanics in the past but her behavior and the way she changes her stories from moment to moment along with her ways of trying to “get the job” leave her extremely suspect and untrustworthy to me.
I do not know of another way to settle this matter but through due diligence and civil action and will take this matter to my local authorities for resolution.
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