American Engine Installations / RV'ers, beware of american engine installations, stay away!
RV’ers, BEWARE OF AMERICAN ENGINE INSTALLATIONS, STAY AWAY!!!
Dear Sirs or Madams,
We purchased a 1985 Fleetwood Southwind RV for $3,150.00 on ebay from Anson Shultz of Boyer Tire in Castle Rock CO in December 2005. It was advertised, as in good condition but with a slight engine knock. Boyer Tire took the money for the sale of the RV and charged me $325.00 to tell me that the engine knock was in fact a blown engine. Boyer Tire had contracted to remove and replace the engine. They defaulted on the repair job.
However, after jerking us around for 6 months, the owner of Boyer Tire, John Brownlie abandoned the business and went on a mining expedition. Anson Shultz was left in charge and promptly demanded that I remove the RV or he would seize it and sell it as an abandoned vehicle. The vehicle he sold me just a few months earlier. Anson Shultz, Boyer Tire and ebay had defrauded us out of $3,475.00
I searched for a reputable garage to accept it for an engine replacement and found American Engine Installations. They represented themselves as the largest national chain of engine replacement specialists. The headquarters are located at 2351 W Northwest Hwy Ste 1302 Dallas, TX 75220 #[protected]. The corporate office provided a written estimate on May 17, 2006 for a complete replacement, using their specially remanufactured engines. We were instructed by corporate to take the RV to AEI, 4850 Olive Street, Commerce City, Colorado, 80022, #[protected].
After receiving the estimate of $4,055.00 from AEI Corporate Headquarters, we contacted Tim Gemelli of AEI Commerce City on 5/17/2006. Mr. Gemelli was very sympathetic to our situation with regards to ebay and Boyer Tire and promised to help us out. Boyer Tire demanded the vehicle be removed by July 1 or it would be seized. So we towed the vehicle from Castle Rock to AEI at a cost of $550.00. Mr. Gemelli accepted the vehicle and told us he would not charge us storage on the vehicle. Mr. Gemelli did not contact us regarding our RV, all contact was initiated by us. On 10/10/2006, Mr. Gemelli agreed to remove the engine and inspect it for $400.00. If the cost of repairs were to exceed the $4,000.00 estimate that would be the only cost we would have if we decided not to go ahead with the repairs.
Upon removal and inspection Mr. Gemelli informed us that the job could cost as much as $8,000.00. We told him that was far in excess of the $4,000.00 we had agreed to pay in our original estimate. We asked him how he came up with $8,000.00 from a $1,895.00 engine and a $1,800.00 labor charge. He couldn’t explain and came up with various other estimates such as $6,000.00, $5,000.00. It appeared that he was probing us to see how much we could afford and then would price it accordingly. I reminded him that we were on Social Security and could only afford the original quote of $3,902.21, the amount in the written contract we signed on 10/10/2006.
Mr. Gemelli became very angry, shouting and screaming on the phone, when we questioned him about the parts prices. He said he had to make a profit and could not work for free. I reminded him that $4,000.00 is not exactly free. He wanted to charge $200.00 for a $20 water pump, $600.00 for a $400.00 rebuilt radiator, $100.00 for a $47. fuel pump, $50.00 for a oil pump screen that comes with a new oil pump at $0, $100.00 for a $28 set of spark plug wires that are included in the remanufactured engine price.
The worst is the engine itself. We were promised an Official AEI engine, “as good as a GM Crate Engine”, so said the corporate salesperson, Mark Winfrey, on 5/17/2006. Mr. Gemelli did not use the advertised and agreed upon AEI engine in the contract. It is possible he used a junkyard or rebuilt our engine in his chop shop. We contracted for a special AEI engine, not some junk he wants to stick us with. After all, it has to be warranted for 50,000 miles, according to the contract. You can not warrantee an old used engine.
Once I presented Mr. Gemelli with a list of parts prices he became insane with anger towards us for questioning his pricing. He hung up the telephone; he cut off all communication with us. Communication has always been extremely difficult with Mr. Gemelli. The times when I have been able to reach him by telephone, I have been on hold for over an hour and fifteen minutes waiting for him to pick up the phone. In our last communication he threatened to seize our RV with a mechanics lein and re-title it in his name. He bragged that he has done this before with other customers who have not been able to pay his fraudulent high bills.
Presently he is in the process of either tearing out the “so-called” replacement engine and dumping the vehicle on the streets of Denver, or filing a mechanics lean and switching our title. In October Mr. Gemelli offered to pay us $1,500.00 for our $4,000.00 RV. He seemed frustrated when I said the RV is not for sale and that we have already contracted to replace the engine. He refused to offer us $4,000.00 for the RV. It is obvious that he intended to steal the RV from us with a mechanics lean and a switched title because the RV can be sold for approximately $12,000.00 with a replacement engine installed. That is a clear profit of over $9,000.00 for him.
Currently the RV is not running and not completely repaired as per the contract and with an unknown engine installed. We have the $4,000.00 set aside to pay AEI upon completion of the job. However we will pay AEI only after a thorough inspection and upon pickup, due to the breach of our contract. I have contacted the CO Governor Ritter, Colorado State Police, CO Dept. of Revenue, MVA, Adams County and CO State, Colorado Dealers Board, Adams country District Attorney, Commerce City Police Dept. and the BBB. Not one of these law enforcement agencies have recognized the CO Motor Vehicle Repair Act or acted to enforce it. It is CO Law and they are sworn to enforce the law. The commander of Commerce City Police Department said “I don’t care what the CO MVRA says”. Oh Really !!
Upon contacting the BBB I was shocked and appalled to find that Mr. Gemelli of AEI has 31 complaints in 36 months. I contacted AEI corporate offices and asked to speak to the president. The phone system is defunct, only voicemails no people. There are no secretaries or receptionists to direct your call. I was connected to Matthew McMann’s voicemail.
I spoke with Matthew McMann. He stonewalled me and misrepresented himself as the company president. He refused to give me the address for the corporate head quarters and refused to take any responsibility for Mr. Gemelli of AEI, saying that he was a franchise and that they had no control over his fraudulent and deceptive business practices. I reminded Mr. McMann that at no time since 5/17/2006 has it ever been mentioned that AEI was not entirely a corporate enterprise. The quote, contract, estimate, and all correspondences have the company logo and AEI on all the letter heads.
After exhaustive attempts, I reached the elusive president of AEI Dallas John Hartnack. He said he would make everything all right by talking to Gemelli. He failed miserably and sent us an identical inflated invoice full of mistakes, a copy of Gemelli’s. He then refused to take responsibility for his store in Denver. The company AEI, has 85 complaints nationwide and numerous unsatisfied judgments. A VERY BAD COMPANY!!!
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that we are in Pennsylvania, and the RV is broken down in Denver, Colorado. Colorado has a statute that allows for unscrupulous auto garages to vastly over charge on a repair order. Then with no due process of the court, without a court hearing and judgment, they can obtain a mechanics or garage lien, and consequently steal your entire vehicle and re-title it in their name. People’s automobiles, trucks and RV’s are second only to their homes in value. Colorado law let’s some criminal steal our second most valuable asset. Attention all RV’ers ! Do not break down in Colorado or you may lose your RV.
What this means is that we are at the mercy of Mr. Gemelli, a man in Colorado, with 32 BBB complaints in 36 months, and his insatiable desire to steal the RV of a little family. Whose parents are on social security disability, and their only pleasure in life, is to go camping together, and sing kumbaya around the camp fire.
Update: As of 5/2/2007, and after no communication since 2/12/2007 Gemelli of AEI has informed me he has illegally sold our motor home. This case is now criminal as well as civil. No Notices has been given as required by the CO Law, therefore the sale is illegal. Also AEI has engaged in selling as an unlicensed dealer. AEI has violated 7 statutes of the Colorado Motor Vehicle Repair Act in addition to the rest of their criminal and civil violations.
1. violated 7 statutes of the CO MVRA,
2. lied to a law enforcement officer,
3. violated AEI’s company policies and contract,
4. engaged in the illegal sale of our vehicle under CO law (no notices given)
5. acted as an unlicensed dealer in CO, a violation of CO Department of Revenue)
AEI Dallas Headquarters, under John Hartnack President, is taking no responsibility for their own AEI store, in Denver.
CO Attorney General is filing charges against AEI.
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