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AutoZone / defective product

1 Tell City, IN, United States Review updated:

About six or seven months ago I bought a Distributor cap from the Autozone here in Tell City Indiana and had it installed on my van. This Dec. while driving home from a business meeting in Ohio it began missing, I drove it straight to the garage that does all of my work.
The mechanic there put it on his computer and found that the #1 cylinder was completely dead. He then installed a short plug wire with a spark plug in it onto the #1 cylinder on the Dist cap. There was no spark at all, he commented that he had never seen a Dist cap do this before.
I had him install a new Dist Cap, and a new sparkplug. The engine while better, still missed on that cylinder. Greg told me that due to the raw gas being dumped into the cylinder the oil had not lubricated the cylinder properly and that the rings had worn, causing the cylinder to lose compression. The only way to fix it was to rebuild the engine or to replace it with a used engine.
He told me that the Dist cap was defective, as there were no cracks or anything else to cause it to stop working.
I knew that I had purchased it at autozone so I went to the store and asked if they could tell me what the brand name of the dist cap was so I could contact them. The guy behind the counter looked at it and said it was a duralast.
I didnt know that duralast was a private label for autozone, I went home and googled it, Found out that it was a autozone cap.
At that point I emailed customer service and the next day the store manager, Brian, called me and told me to get a estimate and bring the cap in. That he would make a claim and if it was found that the cap was defective they would repair the engine.
I was impressed at the level of customer service, and got the estimate together.
I dropped off the estimate with the cap on a Friday. Brian told me that it would be a while before I heard anything and that the company would contact me directly.
On the following Monday I was contacted by Brian, he told me that the cap I dropped off was not a duralast cap, and to come get it. Confused, I went to the store. It was not a duralast was not the one I dropped off either. Rather than say anything to him I drove to the garage and had them pull out their records.
Sure enough they had listed that I supplied the Dist Cap. that they had installed. Which I bought at autozone. Greg looked at the cap that I Brian had given me and assured me that it was not the cap he installed nor was it the cap he had taken off the van.
I contacted autozone again via email, they had their District Manager, Judy Beesler, call me.
I will say right now that this lady had an attitude from the get go. She was very rude and sarcastic. She stopped just short of calling me a liar.
Finally she told me to bring a reciept and the cap back with a estimate and they would send it in. I told her that it was not the cap that had went bad, and asked why I had not been asked for a reciept for the first one. She told me that Brian was just trying to help me out. At this point I knew I was beating a dead horse.
So I called autozone and they put me in contact with the Regional Manager. A very nice guy who listened to my story and said he would look into it. I have not heard anything more.
First of all I am not a Liar. I am not trying to pull anything on anyone.
What I have told you is exactly what happened.
I dont know what kind company policy you have, if they were following company policy or just trying to keep their return numbers looking good.
But I have been lied to, talked down to, treated like a thief and all because I wanted someone to stand behind a product that failed and caused severe damage to a expensive piece of equiptment...namely my van.

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  • Co
      14th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have to disagree with your mechanic somewhat. While it's true that a cylinder that's not firing can cause the rings to wear due to the unburned gasoline "washing" the oil from the cylinder walls it takes quite a while for significant damge to occur. If the van suddenly began missing and you promptly took it in for service and found that the faulty cap was the reason for the misfire there is no way that raw unburned fuel could have caused ring damage in a short period of time like that. Now on the other hand if the cap was faulty from the beginning and you drove it like that for the entire six or seven months it could definitely cause ring damage.

  • Ca
      27th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    I bought a new dist cap and rotor in March 2009 for my 2000 GMC Safari. Shortly after installing the new parts I noticed a misfire when the engine was cold. I received a random misfire code and decided to install new plugs and plug wires. As the weeks went on the misfire only got worse. I decided to get some OEM parts from the junkyard and start swapping them out. I swapped out the distributer but used the Autozone cap and rotor. The misfire persisted. Then I swapped the Autozone parts with the used parts from the junkyard and the misfire was gone! I'm going to take these parts back to Autozone tomorrow and complain.

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