Carmax / auto purchase and service
Good afternoon. I would like to find out how to submit a story about my awful experience with Carmax, in an effort to warn potential buyers of what may happen.
On April 17, 2012 I purchased a 2009 Volkswagen CC Sport with 35, 000 miles on it for $21, 000.00. I test drove the vehicle and was pleased with how the car handled and found no issues with the car at that time. I was excited about purchasing the car, and agreed to let Carmax arrang the financing through Santander Bank.
Within the first 45 days of owning the vehicle my newly acquired 2009 Volkswagen CC Sport which was carmax QUALITY certified shut off on me while driving to work, home from work, and on the way home from picking my father up from Dulles International Airport. Each time I was left stranded for approxamately one hour. The last time the vehicle shut off on me while driving, a few lights came on my dashboard (check engine, and ECV). I started to research online what these lights mean and found a open bulletin issued by Volkswagen for a faulty throttle sensor which could cause the car to shut off while driving. I then proceded to take my Volkswagen into the Carmax service department and explained what had happened and they agrred to repair the vehicle at no cost to me even though I was already past the initial 30 day period of owning the vehicle. When I finally got my Volkswagen back 5 days later I was told the throttle sensor was replaced and a ECV valve was replaced by Lindsay Volkswagen of Sterling Virginia.
For the next nine months my car worked like a charm and I did not have any issues until Monday February 11, 2013 when things went down hill in a hurry. On my way to work Monday February 11, 2012, during a sleet storm, my drivers side window got stuck in the open position. At the same time my passenger door window got stuck in the closed position and my check engine light came on. I took my Volkswagen back into Carmax in Sterling Virginia to have the repairs made. Again, my Volkswagen was sent to Lindsay VW of Sterling to have the repairs completed. Two weeks later my Volkswagen was repaired and the motors were replaced in both windows. Carmax stated the reason the check engine light came on was due to a low battery and they replaced the battery. Thankfully, I purchased the Max Care plan so the total repairs cost me ony $468.00. As I was driving away from Carmax I noticed my check engine light was still on, so I turned around and spoke the service representitive that was cordinating the repairs on my car and told her my check engine light was still on. She promptly pulled my service records up on her computer and saw that Lindsay VW still needed to program my car. This time Carmax provided me a loaner car to use while over the next three days my car was over at Lindsay VW in Sterling Virginia.
To make matters even worse, the loaner car I was provided was a 2011 Ford Fusion which was fine but the service technician only gave me a Valet key which did not have the remote keyless entry capabilities. So when I got home and realized I had to go to the store I was not able to get into the car. I called Carmax that evening around 8:30 PM and spoke with a Manager and was told the only way they could help me is if I took a cab into work and they would bring me the remote keyless entry key to me the following morning at work. That wouldn't have been a problem, except I live in Brunswick Maryland and work in Leeesburg Virginia, and the cab fare would have been more than they were willing to reimburse me. I finally was able to crawl through the trunk and unlock my drivers side door later that night. I will say Carmax did still make the effort and did deliver the remote keyless entry key to me at work the following morning as they agreed.
When my car was ready to be picked up I drove all the way to Carmax again. This time, as I was getting into my car, I noticed my drivers side door would not close properly. It felt like it was hitting something prior to the door closing. Unfortunately, I had to wait a while to get my car and I was on my lunch my break, so I did not have time to talk to them again at that point in time. So, on my way home from work that same day I planned on calling them and schedulling another service appointment to fix my door. Well sure enough, my check engine light came on again so I had to call and get my car back in the service department to have the repairs made. That same night, as I was picking up my kids from daycare, the drivers side rear door seal completely fell off the car.
I took the car back into Carmax the following morning. I was given a loaner car while my car was sent over to Lindsay Volkswagen of Sterling to have the car repaired again. Another week went by until the repairs were complete and was told this time that one of my fuel injectors were faulty and needed to be replaced as well as one of my Spark plugs. Since my car's manufacturer warrenty was expired the Carmax service plan I purchased would only cover the faulty injector and Spark plug instead of doing the logical thing and replacing all of the injectors and spark plugs. At this poin, t the service manager, Scott Boymel, promised to have the remaining injectors replaced if something else were to occur.
One week later, again on my way home from work, my check engine light came back on again. So I took the car back into the Sterling Virginia Carmax service department where again they provided a loaner while they sent my Volkswagen back to Lindsay VW of Sterling Virginia to have the repairs completed. When I picked my car up my car a few days later I was told this time a coil needed to be replaced. Unfortunately, on the same day I picked up my car from Carmax my check engine light came on again. The next day I took my car back into Carmax in Sterling Virginia to have the repairs complete by Lindsay Volkwagen again. This time my car was out of commision for 4 days and I was told that the other injector and spark plug was faulty, but again only the faulty injector and spark plug would be replaced since it was too expensive to have the remaing injector and spark plugs replaced. But Scott Boymel, the Service Manager, stated he would write a letter to me stating that Carmax would cover the cost in the future if any of the other injectors or spark plugs would need to be replaced (which I still do not have).
At this point, I decided to write a letter to the CEO of Carmax about my experience with my Volkswagen that I purchased from Carmax. In my letter I explained to the CEO all the issues I expeirenced with my vehicle, even though it has passed the 150 point QUALITY Carmax inspection. Two weeks later I recieved a call from Mrs. Apple in the executive relations department and was told that ultimately the Sterling Virginia Carmax Management team would be responsible with for resolving the problems with my car. About two days later after speaking with Mrs. Apple from Carmax I recieved a call from Scott Boymel the Service Manager stating that Carmax will offer a resolution and buy my car back from me but at $19, 000.00 which is $2, 000.00 less than what I paid for the car. Keep in mind my car, within 11 months of purchasing the vehicle, has been in the service departments at Carmax and at Lindsay VW in Sterling Virginia for more than 30 days cummalitively.
I took it one step further and reached out to the General Manager, Jerry Holloway, at Lindsay Volkswagen in Sterling and was told that he would help me out and get rid of this Lemon that Carmax sold me. Unfortunately Mr. Holloways idea of helping me out was selling me a new VW CC Sport R line edition and adding the negative equity onto the loan for the new CC Sport R Line.
At this point in time as I write to you, my 2009 Volkwagen CC is back in to be repaired with Carmax and Lindsay VW of Sterling and neither Carmax or the Volkswagen manufacturer is willing to do anything to help me to get out of this lemon. To make matters worse I spoke with my lender and they are willing to negotiate with Carmax about eliminating the negative equity on my current loan but Santander Consumer bank is only willing to negotiate with Carmax. Unfortunately Carmax is unwilling to contact Santander Bank to negotiate with Santander Bank, even though Carmax facilitated the loan with Santander.
The moral of the story is buyer beware and dont expect Carmax, Santander Bank, or Volkwagen to be socially responsible and stand by the products they advertise!!!
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