Meineke #538 and Meineke Corporate / Meineke destroyed my wife's engine and lied about installing a rebuilt engine!

548 Mantua Avenue, Woodbury, NJ, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: (856) 848-1111

On 1/28/14 I took my wife's 2003 Toyota Camry to the Meineke located
in Woodbury, NJ for an oil change. For the scheduling and payment, I
dealt with an individual by the name of "Will". After payment, I drove
back to our apartment and right before I parked, I noticed the "Check
Engine" light had come on and there was a slight "tapping" sound coming
from the engine. I told my wife about it and she said iot would
be best to go back to the Meineke to have them check it. About 200ft.
before the Meineke there was a red light. I stopped and the car began to
violently shake and the "tapping" sound quickly became a "loud
knocking" sound. I pulled in and spoke to "Will" and told him what was
going on. He went to pull her car into one of the bays and the car died
out. He asked a few of the mechanics there to help him push the car into
the bay so he could inspect it. Once on the lift, he called my
wife and I into the shop area and told us that they had installed a
"defective" oil filter and that her engine was blown! My wife became
extremely upset and began to take an asthma attack and I had to try my
best to calm her down because she did not have her inhaler on her.
"Will" told me to tell her that they will "do the right thing" and
replace her engine free of charge. My wife and I insisted that at the
very least, they must install a "rebuilt" engine with a warranty. He
said he was not sure if he could do that. Once we went back to
our apartment, my wife called Meineke Corporate and told them what had
happened and demanded that they install a "rebuilt" engine with a
warranty. She spoke to a CSR by the name of "Ellias". He said that her
request was extremely reasonable and that he would contact the Woodbury
Meineke and tell him to honor the request. "Ellias" called my wife back
and told her they would install a "rebuilt" engine with a warranty. About
2 weeks later, the Woodbury Meineke called us and said that her car was
ready. Once there, we spoke to someone named "Steve" and he said that
he personally took care of everything and had ordered a "rebuilt" engine
from a company called "ITC". He said that if we had any problems
whatsoever, to take her car back to Meineke and her would personally
take care of it. About 5 days later, the "Check Engine" light came on
again. We took it back to Meineke and "Steve" said that he would
take a look at it. He called us up and said that there was just a simple
"communication" problem between the catalytic converter and the engine
and all he had to do was "reset the soft light" and everything would be
fine. He asked if he could keep the car for a few days to test drive it
to make sure that the "Check Engine" light would not come back on and
that everything else was ok. My wife agreed and we picked her car up 3
days later. Everything seemed fine with the first. 3
weeks afterwards; on my wife's birthday no less; the "Check Engine"
light went off again. We took it back to the Woodbury Meineke to find
out that they now have a new owner, new management, and all new
mechanics. No one that was working there now was there when we had taken
the car for the intial oil change or when we brought the car back after
the "rebuilt" engine was installed. The new manager; "Jim"; had
no idea what we had gone through, but we explained everything to him. He
said he would inspect the car to see what the problem was. He called my
wife and told her that she would need a new catalytic converter. My
wife and I were sure that the "rebuilt" engine had something to do with
the catalytic converter going bad. My wife called Meineke
Corporate and asked to speak to "Ellias". She was told that "Ellias" no
longer works there and spoke to an extremely rude CSR that would not let
my wife explain anything or get a word in edgewise. My wife told the
CSR everything that had happened to her car and that she was sure that
the "rebuilt" engine was the cause of the catalytic converter going bad.
The CSR told my wife that her warranty was only on her engine and that
there was no way that would have made the catalytic converter go bad. My
wife had became extremely frustrated with this CSR and told her that we
would contact a lawyer. The CSR told my wife that if she did that, she
would "erase all records of all of her phone calls and complaints!" The
next day; "Jim"; the new manager of the Woodbury Meineke; called my
wife. He said he wanted to try to find out any information he could
about the "rebuilt" engine that was installed. He told my wife that it
was not a "rebuilt" engine. He said that it was a "used engine from a
junkyard"!!! My wife and I have gone through so much since the
economy went down the drain. We both lost our jobs, we lost our home,
and have gone through bankruptcy. I am back to work now, but my wife is
still unemployed and needed her car to look for a job because I can not
afford everything. We are in an apartment now and are falling back
further and further in debt. We don't know what to do now. We can not
afford a lawyer unless we can find a pro-bono lawyer or possibly a
lawyer that would handle our case on a contingency basis and add all of
their charges and fees to the total amount my wife and I are seeking. We
gave Meineke one shot to "do the right thing" and they did not and lied
to us! The only way I can see them doing "the right thing" at this
point in time would be to cut my wife a check for the entire amount that
she has paid to Toyota. I have heard that the best we could hope for
would be "Blue Book" value, but we will not be able to get a car as
reliable as her's was with that value. Besides, none of this would have
ever happened if they just recognized the defective oil filter BEFORE
they put it on. Are they any lawyers that would be willing to
take on this case as described earlier? Either by pro-bono or on a
contingency basis? Someone...anyone?

Mar 30, 2014
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  • Co
      30th of Mar, 2014

    Sorry to here about your troubles. You will not find a lawyer to take this case without paying up front. It is correct that the most you could get is blue book value and the Lawyer would probably cost more than the value of the car.

    Another option is to sue in small claims court. The max you can sue for may be less then the car value but something is better than nothing

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