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Towbin Dodge / Misleading liars are as unprofessional as they come

1 United States Review updated:
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Purchased a 2004 Kia Sedona Van from Tobin Dodge on January 20, 2008. I drove the van no more then 5 miles from the Dealer and the “Check Engine Light” came on. I called Pete my salesman and explained this to him the next day. He said it was probably just a loose fuel cap so I secured the cap and reset the computer only to have it come on again. I bought a new fuel cap and again the check engine light came back on.

I took the van to my mechanic the next day only to find that there was an EVAP code from the van computer saying there was some kind of a pressure leak in the vans fuel system. At this time he noted that my serpentine belt was worn out and my crankshaft idler pulley was making noise. This was making some sound when I got the van and just got worse within a short time. (Was probably greased to quite)

I call the dealer and notified Jana in customer service of my concerns about the check engine light, serpentine belt and idler pulley and was told to get an estimate and fax it in. I drove 70 miles round trip to get the estimate and sent it to Jana and was later told by Jana that I could get the work done and send her the paid invoice for reimbursement. It took over a week for the part to come and in that time I had further trouble with the vans air conditioner unit and again called customer care and spoke to Jana.

This time my mechanic looked at the vans A/C unit and ran a test and found the system was low on the T32 coolant or what ever it’s called. He added 1 pound to bring it back up to 2.4 pounds it should have had. With the car only 4 years old you have to ask just how would it get so low so fast with out having a leak? I paid $42.50 to have the A/C system recharged.

The next time I called to speak with Jana, Frank answered the phone from Sales and informed me that I would not be able to have the repairs done outside the dealer as I was originally promised. When I went to pay for the shipping cost ($15.00) on the parts that were ordered I had the mechanic drive the van because I noticed a noise in the right front end. He said that it pulls to the right and need new struts on the front and probably more. He also stated that he didn’t feel the van was even safe to be driven in its condition without further inspection.

Both the mechanics that I showed the van to agree that the Towbin Dodge Inspection should have shown these obvious defects.

1) Check Engine Light

2) A/C unit

3) Serpentine Belt and Idler Pulley

4) Right front makes strange noise during execration

On 2-20-08 I returned the Van to Towbin Dodge for the A/C unit, Check Engine Light and a faulty Idler Arm Pulley and worn Serpentine Belts. The Dealer said there were 2 codes on the computer from the check engine light and they fixed one that had never been seen before instead of the evap code that I told them was causing the problem. The engine noise was still there when I got my car at 6:00 PM (after waiting there 11 hours). Before I drove 10 miles from the dealer the “Check Engine Light” came back on. I called and talked to both Jana and Kelly and was told to bring the car back for a follow up. By the time I arrived at Towbin Dodge for my appointment I was so upset with having to return again that I just wanted to trade the van for another vehicle or refund. When I was talking to Curtis in service about the engine noise he became very rude about my Van being a “Kia with almost 100K” on it. I saw a 04 Ford Focus in the lot and inquired on what it would cost to trade into it. At that time I was told that they would only give me wholesale value for my Van and not what I had just paid them for it despite the fact that I have had so much trouble with it right from the beginning and had barely drove it 1000 miles. I tried to go upstairs and see Kelly to talk about the Van but Frank came up and found me saying Kelly works for him and I wasn’t allowed to talk with her. He claimed I wasn’t where the customers were supposed to be and I had to wait downstairs for him to work things out. Franks deminer was always edgy and rude at best and never professional. After waiting an hour Frank called me into Virgil’s Service Dept. Office and began arguing with me about nearly everything. Including the “Relax” 3-day return policy. He said it didn’t exist and was yelling and argued about it. Frank then said I have 4 choices 1.) I was going to have to take $800. Off the price I paid for the Van to return it (7 percent restock & doc fees). Or 2.) Have them fix the check engine light only and not the air conditioner or engine noise. And sign some paper saying I would not hold them liable for anything more on the Van and never come back there again to buy a car or have service. Frank never did say what option 3 and 4 were. But I knew I didn’t trust Towbin Dodge to make the repairs correctly. So I told Frank I would take the refund. And he left to go upstairs. I went out side and an hour later Frank walked up and said come look at this. It was a Ford Focus with 158K on it and a motor that should like it was ready to explode or something. He wanted me to take the car in exchange for the van. I thought the car was worth maybe $2500 on a good day and rejected Frank’s proposal. I asked him once again to just get me my money back and I would be on my way. Again he disappeared for some time (an hour). When he reappeared he said that I wasn’t going to get my money back or my car fixed and that I should leave right now. I told him I needed more questions answer and Frank replied that if I didn’t leave he was going to call the police. I told him to go ahead. I spoke with Virgil in the service center about the strange tactics that Frank used to handle my problem and he replied that he would have handled it much differently. When I questioned him about the leak in my air conditioning unit he said he thought that they had ran dye in the system and it was OK. I knew this wasn’t true because I had talked to Marcus (the mechanic) and was told he didn’t do it. I left the dealer without the sets of keys I gave them to my vehicle. I stayed and spoke more with Virgil trying to figure out what was the deal with Franks attitude on fixing my car but it seemed obvious this wasn’t going far so I finally left. I finally got an OK from Don Heckenborn to return the vehicle for refund on March 12. On Friday March 14 I arrived at the Dealership at 11:00am as instructed by Mr. Heckenborn. 5 hours later I still wait for the refund for my Van. Finally Steve Weaton brought some papers for me to sign. Still no check for another hour. Then when the check did arrive they had some legal document “releasing Towbin Dodges liabilities” they said I had to sign in order to get my check. Mr. Hechenborn waved the check like a carrot and said sign the release or you don’t get the check. This is not even legal; I was forced to sign the document under duress. Under contract law that isn’t even a legal contract. As far as I’m concerned I only scribbled some lines to make them think I sign the document but never even attached my signature to it.

My experience with Towbin Dodge has been horrible from start to finish. Frank the GM was as unprofessional as anyone I have ever seen or meet in my entire life. Curtis in Service was also unprofessional and rude. And Steve Wheaten needs his diaper changed. In a nutshell: The price was changed from on the phone to when I arrived with cash in hand (by $600). The vehicle inspection was poor at best (a/c never worked but checked OK). Judging by the timing of when the check engine came on the first time it was reset by Towbin (by simply disconnecting the battery) and was always on and they knew about it. I can’t even tell you how many phone calls I made that were never returned. Out of 50 calls maybe 3-4 were returned. BUYER BEWARE TOBIN DODGE *** BIG TIME!

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  • Ma
      19th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Thank you for writting this I was just about to go down there and that is a long drive from Pahrump. I had something just like that happen here with a small family lot that just opened up in Feb. bought a car in winter...summer rolled around turned on a/c didn't work right to it to a well respected shop and the compressor had seized up.

    With a 3 year old and a 7 month old a/c is very important here. Car was to have a 2 year warrenty but that didn't include the a/c. The car lot said that, that wasn't an important componet and would fix it. I only had the car less than 41/2 mos. The 1/2 mo was the summer part thank the heavens it was a rent to own so I gave it back but I won't go back there and tell everyone I know what happened.

    Thank you again for your info. With times has bad as they are the good need to watch out for each other to keep the bad away. Hope your next purchase went better.

  • Jo
      10th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I bought a Ram from the Blue Genie and didn't have one problem with it...I would check their lot, they have alot of used cars compared to other dealers...

  • Ha
      11th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am sooooo glad you took the time to post your experiences. I have a relative who worked as a salesman at Towbin Dodge. I must confess that I had been snookered by the "we're weird but fair infomercials" starring "The Chopper", but my kinfolk told me that our family reunions would never be the same if I bought a car from them.

  • Je
      18th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Air conditioning systems need regassing every 2 years friend, so if you bought a 4 year old van, why were you surprised that it needed a regas? It doesn't mean there's a fault, the gas evaporates over time.

  • Ja
      12th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I had a VERY similar experience with Towbin. On the drive home from the dealership, the check engine light came on. The inspection the service department does is a joke, and once you are off their lot, they want nothing to do with you. Awesome customer service, Chop. Maybe you should be more concerned with your clientele rather than your horrible music career.

  • Je
      3rd of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    In a modern car the AC should NOT have to be "regassed" every few years. I've got a 96 Cherokee with about 500, 000 miles on it and the AC has never been touched.

  • Me
      28th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    i enjoyed watching the show in 5/06 i had an appectimy and a/e was just a few of the channels..the show was very entertaining but i would never buy a used car from them..i buy used cars from private individuals and i have my mechanic check it out before money changes hands..always buy a used car from original will find a better car and cheaper price than you would from chop and blue genie..i do wish the show would come back on the air as these guys are friends with the pawn shop guys on tvnow ari gold uses the term chop chop to LLOYD

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