I have a 1997 Jetta. (I keep cars a long time).
In September, 2008 I was in for repairs at Approx. $320.00 on my 97 at Greenbriar.
In November, $300. My car was due for inspection in December, so I returned the 1st week in December because the airbag light was on and was told that it could not pass the State inspection with it on. I paid $109 for a diagnostic test.
I was told that the drivers' airbag needed to be replaced at a cost of $1, 495. I seriously didn't believe it although I acknowledge that it could be a safety issue if the airbag malfunctioned and just came out suddenly on its own. The airbag had never deployed so I couldn't figure out how this could happen. At any rate, I was unwilling to put that kind of money in a car this old.
My service provider inquired if I wanted to speak to the general manager but I declined because I was lipid, incensed and bordering upon becoming (verbally) abusive. Mental constipation sat in where I could not process beyond the advancing month and having to park the car without an alternative form of transportation. Buying a new car wasn't a consideration as I expected to be unemployed the end of December but highly dependent on some form of transportation in search of alternative work. I also felt this was attempt to make me be Xmas for somebody as the explanation given me was completely unsatisfactory. It is also moot that this was a warranty issue.
Since my prospects had become so limited, I called the general manager of the dealership (curious if I had passed up an opportunity to make some kind of arrangement such as payment over time instead of upon receipt of service). I was told that I could get a brand new car with my car as a trade and money back. I didn't believe it because for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how no income was a finance opportunity. Then I remebered the problems of the "Big Three", FannieMae/FreddieMac, the banking industry and of course "the size ten shoe". This is 2008! The year of improbabilities is not yet over!
I am economically conservative and have never reneged on a debt but of course, anything I have purchased I always had a plan for payment. Common sense set in. This was ridiculous. I returned to the dealership just to confront the irony and to advise them that I didn't think this made good business-sense (in person). I am old enough to still value honesty and a hand-shake (and to recognize a shake-down however
ingratiatory the presentation).
I left there and sought help among my Internet Resources. I typed in "Volkswagon Airbag Light" and was sent to a page that among others included the experience of a lady that had taken her car in and had the reset of her light done. It appears that with a magical # of miles or time ... THE LIGHT COMES ON THAT YOU WILL TAKE THE CAR IN FOR A CHECK. Her advise was to take the car to an independent repair shop that specializes in Volkswagons.
I found one and took my car in. Another diagnostic test was done. The repairman cleaned the sensor and tried to get the error message again. Voila! There was no error message and I got my inspection done.
So, what was the $109 about? I no longer trust the service of Greenbriar and question whether this is gender specific bias. That is worth saving $1495!