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Land Rover Houston Northunpleasant experience


I am writing in reference to my recent experience at Land Rover Houston-North. My sales person was Nikki Mojica and the sales manager was Darrell Ayres.

On Friday, June 19, my wife and I decided to visit Land Rover Houston North to purchase a pre-owned 2007 Range Rover HSE that we saw on the dealership website. We arrived just before 1pm. We worked with Nikki to take the car on a test drive and then went into negotiations regarding the purchase.

After about an hour, we had completed required paper work for the purchase of the vehicle. For the next 3 plus hours, my wife and I patiently waited as we were told the car was being prepared for us. Next we went into the finance office and spent about 30 minutes signing the last of the required paper work. At 5:30, after completing the finance papers we met the sales manager, Darrell Ayres for the first time. He offered to buy us dinner and said the car should be ready in about another hour.

After returning at 6:45 we patiently continued to wait as our car was not brought around by our sales person until slightly after 7 pm. Upon getting the car, we immediately inquired about the condition of the tires. Nikki told us that they passed inspection and that is the only requirement for the tires. She handed my wife the owner's manual and proceeded to give a quick introduction and explanation of how everything operates.

At 7:30 we were finally on our way home with our certified pre-owned Range Rover HSE that only had 21, 000 miles!! We were not pleased with the 6.5 hours that it took to get the vehicle, but we finally had the car that we had been searching for.

On the ride home, my wife called and informed me of a light that was illuminated on the dash. I told her I would check it out once we arrived at our house. Upon arrival, I tried to look up the light in the owner's manual, only to realize we were given the manuals for a Range Rover Sport.

On Saturday, my wife called and spoke to Nikki regarding the issue. She stated that the light was related to tire pressure and “to have your husband to put some air in the tires, " if that didn't work then we can take it to any Land Rover dealership closest to us, as we live 45 minutes away. Immediately we began to question how could we sit in a dealership for 6 plus hours, the car is certified per the 140 point inspection and all the tires are not properly inflated???

On Sunday, I went to a service station to put air in the rear driver's tire. This tire was noticeably lower than the other 3 tires. An initial check of the tire measured only 20 psi of pressure. I began inflating the tire with air and at around 30 psi, the valve stem broke. Now I am at the service station in my 1 day old, “certified" pre-owned Range Rover HSE with a flat tire!!! I changed the flat tire and installed the spare in Houston Texas 100 degree summertime weather!!! At this point I am beyond disgusted with this certified pre owned vehicle!!!

On Monday, June 21, my wife returned to the Range Rover dealership to discuss the issue. She spoke at length with Darrell Ayres. He only agreed to replace the one tire and do another check of the vehicle. If the other 3 tires had the same problem with the valve stem, they would probably replace them too. But, he could not commit to any corrective actions until after the check was complete. My wife requested a copy of the 140 point inspection that was performed on Friday. In this inspection report, there were “X" marks in the repair/replace column for brakes and tires. Three of the tires had a tread depth of 3/32" and one tire was 4/32".

Upon seeing this inspection report, I ask the question of why are we are even in a situation regarding these tires? The report clearly states that the brakes and tires were supposed to be repaired/replaced. On Friday we were not given a copy of the report or told of any repairs or findings from the inspection. Why were we allowed to leave the dealership on Friday with tires that would be at the legal limit of 2/32" tread in only a few weeks, if the report stated that they were to be replaced or repaired?

Darrell repeatedly told my wife that the dealership would only replace the tires, if the other three had the same valve stem problem as the first. This was the wrong answer!! The dealership should replace the tires because that was an item identified in the 140 point certified pre-owned inspection checklist.

At a minimum, we should have been informed of the tread measurements on the tires and the dealership should have provided us with a quote for a new set before we left with the vehicle. Darrell also stated that he would have a different technician to check the vehicle this time to give it a fresh look with a different set of eyes. The technician on Friday was not the problem. He identified the issues with the vehicle.

The manager/sales person who disregarded the items that were marked by the technician as “Repair/Replace" and still certified the vehicle is the problem!! Darrell told my wife that he could not put new tires on every vehicle that they received or the dealership would not make any money. My response to this statement is that the dealership should not put new tires on every vehicle it receives; only the vehicles that require new tires as identified in the 140 point inspection checklist.

As of 3 pm, on Tuesday June 23, 2009, the issue still has not been resolved to my satisfaction. The dealership agreed to install four tires plus an alignment and cover only 50% of the cost.

I spoke with the service department regarding the 140 point inspection to only find out about more items that were selectively chosen to be repaired. The inspection report states that the front and rear brakes needed to be replaced. After reading the report I was under the assumption that this was completed on Friday before we left the dealership, when in fact, only the front brake pads were replaced. We were not even told that the rear brakes were low.

On Wednesday I contacted the other 2 Land Rover dealerships in Houston to inquire what tire tread depth and brake pad measurements were required to pass the certification. Here are their responses below:

'The vehicles are made to be brought back to the highest quality. An example is a new tire has 8mm of tread depth…land rover requires 5mm or better.'

'Our intent is to make the Certified vehicles as 'new' as possible. Tires and brakes have a minimum standard of 50%.'

On Thursday, Lisa Zullo from Land Rover North America contacted me regarding my situation and confirmed that I was sold a vehicle that did not meet the Land Rover requirements for certified pre-owned vehicles. She stated that tire tread has to be at least 4/32' and brakes at least 50% depth remaining.

On Friday, June 26, 2009 she called and said that there was nothing that she could do to help because on Tuesday I accepted the deal to pay 50% of the tire cost. I asked her why did this entire situation happen. Why was I sold a vehicle that did not meet the certification requirements? She would not answer any more of my questions and stated that I would have to handle everything with the local dealership.

I have not spoken with the general manager or pre-owned sales manager from the dealership. They did not return my phone calls. I was sold this vehicle under the false pretense that it meet all the certification requirements to be 'Certified Pre-Owned.'

I want the dealership to pay the other 50% of the cost for the tires and cover the cost to replace the rear brakes.

I also want to make consumers aware of key items they need to look at when buying a certified pre-owned vehicle. Before purchasing:

-Ask for a copy of the inspection checklist
-Ask the dealer to provide the specifications for when an item passes or has to be replaced
-After the certification, get a list of the items that were replaced and ask for the measurements of the items that were not.


  • Tx
    TX Dad May 13, 2008

    Land Rover Houston North will say ANYTHING to make a sale and then screw you over! When I leased my LR3, I told them that my biggest concern was that I live far from the dealer and I had heard Land Rovers broke down frequently. The salesman promised that any time the car broke down, they would send a loaner car and pick up my car. On that basis we leased the car. Sure enough, the car had numerous problems. After the 2nd time, Land Rover Houston North told me that they could no longer come get the car and I would have to drive the 60 miles, through downtown Houston to the dealership. As there was no way we were going to do that, they essentially voided my warranty. I told them that the deal was when I bought the car that they would pick it up. They told me they were sorry but they could no longer honor that deal. They were happy enough to make the sale and keep my money. In fact, when I complained that the car was a lemon, the salesman said he would be happy to lease me a different one! What a [censor]! They try to come off so prim and proper. They are the sleaziest bunch of lying [censor] you will ever meet. Beware of this dealership.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    joe May 13, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Sounds like you knew what you were getting yourself into. Don't lease the car if you can't afford it. You always believe car salesmen?

    0 Votes

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