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3 tranny overhauls and I now need a new one?

 
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Old 30 Jul 2007, 08:58 pm
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Default 3 tranny overhauls and I now need a new one?

I need your help. This is not my car. It belongs toa good friend who I have known for over 30 years. I used to restore cars as a hobby and I know my way around technically so I'm just trying to help. The car is a 2001 PT Cruiser with 52,000 miles on it. Her warranty ended 5/07. In 2/07 a dealer completely overhauled her automatic tranny for the third time. This came with a 12month/12k mile warranty. This time there is a hole in the case in the area of the differential and the entire unit needs to be replaced. The dealer says they won't cover it because the problem is in an area than was never worked on by them. In other words the differential portion and not the transmission side. My argument is this
1) They are both lubricated by the same fluid. This transaxle unit(more specifically the AUTOMATIC tranny portion) is the most complicated component of the car AND it's been taken apart THREE times already. The symptoms are always the same. She brings it in when going from neutral to drive takes a few seconds for 1st gear to "kick" in. Something could have flowed with the fluid from the tranny portion into the differential portion and caused the problem.
2) THREE major tranny repairs and nothing else has gone wrong with the car???? Can we say that the whole unit was defective to start with?
The so called warranty manager at the dealership says that my request of having the District Service Manager review this has been obliged, but I have no proof. The DSM doesn't speak to the customers. I was told that his answer was that if the car is out of warranty, he is out of the picture.
They are willing to do this for a $800 discount but my feeling is that she shouldn't have to pay anything.
I would really like anyone who has some good advice to plaese come forward. I just don't think this is right I'm just tryint to help out a friend in need. There is nothing in this for me.
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Old 31 Jul 2007, 08:38 am
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Default Re: 3 tranny overhauls and I now need a new one?

Hopefully your friend has all the receipts of the tranny rebuilds. Chrysler knows of all the problems in the past few years with the 41TE transaxle. They're just trying to get out of giving you a new one. It's only 5 months since the last rebuild and now they are trying to use any excuse (original warranty ran out/different part went bad) to get out of fixing it. I'm pretty sure that's BS about the District Manager not talking to customers too. Try and get a hold of the Regional Manager or call Chrysler direct. Tell your friend to keep at them and good luck.
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Old 31 Jul 2007, 12:53 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Default Re: 3 tranny overhauls and I now need a new one?

Do you know how I can get a hold of the regional manager. I'm in San Francisco. I can't even get a hold of the DSM. I even found out what school he went to and tried through their alumni office with no luck. That's my problem. I can't get past the dealer. No other numbers are available.
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Old 31 Jul 2007, 01:07 pm
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Default Re: 3 tranny overhauls and I now need a new one?

Can anyone help me get past the dealer???? When I called Chrysler they kept me on hold for 10 minutes while they called the dealer where I had just come from, came back and told me "the dealers are our eyes and ears and they said it's not their responsibilty"" and closed my complaint. Thanks lady. The person answering the phone had no mechanical experience. I know this because I asked her and became very defensive in her answer. I need to speak to the district service manager but he is closely gaurded.
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Old 31 Jul 2007, 01:55 pm
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Default Re: 3 tranny overhauls and I now need a new one?

I would start asking the service manager about their legal business name. The service department may be under a different business name than the dealership. Ask the people you spoke with for their cards and correct spellings of their names. If they ask why, tell them you are planning to contact DC corporate and that they may be deposed if your friend decides to take this to court. This is just a scare tactic that sometimes results in action. No one likes to be deposed.

If they ask what you are sueing for, tell them a new car. This car is obviously a lemon. You may not have a case, but it will cost them more to get it thrown out than the repair. You just have to seem serious enough.

Don't be nasty about getting the details, just take a matter of fact attitude. Don't threaten you will sue, say that you may sue if it goes that far. Tell them it is a matter of principle.

BTW, check the BBB. Most dealers are members. You can lodge a complaint and they need to respond.
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