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#1 Scorbing

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 23:11

Source: http://autos.yahoo.c...-152707580.html



When you own a sports car, you inevitably get a little paranoid about how it's treated when in the care of strangers. One South Carolina man was worried enough that when he took his 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS in for service at a Chevy dealer, he hid a voice recorder in the car. He was right to be worried: The recorder caught mechanics doing burnouts and discussing how to make the owner pay for a ruined clutch the car didn't have before coming in. Now the Internet Justice League has taken the wheel.William Clark says he took his Camaro to Best Chevrolet-Kia in Easley, S.C. for a clunking noise in the car's six-speed manual transmission. After a previous visit to a different dealer, his Camaro had died shortly after Clark retrieved it; while he suspected the staff at that dealership of joyriding, he had no proof at the time.


This time, the voice recorder hidden in the door pocket catches employees doing several burnouts and hard launches in the Camaro; Smith later says the techs drove it harder in 20 minutes than he had in three years. Once back in the shop, the mechanics realize the Camaro's clutch has been fried, and come up with a plan to blame the damage on Smith, saying to "write it up as him buying a (expletive) clutch," while saying another part failed under warranty so that General Motors would pay for its replacement.

Smith says he's taken his evidence to the dealer and Chevrolet customer service; the dealer offered to reassess the damage or take the Camaro as a trade-in on another car, but refused Smith's demand to buy the car back. Smith says Chevrolet customer service washed it hands of the problem, saying it was an issue between him and the dealer. As of the last update, the car's smoked clutch remains untouched.

Unfortunately for Smith, there's few other steps he can take that don't end in court. Dealers are regulated by states; Clark can file a complaint with South Carolina officials, but even with an audio recording the assessment of damage isn't so clear-cut as if the mechanics had wrecked it on a test drive. Instead, other Camaro owners have taken up the cause, posting Smith's video to the dealership's Facebook page and otherwise making noise about the problem.

You can hear the entire exchange, including the profanity, here. A lawyer for Best Chevrolet, in a request to Yahoo Autos to take down this story, told us in an email that the audio was "misleadingly edited." Clark has said the dealership has threatened to sue him over the audio, but has also spoken with him about buying the Camaro back. The dealership may soon learn that in the Internet era, one burnt clutch can create quite the stink.



#2 ccoltmanm

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 23:20

As a former Camaro owner, I would be at the dealership every day until they bought the car from me for KBB value.

No excuse for this.

#3 Guth

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 02:43

Absolutely shocking.
Really feel for the guy, he is stuck in a bad situation due to idiot "mechanics". He is now left with court cases, a broken car (he presumably cant/isnt driving) and probably he will also end up with the bill.

Instead of trying to catch them out with his voice recorder (which probably doesn't do much in the way of evidence), he should have listened to his gut and gone to another dealer.

#4 tsupersonic

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 16:59

That is just unacceptable - they should definitely make it right for him.

#5 compl3x

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 17:57

(which probably doesn't do much in the way of evidence)



I thought the same thing. I'm not sure if secretly recording someone is admissible. Perhaps he hoped he could shame them into doing the right thing, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

#6 TheExperiment

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 19:55

I thought the same thing. I'm not sure if secretly recording someone is admissible. Perhaps he hoped he could shame them into doing the right thing, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I think if they're inside your property you have the right to record whatever you like, though I'm not sure.

#7 ndoggfromhell

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 20:10

I work for a dealership and I can assure you that anytime a technician was caught abusing a customers car... they were typically fired on the spot. Some were allowed to stay, but then given poor paying work and forced out. It's one thing my company is very strict about.

#8 bdsams

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 20:13

The dealership bought the Camaro back at above KBB price point, there was an update to the story not posted above.

#9 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 20:22

As a former Camaro owner, I would be at the dealership every day until they bought the car from me for KBB value.

No excuse for this.

You woul dhave lost money since a burnt out clutch significantly lowers its value. Remember that a single scratch takes a car from very good to good.

#10 KomaWeiß

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 11:49

video is down. :(

#11 Praetor

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 18:04

I work for a dealership and I can assure you that anytime a technician was caught abusing a customers car... they were typically fired on the spot. Some were allowed to stay, but then given poor paying work and forced out. It's one thing my company is very strict about.


i once took my honda for a repair (fuel sensor was broken) in a dealership and when i was taking the car home i notice a noise in the engine; turns out someone left the old sensor in a space between the engine and the battery :o took the car back to the dealer and said to the guy in the reception "i think you guys forgot this".. :laugh:
The dealer manager talked to me, profusely apologizing for the situation and saying an internal investigation was going to initiated to know what happened; next time i went there (had to change the radio antenna) he told me the mechanic that left the old sensor there was fired, since that could had sparked an accident or engine damages and it was unacceptable.

this and many other stories that i have about mechanic fails are the reason i distrust that profession; very few mechanics i trust my car and, ultimately, the safety that car could give to me and my family.