February 4, 2012

Information for all car owners

I received this information yesterday from a source (which I may be able to reveal at a later date).  While I cannot verify the accuracy of this information (#1 and #2), trust me, my source is a good one.  Here is information for all car owners (my comments are in brackets):

1. All the dealerships do is try to get you through the warranty period, trying to charge you for what they can, but will replace parts under warranty whether they believe they will fix your car or not to try to get you out the door so you will put more miles on your car so that it gets “out of warranty.”  They are not there to help you, to try and fix your car properly or to aid you.   Some dealerships will go so far as to not give you a repair order so that you don’t have detailed records.

[This definitely applies to my case seeing that none of the fixes ever fixed my car.  Luckily since I work for lawyers myself, I keep very detailed records, it’s a “habit” of mine, and I would advise all car owners to do the same.  Whenever you speak to anyone at a car company (or any business for that matter nowadays whether it be your cell phone company or bank or student loan), whether it be the manufacturer or a dealership, get their full name (ask them to spell it out for you), any type of rep ID or extension #, and all their contact information including phone number, email and fax.

Sometimes the manufacturer will not give out their email as they don’t want to put things in writing and don’t want to make it easy for you to contact them, because they know that creates a legal paper trail. But usually if you can get just one person’s email, then you will know how the company does their emails.  For instance with Nissan, it’s firstname.lastname@nissan-usa.com for all the people in Consumer Affairs.  Now with the Nissan executives, it gets a little tricky  because they switch it up because they don’t want to be contacted.  And with Sage Auto who owns Universal City Nissan and Auto Nation who owns Power Nissan, there is no method to their emails.  With Sage Auto, the Service Manager is firstnamelastinitial@sageauto.com but another service advisor is firstname.lastname@sageauto.com.  With Auto Nation, the Service Manager is lastnamefirstinitial@autonation.com but then the Assistant Service manager is lastnamefirstinitial6@autonation.com (now I believe this means there are 6 people with that name, but it makes it difficult to guess that if you don’t know that).

For the VP in charge of Total Customer Satisfaction, Brad Thacker’s email is: brad.thacker@nissan-usa.com.  However Carlos Ghosen, CEO, is not carlos.ghosen@nissan-usa.com.  I know this because I’ve sent emails to Mr. Ghosen and they have been returned undeliverable and I have sent emails to Mr. Thacker and they have not been returned.  Therefore Mr. Thacker has received my emails and I believe that is legal proof.  I have also emailed other Nissan executives and they too have been returned, and I’ve tried both @nissan-usa.com and nissanusa.com.  Here is Mr. Thacker’s Facebook page by the way: http://www.facebook.com/brad.thacker

In my opinion, any company that does this, that hides contact information from the public in order so they cannot be contacted is shady.  Because if they ran a business on the up and up, there should be no problem with contacting the upper management if you are unhappy with what lower management does for you, and the upper management should be more than happy to talk to you.  Any business should be in the business of servicing its customers.   Nissan of course is not.

Anna Naraeva refused to give me her supervisor’s name saying it’s “internal information” and refused to give me Brad Thacker’s phone number saying again it’s “internal information.”  Why would the VP of Total Customer Satisfaction of Nissan not want to make his phone number available to Nissan Owners?  I am a Nissan owner and I am far from a “totally satisfied customer,” so why won’t Ms. Naraeva allow me to contact Mr. Thacker?  Luckily I’m more intelligent than Ms. Naraeva and found Mr. Thacker’s email through a quick search.  So now this just makes Ms. Naraeva and Nissan’s policies as a whole look bad and makes it seem like their business is shady and that Nissan does not care about their customers.]

2.  Even if your car is currently out of warranty, if you’ve made a request in the past for them to buy it back you may have a case.

[Make sure to make a request for buyback in writing as soon as possible, as soon as you may suspect your car is not fixable.  Do your best to get confirmation of receipt of your request, and then get in writing their answer, demand it, demand it be emailed to you or faxed.]

3. Even if you sell your car, you may still be able to go after the manufacturer for a cash settlement for all your troubles.  On March 2, 2011, precedent in CA was set in the case Martinez v. Kia Motors America, Inc

[From research I just did, Kia tried to appeal and depublish the case, but the court would not allow it, therefore the case is now ” binding legal authority.”]

4. If you have a lemon car, in an effort to get a car company to buyback or settle on your lemon, go park on a public street near the dealership and make some big signs saying your car is a lemon.  You can even print out a handout that lists all the times your car was serviced to give out to potential buyers.  Try to do this on a holiday weekend when they are having a big sale.  The dealership will hate you and may call the police, but the police can’t do anything as long as you are on public property and you are not blocking any entrance to the dealership.  If you do this enough, the dealership may help with the manufacturer in persuading them to offer a settlement, in order to get you to go away.

[Make sure to research your local laws before doing this, as I am not a lawyer and I do not know what protest laws are.  This was simply a suggestion by a source who knows car owners who have done this.  I have not tried this yet.  So it’s very important to know your local laws, possibly even call the nearest police station to the dealership and ask them, and don’t blame me if you get arrested – this is simply advice from a source, use at your own discretion.]