Can a car dealer sell a car that you can't open?

mazda
mazda3

#1

About 10 months ago, I bought a used 2007 Mazda 3 from a BIG name car dealership here in Georgia. Overall, I have been very happy with my purchase. Two days ago, my brother left the lights on and ran down the battery. We were not able to use the remote opener to unlock the doors. Naturally, I tried the original key from the dealership. The key does not open the door. I called a locksmith and he could not open it unless he broke a window. Before allowing him to do that, I decided to call the dealership, thinking it this situation may be particular to the model of the car. No such luck. The dealership claims that they cannot be held responsible for my door or my lock becasue the car has more 60,000 miles. I have not been in any collision accidents that may have caused this to happen to the lock. Please help. I feel that this is unfair and that the dealership should not have sold me a car with a door that does not open.


#2

10 months is long enough for a lock to seize up, so maybe they worked when you bought the car. I wouldn’t necessarily blame the dealership. Not to sound mean, but you should have made sure the door locks worked before you bought it.


#3

First, checking keys to make sure they work is generally a “buyer beware” issue at time of purchase. Check and verify, so I wouldn’t consider it illegal; maybe unfair, but that argument won’t go far in court.

Secondly, check with another locksmith. There may be a way to mechanically unlock the door with something like a slimjim…and maybe not. Thirdly, have you talked to a Mazda franchise dealer to see if there is a way without breaking the window? Fourth, check with a body shop, is there a way to open the hood from the front of the car (cutting the hood release cable or something else) and replace the battery? Those are the avenues I would pursue first.


#4

Have you tried the passenger side?


#5

Tell the honda zone rep that the dealer would not help. No lock should fail in 3 years and what about the other front door lock? Both no good? If the key he gave you is no good it is because he sold you a key that was no good or the locks were no good. Realize that you would pay for the help but this is why in Mass we are trying to get a right to repair law. It States that the dealers must release info to individuals and repair people that they often keep to themselves. This situation is just typical of the dealer refusing to help in an unreasonable way. There is a fix but usually it takes 3-4 years until the data for a new car is availible on the open market. That is how long they keep their secrets.


#6

Can you get to the STARTER from under the car?? That’s where the positive battery cable ends and it gives you a connection point to hook up a battery charger…If the lights are still on, you will need at least a 10 amp charger to “power up” the car…


#7

I doubt that the passenger side has a key lock. Most don’t anymore.


#8

What would Honda care about a Mazda?


#9

So how is this someone else’s fault. You bought a going on 4 years old vehicle and your brother ran the battery down.
Locks can stick at any time and I consider lubing the lock mechanisms once a year routine maintenance. Maybe that’s why I don’t have sticking lock problems.

Maybe you should try another locksmith because I wouldn’t put much faith into a locksmith whose suggestion involves breaking glass.


#10

Well, I won’t beat on you (some people really seem to enjoy “RAMMING” that home :wink - wink: play the music from Deliverance to catch my implied intent on the REAL origin of their demeanor - as I’m trying to be subtle) about it.

Whomever suggested getting a good connection to recharge the battery enough to engage the locks is spot on. You can even do it through a lamp if you can ask a U-Haul to lend you the tail light extensions …AND can remove the lens. All it will require then is patience.

Oh, and first thing on the list when you get the doors open, get the locks serviced/changed/whatever so that it won’t happen again. (just one strum of the banjo)


#11

Sorry to say it, but once you take position and the wheels hit the public road, it is all yours and the dealer has no legal responsibility unless they have given you some sort of written warranty.


#12

Advising someone who can mess up checking that their door keys work too charge the battery through the tail light is (no music needed) asking for trouble. When you make a mistake with this little plan are you then going to ask for electrical system repair, paid for by the Dealer?

I think a factor that motivated the tone of the responses that the OP recieved was the misleading post title (yes I know he wanted people to read his post, but just the facts please as most here have enough experience to see through a blatant attemp to score readers, people think all they need to say is “I got beat up by a Dealer” and everyone will rally to their aid, not so here as we know customers have their own scams.)


#13

It’s a Mazda, not a Honda. I own a Mazda and can guarantee their regional and national offices don’t give a crap about customer service. They will be of no help.
As for the “Right To RepairBill”, it is about codes, this isn’t a code issue and even if the bill passed would offer no benefit here. As for other “secrets”, nonsense. Alldata has repair info for brand new models.


#14

Yes, over the life span of cars, locks get changed, damaged etc. You should have checked.

DO NOT LET SOMEONE BREAK A GLASS.
There are some amazing break-in tools out there that will get you in.
Find a different lock smith who has them and knows how to use them.
Or the repo guys who know all the tricks.


#15

Caddyman has the best option about accessing a starter cable. At least that way the odds of causing any electrical damage is about as close to zero as it can get.
Good luck with that easy lens removal process.

The OP is dead wrong here although some may not see it that way. The OP is implying the dealer pulled a fast one by sellling them a car with a door lock that won’t open with a key.

So at what point in the last 4 years of this car’s life did the stock lock mechanism stick are are there any extenuating circumstances such as salt air near the ocean, road salt, or extremely dusty air?


#16

Try a repo agent. They have ways to get into cars that you wouldn’t believe! Maybe you could hire one to unlock it for you.


#17

If the lights are on a jumper wire from a hot battery to a bulb socket connected with the proper polarity will likely allow the remote to operate. That worked on a Lincoln, anyway.


#18

That worked back in the old days when the lights were connected to a switch that was connected to the battery. Now, they’re almost always controlled through one or more electronic modules and relays. Once the battery power went away, the modules and relays disconnected the circuit and you won’t be able to get a path from the lights to the battery.
The starter wire suggestion remains the best one so far, as far as electrical solutions to this problem go.


#19

It’s likely that the ignition cylinder or the door lock was/were changed in the car’s past.

Honestly, if it were me I’d have it towed to a Mazda dealer, let them get it in order, and pay the bill. With your VIN number they should be able to duplicate the original key. You may end up with two keys, one to open the doors and another to start the car. Accept this. It’s a minor inconvenience.


#20

“With your VIN number they should be able to duplicate the original key.”

Unless it was the car door that was replaced. :wink: