Help! Service/Dealership Irresponsible

We purchased a Jeep Cherokee 2017 New December 2016. After 5k miles, the car would slow down, display the oil change light, then turn off. The settings show oil at 38%, so we took it to the dealership’s service. They were unhelpful. Told us they cannot replicate the problem, and therefore, they filled the oil and told us to bring the car back at the next 1k mile mark. We did this repeatedly until 8k where we had enough. We finally spoke to a supervisor who agreed and told us they would install a new engine. They gave us a rental car, all while charging us until we, again, had enough, and they “allowed” out of courtesy a free rental car.

See, we were satisfied with the solution, since we thought a new engine makes the car newer. I’ll come back to this.

Fast forward 1.5 weeks, were picking up the Jeep and I notice a inch scraped dent on the front bumper. This was definitely not present when we dropped off the car, as a walk-around was conducted. We spoke to a different supervisor (the one who previously spoke to quit apparently). This man was extremely rude. He claimed this did not happen under their care. We kept arguing how paperwork showed no damage was done to the car when they received it, this is clearly damaged under their care. He said this could be fixed, but will charge us and the rental car will no longer be free. He rambled on how after 15 years of working, any damage to an engine change would only occur on the driver’s door, but out of courtesy and kindness, he will fix it complimentary. However, he needs to speak to his supervisor about the rental car charges, and won’t be able to reach his supervisor until the next day. He told us to drive the damaged car home and wait for his call. We did not accept that, and tried to compromise by saying we can leave the car, but the rental car should be free of charge. After much rambling (by my mother who went off on tangents in broke English), he finally said he will try to reach his boss. (My guess is he became annoyed she wouldn’t listen to his “courtesy” and “kindness” language. ) He went into his office and seem to make a call, except I never saw his mouth move, so I suspect this was for show.

This rose my suspicion, and after much googling, I realized we were completely played. Replacing an engine lowers the value of the car drastically! This is a new 2017 Jeep Cherokee with only 8k miles on it! Lowering a new car’s value is not just for he consumer.

Please help and advise what I should do. I’m a 20 year old girl that could pass for a high schooler. My car knowledge is limited, and I’m well aware the dealership is taking advantage of our naiveness. What should I say and ask for to receive proper compensation for my loss?

A new engine does not neccessarly lower the value of a car. The front bumper scratch is a he said she said argument, but my local dealer looks my car over carefully when they take it in for service and notes any scratches. I would assume your dealer would do the same. Since they did not note it you have a strong argument. Look in the back of your owners manual, there will be a section on resolving disputes. Something like a Zone office or Regional office will be listed. Give them a call and let them know what is going on.

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No,changing an engine wont reduce its value if it was done correctly. Your jeep is covered by a 5 year,60,000 miles powertrain warranty.The only thing that will are extensive body and structure damage due to major car accident. Contact your insurance company for the scratch.

If the Jeep has been back enough times, it should be eligible for replacement under the lemon law. You should have receipts for each visit. Look up the lemon law in your state and see if you qualify. If you do, you will probably need to send a letter to FCA corporate offices so that they can notify the dealer that the next attempt to fix the Jeep is their last one, and it will be replaced if they fail.

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I emphatically agree. This car is a lemon if I ever saw one.

One or two repairs would not be enough to qualify for a lemon law case. Each visit inconclusive visit for an oil consumption test is not considered a repair.

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When a kid swaps a non-stock engine into his old Honda, it lowers the value. When a factory authorized service center puts a direct replacement engine into the car, it doesn’t.

Total BS. Do they expect you to believe they popped the new engine in through the driver’s door?

And the scratch may not have happened during the swap - it may have happened while the car was just sitting around, and got run into by a tool cart or another car. Regardless, if it wasn’t there when you brought it in, you did the right thing in refusing to take the vehicle home, because then they would claim that you put the scratch in it after you left the dealership.

I’d start by talking to the dealership owner. If he doesn’t have the dealership fix the damage, call corporate. If that doesn’t work, write a letter detailing what happened to your state’s attorney general office.


You should move on with your life with a big smile on your face behind the wheel of your Cherokee.

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Unfortunately, my boss is not smiling when I show up to work late 3 times within two weeks when my car stalled out on the way to work.

Just to clarify, doesn’t swapping out an engine indicate issues with the car to begin with, and therefore, lower it’s value when selling?

I completely agree. That is what I was trying to convey and the service manger speaks over me and began questioning my knowledge of cars. Of course I don’t have extensive knowledge about cars. That’s why I’m here.

I’m glad I did one thing right. I figured pushing for me to take a scratched car off of their lot was to pin the cosmetic damage back onto me. They did perform a walk around when dropping off the car.

I spoke to a Lemon Law Attorney, and basically, I have no case. What I’m afraid of is by this December, the Lemon Laws have expired, and I have a lemon vehicle. I don’t drive long distances, and therefore, only rank up 1k mile every two or three months now. Any further suggestions?

The dealership dragged out repairs, thus as Nevada_545 said, the car doesn’t qualify for a lemon law case. The single engine change only qualifies as a single repair.

Wow…you mean with the new engine???

Where is your loss?,
You have a brand new engine, your bumper repaired and a free loaner car while the repairs were being done.

I will ask this. Has the vehicle ever had an oil change? Have you ever checked the engine oil level?

I know the answers to the questions. Just like to hear it direct.

Forget the “proper compensation”. The only thing you’re entitled to under warranty is a fix of the existing problem. You are not entitled to any “diminished value”.

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It indicates issues with the engine. Which was replaced. :wink:

You wouldn’t expect a discount on a car that at some point in its history had gotten a flat tire, unless that tire was still on the car and was flat when you were going to buy it. Same with the engine - stuff on cars breaks. As long as that stuff gets replaced, the mere fact that something at some point broke doesn’t mean the car is permanently broken and should be cheaper.

You’re right, you have no case under the lemon law. You do, however, have a property damage case against the dealership because the dealership damaged your property. That’s what I was recommending you pursue.

The engine swap either fixed the problem or it didn’t. If it didn’t, you’ve already put in your warranty claim, and they’re obligated to fix it - they don’t get to not fix it and then get out of the obligation via incompetence. For that side of the problem, just drive the car. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, bring it back and make them fix it, and don’t take no for an answer.

You should also be aware that you are not obligated to use THAT dealership’s service department to have warranty work done. If there’s another dealership in town that has a better reputation, you’re free to use them.

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