I purchased a 2006 Chrysler Pacifica in May of 2007 as an “almost used” “certified vehicle” with 11,000 miles from Rairdon Chrysler Jeep of Smokey Point in Arlington, Washington. 14 months later, on July 15th at 5:30 pm. I was on a very busy street when I had to make a turn around into a parking lot in order to get to the corner I needed to turn at to get where I was going. I entered the parking lot at a slow speed and proceeded to turn around in the parking lot to return back to the street I was on but in the opposite direction when I stopped the vehicle at the end of the driveway and waiting for oncoming traffic to pass, then proceeded to make my right turn out of the driveway onto the street when all of the sudden I heard this incredibly loud pop, and then crack and very very loud popping noise and sounded like something under the vehicle fell to the ground, I lost control of the steering and fortunately was going slow enough that I was able to grab the steering wheel hard and recover the steering wheel to get my tires straight, and not hit the vehicle in the lane next to me after swerving towards him, I tried to stop the vehicle but did not have much control to do so, turned the corner and coasted into the driveway of a nearby establishment. I then called my husband frantic over what had just happened and very shook up that I almost hit the car in the next lane but fortunately did not! First thing in the following morning I contacted my local Chrysler dealership in Everett, Washington. Who asked me what had happened, mileage of the vehicle and determined that the vehicle was still under factory warranty and that Chrysler would tow the vehicle to them since they were so close to my home free of charge to me. I contacted Chrysler immediately and did in fact find out that as long as I tow the vehicle to the nearest dealership that the towing fees would be covered. I told the customer service agent that I purchased the vehicle in Arlington and she said that was 30 miles from where I lived and that they would cover the first 5 miles tow but I would have to pay additional fees after that myself for towing so far. So I was not prepared for such a cost had the vehicle towed and had it towed to the local dealership 2 miles from my home. When the tow truck driver arrived he asked me what had happened to the vehicle and I explained it to him, we both looked under the vehicle and noticed that 2 front what appeared to be arm like parts were hanging down towards the ground and that the motor and transmission area were also in a downwards direction, the tow truck driver said that it appeared to him that something on the frame of the vehicle had broken, and asked me if I had been in an accident, which I had not, or ever have been since I purchased the vehicle. He also mentioned that such a thing to be broken on a vehicle had could have been a catastrophic accident for me and I could have been killed if I were going down a major street at street speeds or on the freeway for that matter….At 4:30 that same day the service assistant manager did in fact call me back and tell me that the vehicle cannot be moved because the bolts that hold the back frame of the vehicle had broken so they went ahead and ordered the parts they needed and will contact me when they come in, as they will need to install the bolts first before they move the vehicle. She proceeded to ask me if the vehicle had ever been in an accident to which I replied No, never had, and I had a car fax pulled at the time of purchase to ensure such a thing was not and issue. She said I was lucky that I was not going at a high rate of speed because such a break could have been a catastrophic accident and I could have been killed! Okay so by now I am sick to my stomach because just that morning I had my 8 yr daughter with me in the vehicle and dropped her off at day camp. I have a good friend who is a retired dealership mechanic and he contacted the service assistant mgr. at the dealership where the vehicle was towed to and went over the preliminary findings with her and came back to me and said that he has never heard of such a thing happening to a vehicle before that was NOT involved in a major accident, and that I am defiantly lucky to be alive!! He also told me that for such a thing to happen to a vehicle less than 2 yrs old is unheard of. Well now I am without a vehicle to go to work and to take my daughter to daycare now, what do I do?? So, I contacted the dealership in Arlington where I purchased the vehicle from and spoke to Jeff aLingbloom the assistant sales manager who said he had never heard of anything like that before and said that I was defiantly lucky to be alive. So by now I am terrified to ever drive my vehicle again and have researched the type of problem I have just experienced and now know that such a thing breaking under the vehicle Is horrific, and can cause serious damage to the vehicles other parts and areas, which down the line can cause further breakdowns that will be a great expense for me in the future. I explained how upsetting this was to only have the vehicle for just over a year and such a horrific breakdown has happened. I asked him if they could please tow the vehicle to their dealership since I purchased it there and wanted them to see first hand the vehicle, the state it was in and to check the vehicle as well for any damages now sustained from the frame being in a hanging down position.
He told me that where the vehicle was it was a Chrysler dealership too and not necessary to bring the vehicle to him, but to contact him once the parts came in and let him know the final findings, I expressed that I was now without a vehicle and since I purchased the vehicle from them I would like them please to provide a rental car for me or courtesy car of some sort so I would not have to miss work, loose income and not have a way to get my daughter to daycare. he was pleasant but said that he could not accommodate me as they were not the dealer that I purchased the vehicle from and that I needed to go to the dealership in Arlington and speak with Fred Nolan who is the General manager and let him know what is going on and that they should be able to provide a loaner car to me and have the vehicle towed up to them since that is where I purchased the vehicle from and have them help me and make things right. So with husband and child in tow I proceeded to drive my husband’s car up to Arlington and meet with Fred.
Upon arriving at the dealership I went to the front desk where there were 2 men working on computers at the desk, I asked the man in front of me behind the desk for Fred, he looked at me and continued to type on his computer, so I waited thinking he was busy or something,,, after a few moments he looked up at me again and I made the request to see Fred please, and he said he was Fred. I requested if we could please go somewhere and speak in private, but he proceeded to type on the computer and not pay much attention to me, and said that he was working on something and that I should talk to Jeff instead.
So Jeff Lingbloom is the assistant was sitting next to him and so I proceeded to tell him who I was and what I was in need of and how upset and scared I was now of my vehicle because of the horrific breakdown of the vehicle that occurred. He proceeded to tell me that he understood but they didn’t have the vehicle and could not provide a loaner car to me, I asked that they please contact the dealership where the vehicle is because it was getting to be too much back and forth and passing me off without really helping me and that I need to get to work on Monday, so he told me that they were not going to have the vehicle brought to them as it wasn’t necessary. He then passed me off to a sales man and said that he would help me get into another vehicle, the man he passed me off to was very loud and only had sales on his mind, not really listening to what I wanted, as far as I wanted something comparable to the vehicle I had and the same age and amenities, but I did not want to have to greatly raise my payment either, I realize that I have lost a years worth of depreciation and no problem on that , as I have taken excellent care of the vehicle. The salesman became very belligerent with me because I was not accepting being pressured into taking on a vehicle that I was not interested in and was much heftier cost and payment that what I have now. He proceeded to raise his voice in front of other customers that I am being difficult and then he cannot help me if I don’t accept the vehicle he has. I went back to Fred and asked if we could please speak to him, he won’t not look at me and said there is nothing he really can do as the vehicle was not there and he did not want to have it brought there and that the problem was not his since it was at another dealership. Two other salesmen approached the front counter where Fred continued typing on his computer and would not respond to me professionally or take the time to come and speak with me away from customers so we could speak about the issue privately and professionally. I said to Fred that I purchased the vehicle here and all I am asking is that you have the vehicle brought here and that you make things right with this situation please. I bought a vehicle there in good faith and now 14 months later I am in this terrible situation and just want them to stand by their vehicle. He refused to look at me and said he did not care, it was not his problem and he refuses to see the vehicle or to do anything with me. He continued to tell me with the 2 other sales men who were now laughing and saying to me “ lady we’ve had several cars come back in much worse shape and people in the hospital so you should be lucky!” I was appalled at their laughter of such horrible issues and that they had no respect for the situation at hand or the demise of other people who have purchased from them. So bottom line is the dealership I purchased the vehicle from refuses to repair the vehicle, or stand by their vehicle and buy it back.
The dealership that does in fact have the vehicle called me on Tuesday July 22nd and told me that they did get the back bolts put on the frame of the vehicle and that upon hoisting it up they found that the front bolts of the front end frame and hanging on by a thread and the vehicle is completely un drivable and that the front bolts have to be replaced as well, they also found that the entire frame under the vehicle was replaced at some point because whoever did the replacement forgot to install the spacers required in the front and bolt areas so this is why the bolts broke and the frame came down as it did. Extremely dangerous issue and since the frame has been replaced previously it was not covered under the factory warranty and I would have to pay $854.00 for repairs! This to me is not right for me to own a vehicle for only 14 months and have such a horrific thing default on my vehicle and find out that the entire main frame to the vehicle has been previously replaced and I was never told of such a thing from the dealership when I bought it and now they refuse to purchase the vehicle back or replace the vehicle with a comparable vehicle in age, amenities and size, which is all that I was really asking. I do not expect anything unreasonable. So now I am left without a vehicle to go to work, can stand to loose my job not being to get there, and cannot get my daughter to day care either. I have $13,000. in negative equity in the vehicle to trade it in because of the vehicle only being purchased 14 months ago and i have since had to buy another vehicle no where near comperable in size or amenities or even anything near what i had. I called and left 3 messages for Greg Rairdon who has yet to return my call after 2 weeks now. The dealership's service general manager where my vehicle is currently said he cannot believe that the vehicle was even sold to me and not disclosed to me such a thing as the frame was ever replaced.
Rairdon's Chrysler Jeep of Smokey Point does not stand behind their vehicles they sell and they do not sell sound or safe vehicles for that matter. I am hoping this will help someone else out there researching this car dealer because i highly recommend you do NOT purchase a vehicle from them. This was by far THE WORST dealership experience ethically and customers service wise i have ever experienced!