: St. Claire Cadillac San Jose, CA - Worst Dealership and Service EVER!!!

Kurlee Daddee
08-20-10, 01:30 PM
This thread is not just a rant. All facts are true and I am still shocked all this happened at a CADILLAC dealership. A high-end product of GM.

So the story starts. I am leaving parking lot at a shopping center near my house when my clutch pedal in my CTS-V goes to the floor, and does not come back up by itself. I had to have my step-son and some innocent bystander push my car into an empty space. Right away I thought it was the slave cylinder that failed. But wasn't exactly sure. I called a tow truck to get my car home.

After I had gotten the car home I checked the fluid and it had some particulates in it, but overall I didn't think it looked too bad. I pumped the pedal about 50-75 times and got the pedal to work normally again. I made an attempt to get appointment with St. Claire Cadillac in San Jose, California, to get a clutch fluid change/flush. At first I could not get ANYONE to answer the phone there. I tried 5 times in 2 days (no exaggeration) until I finally got someone to answer (maybe it was fate trying to tell me to stay away?).

I drove my car about 3 miles to St. Claire Cadillac and pulled up to the Service Counter. The service advisor came out and asked my name and the service I wanted. I told her I wanted a clutch fluid flush/replacement. She didnít know what that was and had to ask someone else (hint # 2). The other service writer had no idea how to write up the ticket, so they decided to charge the same amount as a brake fluid flush/replacement. I agreed and left my car there for the day.

4 hours later I got a call that says the clutch fluid flush/replacement had been completed but they couldnít get the clutch pedal to come back up. So they instantly diagnosed a slave cylinder replacement. Since I had an aftermarket warranty, I gave them the name and account number of my warranty and had them speak to each other.

A few days later I got a phone call from the service writer and was told that the warranty company and St. Claire Cadillac could not come to an agreement on the hourly charge of labor. My warranty company would only pay $115 an hour on labor, but St. Claire Cadillac wanted to charge $150 an hour labor (paying for excellence?). I would have to pay the difference ($35 an hour) on 5 hours of labor.

My warranty company allowed me to get a rental car up to 5 days for a maximum cost of $35 a day. The same amount as the difference in labor cost. I asked St. Claire Cadillac if they could use the $35 a day on the rental car for the amount of each hour of labor on the slave cylinder replacement. They said they couldnít do anything about it even though it would have worked out the same (irritated but felt like I had my hands tied behind my back).

So I got a 2010 Cadillac SRX as my rental car. Nice ride, but I wanted my CTS-V back as soon possible.

About a week later, the warranty companiesí adjuster arrived at St. Claire Cadillac and looked at the failed slave cylinder and determined it was the cause of the clutch pedal issue. They agreed to pay for the replacement.

Since they had the transmission dropped, they took a look at my clutch assembly and determined it should be replaced. Since the clutch assembly is a usable item (such as a set of brake pads) I would have to pay for the full cost of the replacement parts. I wanted to upgrade the clutch assembly with an aftermarket LS7 model. They would not allow me to purchase my own clutch assembly and would not install it or warranty it. After arguing the point, I agreed to have them replace the clutch assembly with a stock setup.

So St. Claire Cadillac ordered the parts, and agreed to pay for my rental car for the duration of the repair. I got a phone call about 4 days into the repair. They had ordered the wrong flywheel and had to get another one shipped from Detroit. 3 days after that I get a call saying everything is together, but the fluid was so bad, they now had to replace the master cylinder as well. So another 3 days of waiting they finally told me I could come and get my car. A clutch replacement took 2 weeks to complete.

I drove my rental car back and was excited to get my car back. I went an paid for the service and waited outside the Service area for my car. I waited for about 10 minutes when the Service Writer comes out to tell me they had to jump start my car to get it started (What?). She told me that someone had left the ignition on and had discharged the battery. She told me to drive it around for a while to recharge the batter (this is coming from a Cadillac dealership, not a Ma and Pa shop around the corner.)

Finally they drove my car out and I was all smiles. Nicely washed I look at my car from the front fender to the back on the drivers side until I saw, to my dismay, a crease in my rear fender and quarter panel. My smile turned into a frown and I became VERY angry. I asked for the Service Writer to come out and showed her the damage of my car. She started to apologize repeatedly and told me she would have the body damage taken car of. I was really mad, and looked around the whole car for other damage. I couldnít believe a Cadillac dealership would try and hide something like that. I got my paperwork and began to drive the car to charge the battery.

I got no more than a block from the dealership and I start to see things that make me furious. On my drivers side A-pillar, I had greasy finger prints from when the clutch work was being done. On my passenger seat, I had oily hand prints on my cream colored velour insert (Did they not use seat covers or gloves?)

My shifter knob now turns side to side and is no longer solidly attached to the shfter. I canít believe my car is ruined. It seemed as if they treated my car like it was a shop car and beat it to death.

I drove the car around for a half hour as directed to get the battery charged. I got home and turned off the ignition. I immediately turned the ignition back on to see if the battery had been recharged. The starter reluctantly turned the motor over, but the engine started.

I stormed into the house and immediately called the Service Manager. I told him the story of my fiasco, and the damage my car had endured. He apologized profusely, and asked me to come in the next day so he could talk with me and get my car taken car of the right way.

A few hours later, I went out to my car on the way to the gym. I clicked my key fob to open up the trunk and nothing happened. I clicked the key fob to open the doors and nothing happened. By now I am FURIOUS!!!! I paid nearly $2000 to have my car repaired and I received it damaged and now I canít even use my car now since the battery is dead.

The next day I drove my truck to work (luckily this whole time I have another vehicle) and then to St. Claire Cadillac. I went into the Service Managers office and once again told him all of what happened to my car when it was at St. Claire Cadillac for service. He asked me where my car was. I told him it is at home with a dead battery that St. Claire Cadillac killed. He offered to send a tow truck to my home to pick up the car and offers to get all of my cars damages taken care of. I thank him, but told him I am going to the body shop of my choice to get an estimate. (I am aware of how dealerships and body shops are affiliated for quick turn around work.) He looks at me with a smurk and agrees.

I drove home and met the tow truck driver so he could tow my car back to St. Claire Cadillac. I was assured that the Service Manager and the original Service Writer that originally wrote up my car would be waiting for the car to be dropped so they could see the damages first hand.

The next day I got a call from the Service Manger stating that they were going to replace the batter (since they killed it), do a full detail on the interior (which they put oily hand and fingerprints on) and replace the entire shifter assembly (since the technician broke the pin on the handle and it required a whole new assembly.) Again I had to wait 4 days to get my car back.

I get a call on the 4th day from the Service Manager telling me my car was repaired and I am able to pick it up. They sent a courtesy van to pick me up which was nice. Upon receiving the car, I notice they gave the entire interior a detail which was unexpected. I only asked them to repair the damage of the oily fingerprints/handprints. Upon sitting in the car, I notice that they did not get rid of the oily fingerprints on the A-pillar. I also previously overlooked the fact that technician working on the car had not used a fender cover and had scratched the drives side front fender when doing the clutch repairs.I shook my head and bit my tongue because I didnít want to deal with St. Claire Cadillac anymore. And I didnít want to be accused of nit-picking every little detail I found. To my amazement, I noticed a new shifter knob and trim ring on the new shifter assembly. And to my surprise, the shifter was solid and shifted much easier than my previous shifter assembly. They had also replaced my battery which I was happy about.

But the headache is not over yet. I now had to take time out of my busy schedule to get several estimates for body work to repair the damage St. Claire Cadillac inflicted on my car. I spent 2 afternoons of my own time bringing my car to 3 body shops (California State law only requires the estimate of 1 shop of the owners choice) for estimates.

Once I had the 3 estimates in my hand, I brought them to the Service Manager and the first work out of his mouth was, ďLet me get my guy to give me an estimate as well.Ē I told him that was okay, but no matter what, I am bringing my car to the body shop of my choice. Which he got noticeably irritated with. He had a guy on site that went out to my car and did an estimate, but he couldnít run the numbers until he went back to his shop to use the software. I told the Service Manager when he returned that I was nice enough to go and get 3 estimates, and I will be choosing the cheapest one to work with him. He gave me another smirk. I told him if your estimate is lower than my lowest estimate of the 3 I had received, you can deal with my insurance then. He told me we didnít have to go that route. He told me he would have to get the okay from GM and would call me in the next few days.

A week later the Service Manager gave me a call and told me he got the okay to pay for the damages. I requested a rental car and he refused. I told him it wasnít my fault my car was damaged, it was St. Claire Cadillacís fault and they should reimburse me with a rental car while I wait for my car to be repaired. He told me that it is against Sonicís (the owner of the dealership) policy to give a rental car for any non-dealership repair work. Which I thought was B.S. He told me he was going to cut me a check for the estimated damages. I got angry and just told him to call me when the check was ready

Another week passed and I called the Service Manager about the check. He said it would be done in 2 days which would be a Thursday. I was busy that Thursday and didnít hear form him. I called him on Friday and was told he will be gone on vacation for 2 weeks. I was FURIOUS once again, and asked to speak to the acting Service Manager. I left a voicemail on her voicemail about my check and didnít receive a call back until the next Tuesday.

I was contacted by the NEW Service Manager, as he stated. He told me the check would be ready again on Thursday. He wanted to know what body shop he would send the money to. I told him to give the check to me and I would take it to the body shop of my choice. He asked me what my mailing address was and I told him that I will come and pick it up personally (so it wouldnít mysteriously get lost in the mail.)

That Thursday I got a call around 4:30pm from the New Service Manager letting me know that my check was ready to come and pick up. I told him I would be there in 10 minutes. I got there and the New Service Manager was no where to be found. Another Service Writer had to try and look for him, then ask me why I was there to see him. I told him I was there to pick up a check. Then after going through paperwork on the Service Managers desk, he finally found my paperwork. I signed paperwork stating I picked up my check and that is the last time I EVER go to St. Claire Cadillac.

Bringing my car to a Cadillac Dealership, I expect high end service from a high end GM dealership. Itís a Cadillac. Not a Yugo. When I receive my car back from service, I expect to get it back in the same if not better condition. Not in a damaged state as I had found my car in. If I had not found the body damage and drove away, would St. Claire Cadillac had fessed up as being the responsible ones for creating the damage. Highly unlikely. And dealing with a Service Manager who thinks I am trying to pull one over on him wasnít the greatest experience I have ever had. I will never go to St. Claire Cadillac again and I will advise everyone I know or come in contact with that has a Cadillac to never go there as well. Worst service and experience I have ever had.