: Cadillac Dealer Wrecked my Escalade



MrSplenda
03-05-12, 11:05 PM
I took my Escalade in for some standard maintenance and got a call not long after that they had backed it into a door. The contact left heavy gougues in the panels just above the trail lights and proceeding down into the tail lights (they are scratched badly). It also ripped my center wiper off and left a nice crease in the same area.

I spoke to one of their managers and arranged to have a full size SUV loaned to me until the repairs were finished at a body shop I approved of and that we had agreed upon. They gave me a 2007 Tahoe (off their lot) that is dirty and smells of cigarette smoke. I tried to exchange it for an Escalade, but they refused and questioned the legality of me having my current Tahoe.

My Escalade is in immaculate condition and doesn't even have a scratch on it; that has all changed.

I asked for the following:

1. Repair my vehicle to factory fresh condition (they could not guarantee this and would not guarantee this)
2. Compensate me for diminished value (Refused and claimed that was absurd).
3. Compensate my expenses while driving their loaner Tahoe (refused and questioned the legality of me having the vehicle)
4. Extend my Smart Care (Free oil changes, tire rotations, for 100,000 miles). (Refused initially, will get back to me).
5. Extend my bumper to bumper warranty for 100,000 miles. (Refused initially, will get back to me).

The service Manager who refused to offer to meet me half way on anything (including their ability to have my vehicle as it was before it was damaged) was very sarcastic. I inquired who would make such decisions of discretion. I asked, "Who owns this dealership?" The manager responded, "Did you read what the sign said on the front of the building?"

So here is where I stand. My truck is at a shop I did not authorize (even though it was agreed where it would be sent). It is going to be ready Thursday and I am required to take it, or leave it. The Service manager refuses to itemize what repairs are being done, how they are being done, and provide me with a bill of receipt. If the repairs do not satisfy me, "that is my problem" as the Service Manager said. I exclaimed, "It will be your problem if you do not fix my car to my liking, I will keep the Tahoe until it is done right, and you will find yourself in a civil suit."

Cadillac Customer Care has been useless. I have called and called! The last update I got from Cadillac Customer Care was from a issue I had with the steering column a year ago! They aren't even investigating my smashed Escalade! Customer Care will not elevate my case to the "District Specialist" level that I need. Cadillac has minimized the accident at every step of the way and they are not assisting me with this extremely difficult dealership.

I have few options, but they are strong moves nonetheless.

1. Retain counsel and take civil action against the dealership (I already tried filing a police report, but it was on private property)
2. Take a claim out against my insurance coverage
3. Contact the BBB and local media outlets

Has anyone ever experienced this at the dealership before?

MrHolland
03-05-12, 11:31 PM
WOW, Im speechless!! Will be good to hear how this turns out and who the dealership is. Goodluck!!

thebigpunn
03-05-12, 11:44 PM
Slow down! Accidents happen....thats why they are called....accidents! They offered to repair it at a shop of your choice at no cost to you and gave you a comparable loaner. At least they went that far! I know dealers that would of not said anything and hope you dont notice after driving off the lot! Once you agree to have them repair it....why hire a lawyer? It was a tailgate why extend your warranty? What your asking for is way above what most states honor anyway in a crash in the road. I think what you got now is reasonable.

MrSplenda
03-06-12, 12:47 AM
Slow down! Accidents happen....thats why they are called....accidents! They offered to repair it at a shop of your choice at no cost to you and gave you a comparable loaner. At least they went that far! I know dealers that would of not said anything and hope you dont notice after driving off the lot! Once you agree to have them repair it....why hire a lawyer? It was a tailgate why extend your warranty? What your asking for is way above what most states honor anyway in a crash in the road. I think what you got now is reasonable.

We agreed to take it to one body shop, but I came to find out they took it to another one that was never mentioned, nor agreed upon! They are keeping the repairs off the books and are not claiming insurance.

I have to accept the repairs whether they meet my satisfaction, or not. That is why I would get a lawyer. Diminished value is real and applicable in my state (most states for that matter). Did I mention the Service Manager implied the accident was my fault, because I have tinted windows?

Legal fees, rental cars, and time lost are much more costing than what I asked for. Suppose I do lose the lawsuit (if I choose to go that way), the dealership still stands to lose enormously from the negative PR they will receive. Reasonable is not asking a customer who's car you just smashed "if they can read the sign outside the building."

Cadillac are you listening?

paperchase4life
03-06-12, 03:09 AM
Contact YOUR insurance ASAP. You should have called your insurance in front of them. They do not want to deal with your insurance company cause they will end up paying big time... here's why..

You can go rent any car you want and have your insurance pay for it. They will turn around and bill the dealer. You can also have your car fixed to your standards anywhere, have your insurance pay for it and they will get the money from the dealer.

All those little extras.. you're not gonna get. Take your business else where and bad mouth them every chance you get.

So, since it's in the shop, you're a little behind the 8 ball. When it's ready, check it out..take your time. Anything you don't like, call your agent before you take delivery. Have him come down to the shop and document everything . If he agrees, sit back and watch the insurance company lawyers get things done.

My mom had a similar situation with her caddy.. the spilled that windshield crack repair stuff all over her hood. They gave her the same treatment you got.. "here's what we will do..take it or leave it" she got on the phone with her agent and the butt kissing started. They were trying hard to get her to hang up. She ended up taking a cash settlement for 6 grand (new paint job)... insurance paid her and went after the dealer. She didn't even vae to get it repaired.. it all came off after a couple of car washes..

Playdrv4me
03-06-12, 05:23 AM
Time to make the rounds on twitter, facebook, Google+ and any other public venue you can find (including this forum). Hell take it to the local news if you have to. Regardless of GM's stance, the dealership principal will quickly tire of this barrage of public scrutiny. Jesda literally bought picket signs from a local sign store, through them on 2x4s, got a permit from the city and stood outside a Dodge dealer long enough that they went and got him and talked to him to see how they could rectify the situation he experienced.

Granted, it IS an accident so keep your requests reasonable. Also, involving insurance may seem like a good idea from the start, but keep in mind any time they are involved that is almost an AUTOMATIC ding on your Carfax for an "accident", which will only further reduce your resale value. If all else fails, it may be worth a shot.

hcvone
03-06-12, 06:35 AM
Time to make the rounds on twitter, facebook, Google+ and any other public venue you can find (including this forum). Hell take it to the local news if you have to. Regardless of GM's stance, the dealership principal will quickly tire of this barrage of public scrutiny. Jesda literally bought picket signs from a local sign store, through them on 2x4s, got a permit from the city and stood outside a Dodge dealer long enough that they went and got him and talked to him to see how they could rectify the situation he experienced.

Granted, it IS an accident so keep your requests reasonable. Also, involving insurance may seem like a good idea from the start, but keep in mind any time they are involved that is almost an AUTOMATIC ding on your Carfax for an "accident", which will only further reduce your resale value. If all else fails, it may be worth a shot.

I never had anything like this happen, but my dealers know I am so anal that they let me pull my cars/trucks in and out of the service area. As said be reasonable with your requests and they should work with you, if not get a lawyer, if the accident is not of Carfax there is no valve issues

cosorio
03-06-12, 01:05 PM
Depending on your state, but here in CA you have the right to take the car to whichever shop you please. If they forced a shop on you against your will, you might have a case against them. As far as the extras you want, its not going to happen. Diminished value is part of normal driving/ownership hazard. When someone rear ends you and you take your car to the shop you choose, your car gets fixed correctly and properly, but you don't get any extra money to pay for your car's diminished value due to the accident.

MrSplenda
03-06-12, 01:10 PM
My insurance was the first person I called after I was notified of the incident. They have been updated along the way with pictures just prior to the accident and following the damage. They have my back and are willing to step in if I am not satisfied.

I tried calling Cadillac customer care again. They are not following up with me and are not calling me back. Apparently they do not care when a dealer wrecks a customer's car.

I am working towards retaining counsel today. The attorney is calling me back with options. I know dealers are bound by certain regulations per GM. I need GM web access, but I can get that through a discovery motion request.

I will know by end of day what path I will take. It all depends on Cadillac and the dealer.

Cadillac Cust Svc
03-06-12, 02:08 PM
MrSplenda, I have just caught up on this thread and wanted to say how sorry I was to read that you've been experiencing this. Were you able to make initial contact with an agent at Cadillac Customer Care? If you have a pre-existing case number, I would be happy to look into it for you and report back. Feel free to send me a private message anytime (or let me know your email if you do not have PM capabilities) with your name/VIN/ dealership, and please keep us all updated on your situation.

Katie
Cadillac Customer Service

krieghoff
03-06-12, 04:05 PM
If I owned a Cadillac dealership with an unhappy customer and my service manger to them the name of the owner was outside on the sign, I would fire him on the spot!!

MrSplenda
03-06-12, 06:14 PM
If I owned a Cadillac dealership with an unhappy customer and my service manger to them the name of the owner was outside on the sign, I would fire him on the spot!!

That's not even the start of it. The highest customer care GM offers cannot assist me, because this is a "dealership" issue. They have no power to assist my situation publicly. However GM has an internal fine system for thief dealers.
They are subject to penalty of monetary value that range from their trade terms to outright fines. I found this information out via people who work at GM (Friends). These fines are proprietary and will not be publicized if a fine comes down. They can be devastating when handed down. I am getting more information on this and will post it later. I believe my dealer might be eligible for X fine.

I got the name of my District After Sales Manager for my area. She is higher than GM Customer Care. I have not gotten her contact info, because "she does not deal with the customer." My friends at GM are slightly apprehensive to give me that information.

The dealer got back to me though. The service manager, who questioned my reading ability, spoke with the owner of the dealership. They agreed to "possibly" discuss diminished value if applicable. Terms were at thief discretion. And would be decided at some future time. They will not reimburse for gas, or offer any further terms on my warranty.

So where do I stand? GM will not step in and address the damage to my truck, or service I have been given. I need to retain counsel for the diminished value and to set terms. GM notified me that I am likely to receive a new audience from thief legal department (possibly). I will likely file a complaint with the BBB even though my dealer does not belong to it. I will likely inform the local media as well. I wouldn't want this treatment to happen to anyone else fter all.

Updates to come. I meet with my attorney tomorrow morning.

dkozloski
03-06-12, 06:41 PM
The local dealer did some work on a customer's car. The mech took it for a test drive and totaled it. When the customer came after his car the dealer told him what happened but that everything was going to be okay because even though the customer had an upside down car loan they had payed the whole thing off including the gap. The customer says that's great but now I don't have a car. After a lot of haggling the dealer gave him a used car off their lot that blew up in less than a week. After more haggling that now included lawyers the dealer searched country wide and located a car that was just like the original car including the mileage and gave it to him.

Compared to that you're looking great.

Caddie Shak
03-06-12, 06:51 PM
Too many people take a simple accident or error and try to turn it into winning the lottery. Try not to be one of those people.

Yes they need to fix the damage professionally, thoroughly and promptly, but IMHO you should try to approach this a bit more objectively. It's just an SUV; it's not like your son/daughter was molested by the janitor at school.

"Diminished value"...absolutely absurd. Extended warranty? Free maintenance? Are you kidding, you actually had the nerve to ask for those things, and admit it here?

krieghoff
03-06-12, 06:51 PM
Nobody would be more pissed than me! But I think you went overboard on what you were asking they to give you.

It might have been earier to ask them to just give you the dealship!

Remember it was an accident! I am sure they didn't say "Hey let's run his Cadillac into something!"

The lawyer will help but only to himself some money!

MrSplenda
03-06-12, 06:59 PM
The local dealer did some work on a customer's car. The mech took it for a test drive and totaled it. When the customer came after his car the dealer told him what happened but that everything was going to be okay because even though the customer had an upside down car loan they had payed the whole thing off including the gap. The customer says that's great but now I don't have a car. After a lot of haggling the dealer gave him a used car off their lot that blew up in less than a week. After more haggling that now included lawyers the dealer searched country wide and located a car that was just like the original car including the mileage and gave it to him.

Compared to that you're looking great.

I get a lot of comparisons.

Did I mention the service manager blamed me for the accident, because of my tinted windows? My dealer accepts liability, but belittles me at every turn. They even accused me of caring too much, and exclaimed that wrecking my car wasn't a big deal.

Caddie Shak
03-06-12, 07:10 PM
Agreed, any additional money or free service you get by hiring an attorney will just end up in the attorney's bank account. You won't come out ahead. And after this is all over, I certainly wouldn't expect that dealership or any other Cadillac dealerships in your area to EVER give you any kind of discount on parts, service, or a new vehicle. They'll need to make every dime they can to offset any future "incidents" with your vehicles.

----------


They even accused me of caring too much, and exclaimed that wrecking my car wasn't a big deal.

Saying it's not a big deal isn't accurate, but neither is saying they "wrecked" the car. Everybody needs to calm down a bit.

luxurylife33
03-06-12, 11:23 PM
Honestly you have every right to be upset. I cant believe they decide where the damage will get fixed. That should be your decision. And to not give you an itemized list of what needs to be fixed, thats crazy. Somethings fishy.

MrSplenda
03-07-12, 11:33 AM
Honestly you have every right to be upset. I cant believe they decide where the damage will get fixed. That should be your decision. And to not give you an itemized list of what needs to be fixed, thats crazy. Somethings fishy.

It is crazy and the reality of my dealership situation.

I found someone in my local media that is interested in my experience. Apparently, I am not the only one that believes it is unbecoming of a Cadillac Service Manager to question someone's ability to read, or blames the owner for an accident they caused.

Updates to come.

Caddie Shak
03-07-12, 12:10 PM
Perhaps the Service Manager's attitude has a lot to do with the attitude of the customer in this situation, but this media person will probably ignore that aspect in the name of sensationalist "investigative journalism".

spywithin
03-07-12, 12:20 PM
Word around town is that it didn't happen as McCurley has alleged. Keep digging - you're onto a cover-up!

MrSplenda
03-07-12, 12:58 PM
Perhaps the Service Manager's attitude has a lot to do with the attitude of the customer in this situation, but this media person will probably ignore that aspect in the name of sensationalist "investigative journalism".

No. I have been professional, but pointed during this whole situation.

The service manager has a noted ego and attitude problem around town and from the dealerships own employees.

This is not gotcha journalism if my sources work at this dealership, right?

How do you think I got GM web access?

MrSplenda
03-08-12, 11:06 AM
Word around town is that it didn't happen as McCurley has alleged. Keep digging - you're onto a cover-up!

Thank you for your support. Looks like my story has gained traction on Facebook and Twitter. I can also submit for a demonstration permit with the city for only $15, but I am not sure your boss would let you participate?

Updates to come.

MrSplenda
03-09-12, 12:19 PM
Update:

I received an email from this morning from Cadillac Customer Care. "Cadillac does not have the ability to speak with me concerning my vehicle, because I have retained legal counsel." However, I am sincerely disappointed that I had to escalate the situation to this point. I would also remind everyone this is not a change from their original position, "this is a dealership issue. We will not get involved." I appreciate their prompt follow up and concern though.

The service manager from my dealer spoke to me yesterday in regards to my vehicle. His demeanor was totally different from the previous two instances I had spoke with him. He was not condescending, or curt with me (an appreciated change) He informed me my rear glass was going to be replaced and inquired as to where I would like it tinted. I appreciated his inquiry. I was not told I was on speaker phone, but it was obvious that I was. I speculate more than one person was in the office he called me from due to the amount of attention this dealership has been given.

This dealership has received a significant amount of inquiry from high levels of GM. From my sources I have at the dealership it has become something of concern. Their walls are paper thin thanks to some very nice people that have helped me.

GM has very interesting dealership relationships. They are highly protective of these "terms" and I do not blame them. Naturally these terms deal with various compliances that deal with B2B trading terms, audit inquires and intellectual property as it pertains to the "customer experience." You cannot find this stuff on the Internet, but dependent on someone's level (GM portal/web access/Intranet), you can gleam a broad understanding of these. Bottom line the dealerships do not want you to know about this hidden relationship, because it can hurt them a great deal.

My car is expected to be ready for me to pick up today. I look forward to the opportunity.

Updates to come.

emseedee
03-09-12, 01:48 PM
This reminds me of something that happened to me a long time ago and completely unrelated. I was driving down a 2 lane, neighborhood road lined with cars on both sides. Jeep pulls out right in front of me . I slam on my brakes beofre I broadside her, pissed as hell, yelled inside my car and give her a look to kill. She completes her turn, rolls down her window and says very upset "I'M SORRY, IT'S NOT LIKE I MEANT TO PULL OUT IN FRONT OF YOU!" She sped off & I knew she was going to have a bad day ahead of her. I kind of wish I could have reacted totally oppsite from my knee-jerk reaction and rolled down my window and said "Are you OK? I know you must not have seen me. Try and have a better day!" I keep that expeience in my back pocket. This kind of sounds the same. Both parties really upset about the accident. Both parties overreacting. I believe it should have gotten done where you wanted it done. I also believe (as do several states) in diminished value. Sounds like they are trying to get it done off the books so it probably would not affect value. A calmer, reasonable reaction, although almost humanly impossible, would probably have served you better. I agree with the "trying to cash in" comment too. I hope that I would have given them the benefit of the doubt, let them fix it as they think they can, then bring in the lawyer if needed. (Afterall, if your goal is to "punish" the dealer, then make them pay for it twice.)