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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to express my thoughts and experience towards Criswell Gaithersburg.

As maybe some of you are aware I had an Exige shipped from CA within the last couple of weeks and as MD law states I needed to obtain a safety inspection.

Since this establishment sell's Loti I presumed it would be safe to take the Exige here to get it inspected - what a mistake. :eek:

Book the appt and take the car in, upon arrival I specifically ask to watch whilst the inspection is performed to which I am told that this would be fine and I would be called once the car is ready to be inspected, 30 mins proceed and no one has bothered to call me, so I make my own way to the service area.

I see the car is already up and being looked at and I walk over to the individual performing the inspection at the time - from initial words I could tell that he was not fully experienced in the brand.

Anyway inspection complete, car fails on tires and rear drivers side LED that is not working, I have no problem with the LED but stress that the tires only have 200 miles on them and were shaved by the PO for the track but no go - there is not enough tread. He asks if I would like to go ahead and order the tires and LED to which I simply refuse and ask him to wrap it up.

During the time that I am settling the bill I see that the car has been bought back out so I''m ready to leave - upon arriving home I notice that there are oil dirt marks on the center console which were not present before (I am pissed at this time!).

I call the service dept but recieve voicemail and leave a message asking to be called back, I then proceed to email Dan one of the sales guys over there to ask for a contact with whom I can file a complaint - astonishing no reply!

What makes this better is that Dan Drayton is very good at replying to people interested in purchasing cars but must have had an issue replying to my emails.


I would never go these idiots - I have no issue with replacing the LED but tires that are almost new and to top it off to not even wash hands or wear gloves to drive a customers car!

From the time I spent observing my inspection I noticed several so called technicians standing around doing nothing and talking even when there was work visibly present on lifts!


Sorry for the long post, but I had no choice in this case, I am a sole believer in DIYing and will stick to it!

:mad:
 

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I wanted to express my thoughts and experience towards Criswell Gaithersburg.

As maybe some of you are aware I had an Exige shipped from CA within the last couple of weeks and as MD law states I needed to obtain a safety inspection.

Since this establishment sell's Loti I presumed it would be safe to take the Exige here to get it inspected - what a mistake. :eek:

Book the appt and take the car in, upon arrival I specifically ask to watch whilst the inspection is performed to which I am told that this would be fine and I would be called once the car is ready to be inspected, 30 mins proceed and no one has bothered to call me, so I make my own way to the service area.

I see the car is already up and being looked at and I walk over to the individual performing the inspection at the time - from initial words I could tell that he was not fully experienced in the brand.

Anyway inspection complete, car fails on tires and rear drivers side LED that is not working, I have no problem with the LED but stress that the tires only have 200 miles on them and were shaved by the PO for the track but no go - there is not enough tread. He asks if I would like to go ahead and order the tires and LED to which I simply refuse and ask him to wrap it up.

During the time that I am settling the bill I see that the car has been bought back out so I''m ready to leave - upon arriving home I notice that there are oil dirt marks on the center console which were not present before (I am pissed at this time!).

I call the service dept but recieve voicemail and leave a message asking to be called back, I then proceed to email Dan one of the sales guys over there to ask for a contact with whom I can file a complaint - astonishing no reply!

What makes this better is that Dan Drayton is very good at replying to people interested in purchasing cars but must have had an issue replying to my emails.


I would never go these idiots - I have no issue with replacing the LED but tires that are almost new and to top it off to not even wash hands or wear gloves to drive a customers car!

From the time I spent observing my inspection I noticed several so called technicians standing around doing nothing and talking even when there was work visibly present on lifts!


Sorry for the long post, but I had no choice in this case, I am a sole believer in DIYing and will stick to it!

:mad:

My experience with Criswell has been marginal at best. Overall, it boils down to work quality and I would have to agree that there's an issue there.

Good luck on the SC install, I'd love to find out how that goes once you've started. I'm also in the rockville area if you need a hand.
 

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I find it unsettling that you had a bad encounter at Chirswell........I havent heard a bad things from our 'rival' Lotus dealership........but........If you like..... Rothrock will handle you service needs if you choose. Just a thought....... Oh and we recently did an Upfit to SC to a 2008 Elise California......the customer couldnt be happier!!!! Now thats a fact! 8)
 

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I got mine inspected by the local Honda dealer for half the price and they let me watch. No complaints here - just make sure you explain that the car is very low and how to put it on the lift correctly.
 

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My Elise has been there since 6/1/09 getting the front clam replaced and minor paint touch-ups. I hope I have no reason to add negative comments to this post... However I was informed they charge $140 for an oil change!!! I'll do that myself... In Dan's defense, he does work in the Sales Dept not Service... I'm told that BEHE is a local shop worth checking into. Good luck with your ride and I hope you keep us updated on your SC install.

Dave
 

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Dave. Chill.:shrug:
 

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I've had my cars had (some) service done at Criswell from time to time. I can't say I've ever had a great experience, but I've never had one that I'd open a vein over either. I don't know which tech looked at your car. Marcus is the one and only trained Lotus tech there.

I take my car in for oil change from time to time when I just don't feel like crawling underneath of it. I have VERY good reason to suspect that unless the issue is pressed, the guy who changes the oil is not necessarily the Lotus tech but somebody assigned to oil change and other routine maintenance for all their car brands. The current Lotus service writer means well, but she really does not know much about Lotus, nor does she seem to have an interest in them aside from it being her job.

Last time in there, I wanted a few warranty things taken care of, and also asked to be present with the tech. Marcus came into the waiting area and got me once it was on the lift. He was helpful, patient, answered all my questions, including those that had nothing to do with the service at hand.

I will say that a 2006 Exige I had that currently belongs to another Ltalker is one I bought from them used. When I bought it, it had just been MD inspected by them per law, and it also had those strange blue headlights the prior owner had installed. It passed inspection with those.

When I took it back to them to be inspected for the sale to current owner, it failed because of the illegal headlights. I raised a bit of hell with them because those were the lights that got through inspection when THEY sold it to me. They had no replacement headlights in stock, so they did take some out of a car on the lot so I could be on my way with a passing inspection ticket.

Exlondoner...I do sympathize with your predicament...except for the tire part. That's pretty straightforward...doesn't really make any diff. how many miles are on them, or who shaved them by how much. It's a measurement. If the tread doesn't measure out to state specs, they fail. The tech has no reason to believe or disbelieve the customer re the history of a particular set of tires...he just goes by the measurement. If you feel he was in error...you could easily request to view the measurement being done.

There are MD inspection stations that will fudge things...largely based on how well they know you. They risk a lot if they are found to be short cutting inspections, so they rarely do it. On the other hand, as you suspect in your case it is not unheard of for inspection stations to drive sales of tires, exhaust, bulbs of all kinds, filters, brake pads, etc. based on narrowly failed inspections.

Your other issues make sense. I WILL say press the issue about the rear LED (tail light?) being replaced under warranty if still in effect. Those things are seriously, seriously expensive if you have to pay for them.

A former tech of theirs, Albert was TOP NOTCH and he has sinced opened his own shop in Frederick. I've never gone up there, too far for me or he'd be the only one touching my car for non warranty issues. bull30 still uses him a lot and he can get you his contact info.

I will give props to Criswell's body shop...they painted my Prototype Composite CF cup roof Canyon Red, and did an absolutely outstanding job at a remarkable price.

Dave, hopefully you will have similar results.
 

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What part of the inspection requires putting the car on a lift?
 

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What part of the inspection requires putting the car on a lift?
They are required to pull two wheels....one from the front and one rear from the opposite side of the car. They measure thickness of brake pads and rotors for those wheels. They also inspect all suspension components, exhaust, CV joints, U joints if present. They also inspect for rust in certain areas under the car, any fuel and brake lines that are accessible, etc.

One last thought re Criswell and the $140 oil changes and the like.

Are they a fully involved dealer like FVMC or a few others? No, they're not. Doubt they ever will be.

But still, it is in a Lotus owner's best interest to have a dealer within striking distance, if at all possible. For that reason, I will grudgingly pay Criswell a few extra sheckles for some things just so they have a reason to remain a Lotus dealer...because they sure are not selling any cars.
 

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The biggest problem with Criswell is that they lost their Lotus Certified mechanic, Albert Daniels. Albert opened his own shop in Frederick, MD and I've been extremely happy with the service and pricing he's provided. He is certainly knowledgable on our cars. Here's his # 301-662-4028. Give him a call to see if he can take care of you.

Criswell is just another typical car dealer. You take your car to them for WARRANTY issues only and find yourself a good shop for everything else, or learn to do it yourself. You hate to stereotype dealers but they all seem to be about the same with pricing that requires you to tap your equity line :eek: Wait, is there such thing as an equity line anymore?

Give Albert a call...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have made an appt for mon morning to return to Criswell and to show the the new set of tires and replaced rear side reflector.

Goodluck to all that currently have their Loti at Criswell, I sincerely hope that you don't encounter the same issues I did.


I'll let everyone know how the SC install goes too.
 

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It seems there are many complaints about various Lotus sales and service outlets floating about Lotus Talk. I generally don't read them so I don't comment on them.

In general i think that before one complains one should think very hard as to whether the complaint is valid or not, and whether it is worth posting. I also think that complaint posts should identify the posters name as well as the person/company who the complaint is about.

About this specific complaint. It seems there are several issues.

THe LED - maybe could be a complaint about Lotus or the PO but not Criswell. If the car is under warranty then should be replaced by Lotus.

Tires - Agree with prior posts. It is a simple matter of tread depth. THey may still be good for track, but not for road use. Not Criswell's fault. Be mad at PO for not telling you they are too shaved for street use and yourself for not asking.

Salesman not calling you back - Let me get this straight, you're angry at a dealership because a salesman who you did not by a car from did not return a call about a service problem. Huh?

Soiling - this is legit, but hardly worth a flaming post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Kyle, everyone is entitled to there opinion - therefore I will back-up whatever I stated in my opening post.

In regards to the sales person not calling back, it was not a phone call but an email requesting a name. As I stated there very fast on the trigger if it were a car purchase inquiry but in a matter such as this it simply gets ignored.
 

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I like Dan, he was very helpful when i went to buy and even though I did not buy from him I send everyone who asks to him. The only reason I did not buy was because they did not have the one I wanted, although that orange Elise was sooooooo beautiful! Please do not drag the sales guy into your nightmare with the service center. Just go the service center sucked and the tires are your own fault.
 

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1) I agree with Kyle's points as a general matter. Same with lotusforsale.

2) My several experiences at Criswell were mixed, HOWEVER, they had always had a good attitude and tried to squeeze me in wherever they could. I sincerely wouldnt call them idiots...I think they do as well as many dealerships. I've had good prompt service and a couple frustrations. Kind of what I'd expect from other places.

I did take my car there for its first state inspection and it went fine.

3) Regarding the oil change cost. Guys, we all know that $140 is a lot. They can charge what they want. We can do it ourself or go somewhere else. Noone, no warranty, nothing requires us to overpay for a service.

4) I've chosen to take my car to Behe Performance and I've made no efforts to conceal how good I think they are... but they are expensive. Like point 3 above, I see their rate card posted clearly and I choose to pay it.

I'm not trying to disagree with you Ex-L... I just wanted to add my 2 pence since I started taking my car there over 2 years ago.

thanks

See yall at hyperfest!
 

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So, the two issues are not passing you for the tires and dirt on the center console?

Perhaps, they're required to fail any tire with minimum thread -shaved for track use or not. As for the dirt, did you have they clean it up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I want to stress something here - it was not in my immediate attention to ruin the reputation of the sales person in question or anything to that effect, yes I should have perhaps expressed my words with a little more clarity.

I don't have the intention of being fake or beating around the bush but simply wanted to express my thought on the service department.

As for cleaning up the interior, they have not bothered to return my calls - I will be returning there next week and will point it out.
 

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They are required to pull two wheels....one from the front and one rear from the opposite side of the car. They measure thickness of brake pads and rotors for those wheels.
Actually, they don't have to pull the wheels. I've had mine inspected via a small mirror stuck between the spokes of the wheel to view the pad thickness. But other times, they lift the car from the "A" jacking point (one side at a time) and pulled the wheel. Either way works and it doesn't require the use of a lift (which is a pain on the elise as you have to pull the under tray before putting it up on the lift).
 
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