The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This is interesting reading but a little confusing. Stick with it and in the end it should be clear.

My letter to Mpls Lotus asking only for a refund on the ECU dump: 3/17/08


John Huser
I am requesting a refund on repair order #jacs156659. Although I do appreciate the effort to get your printer working I feel as a Lotus Dealer you should have that operational at all times. The data I was seeking was erased several weeks earlier when your technician reflashed my computer system. That was on repair order #jacs155918. I am very disturbed that this data was not saved prior to reflashing the ecu but am not surprised because it seems like Mr. Williamson barely knows how to download the data. When I was in for the data dump and saw that the data was incomplete and asked Mr. Williamson why the data was incomplete, his response was he did not know, maybe it gets erased when you disconnect the battery for an extended period. This is totally false and I think as a certified Lotus technician he should have known that the data was lost due to the reflash. The data I paid for was information on the car for my drive home from your dealership on 2/27/05 and my return to your dealership on 3/14/08.This information is useless to me or anyone else.
The person that was interested in purchasing my car subject to seeing the data has passed on my car. Hunting Ridge Motors, the dealer in his home area can’t understand why the data was erased prior to saving it for me. I also cannot understand.
Upon leaving your dealership it was like salt was poured on my wound when my car was brought up to me freshly washed and dripping wet. I almost lost it right there. I instructed the driver upon entering your dealership to not wash my car and he told me that he had passed this information on to Mr. Palmer. This car has only been hand washed as directed by Lotus since I brought it home from your dealership on 3/29/05. The Starshield is lifting on a few of the edges and I suspect this may have something to do with your wash. On Page 95 of my Lotus Elise Manual it states, “use of automatic car washes will invalidate the terms of the limited warranty.”
I feel I am being fair with my request and I feel you should agree with me. If this is not the case call me at 651 470 3037 and we can discuss this situation further.



Dave Kennedy




The return phone call from Mr. Huser was interesting. At the end of our conversation when it was apparent that I was not going to get my $120.00 back I asked Mr. Huser if it was not worth $120.00 to make me go away and his response was that he believed I was going away anyway. If he reads this I want him to know how wrong he was!












Read these letters closely and the situation will unfold. Am I crazy or do you believe I have been mistreated?

From: Dave Simkin
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 2:04 AM
To: Sandra Mothershed
Cc: Warranty email
Subject: RE: Minneapolis customer

Sandra:
I spoke with Paul Palin at Downtown Lotus and he sent me the repair orders for the vehicle in question. I have attached the repair orders along with a copy of the bulletin for the re-flash of the ECM. Apparently the customer requested a download from the dealer and they told him correctly that it would not be covered under warranty and he would have to pay for it. He declined the download and printout at that time; (I have attached the bulletin which does not instruct to do a download prior to doing the re-flash). He also asked for any open bulletins and campaigns to be performed at this time, which they were. One of the campaigns performed was the re-flash which unfortunately deletes prior history. The only concern with the transmission was difficulty shifting into 5th gear (and no mention of a noise) and the dealer was unable to duplicate the concern. This dealer visit was on February 25th. The customer then returned to the dealership on March 14th and agreed to pay for a printout. On the repair order for the March visit it is noted that the customer was waiting and not to wash the car. The fact that the Star Shield is peeling is a matter to be taken up with Star Shield as they cover the warranty on that, not us. From a warranty standpoint the dealer did nothing wrong, from a customer service standpoint they could have handled it a bit different and I will talk to them about that but unfortunately this does not change the fact that the customer did not get a full print out.

Dave


David J. Simkin
Field Service Engineer
Lotus Cars USA, Inc.

Here is my response:


Sandra,
Following is a copy of my response to Mr. Simkins e mail.


Dave,

Some of the information you have received from Downtown Lotus is
not true.
When I declined to pay for an ecu dump on my first visit, I was never
told that this is my last chance to collect the data. I was told they
could perform the ecu dump but did not have the capability to print it.
They would be glad to charge me $120.00 for the ecu dump but could not
and would not provide me with a printout. I was the one who initially
requested the ecu dump and had no knowledge that if they needed to
reflash the computer we would lose all of the data. I declined the ecu
dump at that time because of the cost and I could not get a copy of this
information. I would have been paying $120.00 for information that was
apparently sent to a black hole somewhere. That made no sense to me at
all. There was no mention of a last chance to get this data. They should
have let me know prior to erasing this data. How am I supposed to know
this information? You mention that it states in the bulletin tha t
there will not be a download prior to a reflash. I see nowhere in this
bulletin that there will not be a download and the history will be
erased. If it is there and I am missing it, will you tell me when this
bulletin was mailed to me, because I never received it? It was later
after the first visit and several phone calls that I was able to enlist
the help of Ralph Essman(sales) who brought the situation to the attention of
Mike Jensen(General Manager) . Apparently Mike was able to convince the
service department to spend the money and get the printer fixed. I then
arranged to have the data dump. It took four hours of waiting for them to
successfully retrieve 50 minutes of data from my car. I had the car sold
subject to seeing this data and due to the fact your dealer erased the
data without telling me the sale has fallen through.

I have many other issues with Downtown Lotus. They have a
complete lack of knowledge about the Lotus Elise. When I brought the car
in for service they had no idea there was an a/c campaign or an issue
with the headlight embellisher ring. My buyer tried to talk them into
replacing the headlight embellisher ring and was told they knew nothing
about this. He contacted Hunting Ridge Motors in his home area and was
told by them not to worry about it that they would take care of it when
he got the car home even if it was a few days out of warranty.(now that
is customer service). Also when I brought the car in for them to perform
the updates and warranty repairs why was I quoted $504.00 for inspection
time on the warranty repairs? When I questioned this I was told Lotus
will pay for repairs but will not pay for time in diagnosing problems.
Of the $504.00 only $120.00 was for the ecu dump. So they were trying to
charge me $384.00 on the repair order and also charge you for the warra
nty repair. When I did get my data dump with about 50 minutes of history
on it (From their dealership to my home and back again) I questioned the
technician, Mr. Williamson, on why the data was gone and his response
was that he did not know, maybe it is erased when you disconnect the
battery for an extended time.
This sounds like a certified technician that may have slept through the
certification process.

Initially I was told the printer that is needed for the data dump
was broken and I was told that they had no way of retrieving the
information for me. Later, after Mr .Jensen had spoken to the service
department, I was told that they would attempt to fix the printer but
since it would be used only for me, they were hesitant to to invest
money in the printer but they would. I find this hard to understand
since a data dump is required for every Elise at a thousand miles.
This was for my second visit. Am I the only owner who will request this
info? If the information is not required to be printed, how does Lotus
receive the thousand mile information that they require? If you have the
information in a computer at Lotus headquarters, couldn't I have access
to this information too?
In 2005 when I had my first one thousand mile data dump (repair order
number JACS 111881) I was told minutes after the download that the
information was already sent to Lotus and I could not have a copy o f it
. I found this suspicious at the time and I question whether it was
printed. I have a copy of the the 1000 mile checklist and they had
checked that they had printed a "Lotus Scan Engine History Report and
return to Lotus". It says it was printed and yet I was denied a copy.

Downtown Lotus erased the history of my car without ever telling me
this was going to be done and without asking me if I would then like a
ucu dump prior to performing the reflash. There are definitely damages
here. The amounts are yet to be determined. As far as the car wash, it
states on page 95 of my owners
manual that using an automatic car wash invalidates the warranty. As
for the
problem with the Starshield I suspect that Starshield is going to say
that the lifting of their material is due to the automatic wash and blow
dryer. As far as charging both me and Lotus for warranty repairs, there
is no logical explanation for that other than greed. There are many
other issues that I could bring up but I hope to not go there.

I request a meeting with Lotus Cars USA, Downtown Lotus, and
myself to discuss these issues. I am a very reasonable person and am
very willing to discuss a remedy to this dilemma. If you or Downtown
Lotus are unwilling to arrange this I am left with no choice and will
fully pursue this matter in another venue.

Dave Kennedy


Their response:

Mr. Kennedy:

Are there any limited warranty issues you need to discuss with Lotus
Cars USA? It appears that all service bulletins applicable to your car
have been performed and your other concerns have been addressed. The
ecu data print, while good supplementary information, is but one
indication of how a car has been driven and treated. Other more
substantial indicators would include maintenance history, tire and brake
wear, general appearance, and of course the test drive. We will review
the printout information from time to time on a specific car when
presented with a specific circumstance, but we also do not always have
this information to go by and must rely on the other indicators I have
mentioned.

Unfortunately the history is erased with any reflash. At first glance
of your warranty history I notice that it is a 3 year old car with a bit
over 9,000 miles. If all other indicators mentioned were satisfactory I
would say this was a very well treated car and I would see little need
for a printout prior to sale. Again, it may be good supplementary
information in support of the other factors but if your other factors
are solid it would not or should not interfere with the sale of the car.
The fact is that thousands of Elise's have had reflashes over the past
several years. The engine history is not designed or promoted as a sales
tool, but an internal working document of the vehicle's performance over
a period of time. There were no issues of concern with your vehicle's
performance over a period of time, therefore no reason for us to request
a download of this data. Unfortunately your request to the dealer for
the printout and to have any applicable service bulletins carried out
overlapped.

You say that you would like to discuss a "remedy to this dilemma" and in
another email I see that you indicate you have been damaged financially.
If the Starshield is your concern, please let me know if Starshield
denies warranty coverage based upon the car going through the dealer's
automatic car wash; the dealers' wash is not high pressure and the
reason for the paragraph in the handbook is for paint and the soft top.
Starshield has no such restriction in their warranty; they do, however,
state to never use a pressure washer, which does not apply in this case.
If you are saying that you were damaged because the car did not sell to
the individual you were negotiating with due to the lack of a printout,
I'm not sure how this would involve Lotus Cars USA. While the printout
would help to avoid any future warranty restriction issues due to over
revs or standing starts, the lack of a printout would do the same thing,
if the car were still under the 3/36 limited warranty.

Please let me know if I can answer any other questions.



Best regards,

Rick MacLeish
Director, Service and Parts Operations
Lotus Cars USA, Inc.
(770) 476-6552



Now, what do you all think of this situation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Good letters from you.

Good letter back from Lotus Cars, USA.

What's your next move?
$120?

Not too long ago, I had to fight AT&T for fees I should not have been charged. The store offered to waive activation fees, and a bunch of other fees to sign me up.

I documented everything, but the charges still showed up on my first bill. When I went back to the AT&T store, they told me it needed to be taken up with AT&T Customer Care through the toll-free number. When I went there, they told me it was a special offer from the store, to go back to the store.

To sum it all up, they thought I would go away. When it became known that I was going to go to the BBB and file a case at small claims court, they told me they would give me the money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,221 Posts
Not to be callous or insensitive; but it sounds like much ado about relatively little. I'd just move on with life. My time is too valuable. Should the dealer have done the ECU dump before the reflash? Probably. But it is what it is, IMO.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
874 Posts
Sorry, not enough of a attention span to read past the first 2 paragraphs...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Move on -- for poor service, take your custom elsewhere.

Make sure your complete instructions are in writing on the service order and your copy of same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
I would not have gone to all the trouble for $120. I just wouldn't go back there.
How many Lotus dealers do they have in MN? The vast majority of us live within driving distance of 4 or more but a large part of the country lives out of reach of even 1. It sounds like this man's SA is taking advantage of the fact that there are no reasonable alternatives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
It is totally not about the money. I could care less about that. It is about the absolute worst customer service I have ever received and the fact that this dealer should not be allowed to sell model cars. Think about it guys you have your car sold subject to a ECU dump and your dealer first say's they can not provide one for you but are happy to charge you for it and send it off to no man's land, then after pressing and getting the GM involved they reluctantly agree to do it but in doing so had already f__ked it up. Your sale is dead. How would you feel? How about the Starshield lifting due to the car wash? How would you feel? How about running your car through a high pressure wash after being told twice not to wash the car? How would you feel? They are so bad that I feel the Lotus Franchise should be pulled! Again, It is not about the money, and I may pursue litigation for losses suffered due to them with my main intent to cost them money and time for the horrible Lotus experience they have provided for me. Because of them I wish I had never ordered the Elise 5 years ago. It has been gone now for a month and I am looking for a replacement and would like a Jaguar XK, but they are the dealer I will never set foot in their place again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
At a minimum, you have let all of us know not to ever use your dealer. We will pass the word. Sorry about your troubles but I wouldn't lose any sleep over it. Is your car still for sale? If so, tell us about it and maybe we can help find a buyer for it. Also, tell us your asking price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,320 Posts
Seems like a battle that should be taken up with dealership rather than Lotus. If you're that upset and feel you've been wronged, there's always small claims. Granted, speculative damages have always been frowned upon in court...so you're probably looking at $120 at the most.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,221 Posts
It is totally not about the money. I could care less about that. It is about the absolute worst customer service I have ever received and the fact that this dealer should not be allowed to sell model cars. Think about it guys you have your car sold subject to a ECU dump and your dealer first say's they can not provide one for you but are happy to charge you for it and send it off to no man's land, then after pressing and getting the GM involved they reluctantly agree to do it but in doing so had already f__ked it up. Your sale is dead. How would you feel? How about the Starshield lifting due to the car wash? How would you feel? How about running your car through a high pressure wash after being told twice not to wash the car? How would you feel? They are so bad that I feel the Lotus Franchise should be pulled! Again, It is not about the money, and I may pursue litigation for losses suffered due to them with my main intent to cost them money and time for the horrible Lotus experience they have provided for me. Because of them I wish I had never ordered the Elise 5 years ago. It has been gone now for a month and I am looking for a replacement and would like a Jaguar XK, but they are the dealer I will never set foot in their place again.
Wasting energy, man. I didn't get as worked up when Lotus denied warranty on my rocker arm. Did I fight the good fight, yes. Their actions cost me $5K. Do I feel I got railroaded? Yes. Things happen for a reason, I guess. I'm sure I could have taken it even further. On top of that, despite the fact that my car was almost always returned to me dirtier (sometimes by a good margin supposing they even washed it, which they didn't when my warranty was denied - if you want an extra kick in the balls, there you go) than when I brought it in, I wasn't going to waste my energy getting all worked up about it, much less complaining to LCU about it - it's easier to just wash the freaking car. BTW, at least they were willing to address the issue for you if Starshield was not willing to warrant the film. Still, you sold the car regardless, move on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Ice dog, One of my complaints is not that they did not wash the car it is that they did, and they ran it through the automatic wash. Yes, the car found a good owner out east about a month ago. And no they were not at all willing to address the Starshield issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,307 Posts
too much whining

I can't believe you took up my time. :wallbang:

....not to mention the hundreds of other reads by other members. :thwack:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,221 Posts
Ice dog, One of my complaints is not that they did not wash the car it is that they did, and they ran it through the automatic wash. Yes, the car found a good owner out east about a month ago. And no they were not at all willing to address the Starshield issue.
Glad to hear that the car found a good owner. That's where it needs to end, IMO.

I understand that you didn't want them to wash the car, but mistakes happen and there are many worse things that could have happened than that. Heck, I wish they had made that mistake with my car more often. I usually ended up with dirty footprints, scuffs on the center console, scuffs on the sill, etc. FWIW, my dealer, too, has an automatic wash and I'm sure they ran my car through there a number of times to no ill effect (I was a 'frequent flier' there:)). And, based on Rick MacLeish's email, it sounds as though LCU (not necessarily the dealer) was willing to address the Starshield issue if Starshield wasn't willing to do so themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,828 Posts
Sorry, not enough of a attention span to read past the first 2 paragraphs...
That's just sad. :thwack:

It sounds like there are some serious issues going on here with the service provided.

I think I need some clarification after reading this.

1. Is it true that we will still be charged for diagnosising a warranty repair item? This doesn't sound right to me that anyone should have to pay anything out of pocket for something that is covered by warranty or after diagnosing either isn't broken/defective.

2. What qualified/trained Lotus mechanic wouldn't know that reflashing would affect the ability to get a data dump? Why wasn't this done in the correct order since the customer made a point of asking for it in the first place? Also, what is with the printer? Shouldn't the dealership just have this functioning?

3. I call BS on the point about the data dump just being one component of warranty review. While I agree this SHOULD be the case, I have a hard time believing that if I went in to a dealer with a car that only had 100 miles but showed over 40 standing starts that there would be an issue. I do think that the weight of the data dump will override the other variables listed.

4.
the reason for the paragraph in the handbook is for paint and the soft top
:huh: huh? I have not had to make a claim regarding the Starshield - so I don't know how flexible they are or aren't to work with, but usually content such as this is only included in the warranty to protect them - not us.


What bothers me about this is that if this dealer is able to do this and get away with something some find as petty and insignificant as some of these issues - what will they get away with when it is even more serious? I'm not saying customers should be able to profit from things like this, but dealers certainly shouldn't be able to rip customers off for every little thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Yup, way too much hassle for $120.

For 5 grand, I might have read all that. :shrug:

Pick your battles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
One last time. It has nothing to do with the $120.00. That letter was written way later than the others. For those of you who think this is no big deal, I hope when you have your car sold subject to a dada dump your dealer screws up the deal like mine did. Then I think you will understand.

Signing off for the last time on E Talk.

Dave K
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top