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I just wanted to share a few experiences I've had buying my Elise from SVAG (formerly Ferrari of Los Gatos) in California. First of all, the buying experience went very smoothly, no surprises. Yes, I'm talking about the actual *buying* experience...the waiting experience sucked. That was mostly Lotus' fault, not SVAG. SVAG would be honest and up front with me when I asked for info, they just weren't great about notifying me of every little tidbit of news they heard about my car as soon as they heard it (I don't think they're used to customers being so anxious - obsessively so - to get their cars!).

I received two letters after purchasing the car, one from the GM and one from the manager of their service department. Nice touch. For scheduled maintenance, they offer free pick up and delivery of the car (I confirmed that this is done via their own carrier, they don't contract out this work). Today, the service manager called me about my reverse gear lockout ring - they had noticed that it did not spring back down when they did the PDI, but as mine was one of the first cars they'd seen, they wanted to check with Lotus about what to do for it. They have a fix for it, and were calling to find out if I've had any trouble with it and if I need to bring it in (I haven't, it's easy to manually push back down). I asked him about the oil cooler problem that some cars have had, and they're aware of that (unlike some dealers I've heard mentioned here). He said it'd be very obvious if my car were leaking.

Surprisingly, my license plates showed up about two weeks after buying the car - addressed from SVAG and sent via FedEx! I think one of their employees went to the DMV to handle the paperwork and pick up the plates themselves - the registration paperwork was printed in the format you'd get from a DMV office, not what you'd get if the plates came in the mail via normal means. I'm not sure how I feel about this - it's a nice service they offer, but not having plates on my car gives me a bit of an edge in avoiding traffic tickets. ;)

They're just really a class act so far. Makes me wish I could take my other cars there for service too!
 

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Pretty much the same experience for me, except for the reverse lockout ring.

I won't be putting my FedEx'd plates on anytime soon. Even the sales manager told me that having the temp registration in the window means you won't be ticketed for not having a front plate.
 

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pulled over for no plates

(chuckle)

I was driving along 85 one morning, on my way to my 1000 mile check up. It was right at 9:00 when the communte lane reverts to general traffic. I saw a California Highway Patrol (CHP) on the shoulder as I went by but happily switched to the fast lane because it was smoother.

Thirty seconds later the rearview mirror lit up like a Christmas tree! I pull over, prepare my driver's license and wait. He walks up, takes it and asks for registration. Hmmm. He asks for my contract. Hmmm. I indicate all I have is the temp in the window. He asks to see that.

He takes it all, mumbles into his radio for a bit and then hands it all back to me. The reason he pulled me over was because I did not have any plates. From behind he could not see my temporary in the front window. I asked if he expected me to carry around my contract. He said he would not. (Why did he ask for it then?)

You are in compliance as long as you have a piece of paper that shows your name and VIN. But expect to be inconvenienced because these cars do get attention.

Michael

PS Regarding SVMG, I am not so impressed. Their service department never did return my phone calls. (Just trying to provide a balanced view.)
 

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I've been having good experiences with SVAG was well. Haven't received a car yet (it will be a long time before I do), but they're all very pleasant, and low pressure, and I like the fact that I got signed paperwork once I put in my second deposit. Makes me feel better about the possibility of junk fees cropping up once the car arrives. All things being equal, the most pleasant dealership I've done business with; not slimey at all.
 

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Hmm. Apparently, you are not the first Elisetalker to be pull over just because the officer want to see your car. When I get my car and find myself with a police officer nearby, I'll just pull over and stop so they won't have to hit their lights. With any luck, I'll be near a Dunkin' Donuts. ;)

 

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Allan Gibbs said:
Hmm. Apparently, you are not the first Elisetalker to be pull over just because the officer want to see your car.
I keep waiting for that to happen.

Not sure if I ever shared this story, but...as I left SVAG, I circled the block and double parked out front, where my wife had parked our Jetta. I wanted to get my digital camera, it was in her car. Got the camera, got moving again, and a few seconds later a cop was on my tail. Oh shoot, I thought, am I going to get pulled over after driving the car only a couple blocks? The cop was following so close that I could not see his light bar in my mirrors, so I would lower my head occaisionally and get a better view in the mirror just to be sure. Didn't get pulled over, the cop was probably just checking out the car...?
 

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Re: pulled over for no plates

sandsmuseum said:
The reason he pulled me over was because I did not have any plates.
I said the sales mgr said you wouldn't get ticketed. I never said anything about getting pulled over. :p

Sounds like the cop was just being a jerk. He knows that it's possible to not have plates when the car is new.

Did you remove the dealer-supplied plate from the rear? Was the car especially dirty and not new looking?

Or maybe he really pulled you over for the carpool violation, but realized too late when he pulled you over that it was already 9 o'clock.

Bottom line is you didn't get a ticket. :)
 

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MattG said:
For scheduled maintenance, they offer free pick up and delivery of the car (I confirmed that this is done via their own carrier, they don't contract out this work).
The free pickup and delivery will be especially handy for me, seeing as I live 600 miles from the dealership. :D

kbob
 

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I just got my Elise back from it's first service from SVAG's shop (just off of San Thomas and 17). Aside from the service they also fixed the reverse colar on the shifter. While the 1000mi service cost me $270 they fixed the shifter for no charge saying it was a known problem and covered by warrenty. (the paperwork actualy lists it as 'Recal Service Bulletin 470501-07 2004/18')

They did return my calls. They also detailed the car after working on it (I didn't expect this). I also ordered a replacement owners manual from them. A word of warning to others: don't lose your manual, it costs $160 to get a new one :(

Anyway, I found SVAG's service shop personal to be very friendly and capable.

-doma

(ps> first post)
 

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doma said:
I also ordered a replacement owners manual from them. A word of warning to others: don't lose your manual, it costs $160 to get a new one :(
WOW. :eek:


Welcome to the forum!

Any idea how you lost the manual?
 

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doma said:
I just got my Elise back from it's first service from SVAG's shop (just off of San Thomas and 17). Aside from the service they also fixed the reverse colar on the shifter. While the 1000mi service cost me $270 they fixed the shifter for no charge saying it was a known problem and covered by warrenty. (the paperwork actualy lists it as 'Recal Service Bulletin 470501-07 2004/18')

They did return my calls. They also detailed the car after working on it (I didn't expect this). I also ordered a replacement owners manual from them. A word of warning to others: don't lose your manual, it costs $160 to get a new one :(

Anyway, I found SVAG's service shop personal to be very friendly and capable.

-doma

(ps> first post)
Doma: May i ask where you were on the SVAG list, or did you buy a car sold by a customer?
 

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>Doma: May i ask where you were on
>the SVAG list, or did you buy a car sold by a customer?

Neither actualy. I got a used demo car from out of state; it sounded & ran great and there wasn't a scratch or blemish on the thing so I got the demo. SVAG just happens to be close (~10 miles) to me so I took it there for service.

>Any idea how you lost the manual?

It didn't come with one. I supposed I could have negotiated for it but the sale was as-is and I didn't notice the missing manual for a week. Lesson learned I guess.

-doma:
 

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Doma, glad to hear it, and welcome to the forum! I'll be taking my Elise to SVAG for the 1k service next week. I too have the reverse colar problem. I was quoted a higher price though...I'll have to check into that.
 

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MattG,
Oops, the $270 was for the labor only. There was extra for the parts (oil and filter). (I _think_ they were $38 and $18 ... maybe)
 

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Matt, you still haven't taken the car in? You've had your car for a day longer than I've had mine! :p I've got over 2500 miles already, but I did just come back from a road trip to the OC.

My bill was $285, and that includes the extra quart of oil they accidentally charged me which I ended up taking home for extra top-off oil. I was quoted on the phone "about 300."
 
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