In January 2008, I purchased a 2003 Land Rover Discovery Series II HSE with 44K miles. When I purchased the vehicle the selling dealer had performed an inspection which noted the vehicle in great condition. I also received a CARFAX report noting the vehicle had a good history. In February 2008, I brought the vehicle to Land Rover dealer to have a full inspection of the vehicle. This was mainly for peace of mind on the condition of the used vehicle as determined by certified Land Rover mechanics.
The inspection report noted that vehicle was in great condition with no issues needing to be addressed. BUT along with the evaluation paperwork provided by the Land Rover dealer was a Land Rover Technical Alert. The Technical Alert stated the following:
Discovery Series II (LT) 3A771801-3A808362 Situation- Oil pump failures on 2003 Discovery Series II vehicles may be the result of a manufacturing error. Locating dowel pins may be slightly misaligned permitting assembly of the oil pump to the engine block, but placing stress on the pump housing which can ultimately lead to leakage or failure. Resolution- Whenever an oil pump failure is encountered on vehicles within the above VIN range the only effective repair currently available is replacement of the complete engine assembly including the front cover/oil pump manufactured to the latest tolerances.
My Land Rover vehicle identification number falls within the identified vehicle identification number range of affected vehicles. I spoke to the dealer when he provided this Technical Alert. He stated that the vehicle oil pump was fine and that they would not address the issue if the vehicle was working properly.
Jump ahead to 2010. While driving the vehicle on 26 March 2010, the oil light came and the engine began to make rumbling sounds. I turned off the vehicle. Fearing the worst, I had the vehicle towed at a cost of $545 to my mechanic. My mechanic confirmed that the oil pump had failed. I spoke to the Land Rover dealer and to Land Rover of North America. Neither would cover the repair in spite of the Technical Alert published and provided by them on this condition. The estimated cost to repair the vehicle is $10,000.
I believe that I am responsible for the ownership and reasonable risks associated with a used vehicle. BUT, the issue with my vehicle is not reasonable. Land Rover made a manufacturing "error", published it and then left the "error" to the consequence and expense of myself. If I had known about this Technical Alert at the time of purchase, I would have either had the issued covered under a warranty or perhaps not purchased the vehicle. These types of Technical Alerts are not disclosed to the public which left me at risk. The first I knew of the Technical Alert was after I purchased the vehicle and received the inspection report.
At this time, my vehicle is of little value with an engine that needs to be replaced. I am stuck with attempting to find the money to cover the repair or sell the vehicle for what little I can get for it and take a huge loss. To make a defective product, sell it and then leave the consequence to the expense of the consumer is unethical and shameful.
CHANTILLY, VIRGINIA -- I am writing to describe our purchase and service experiences this far with Land Rover. As background, I am a foreign service officer who lives/works in Africa and have owned and driven several Land Rovers in Africa. Regrettably, we have had a horrible experience both with the Land Rover in Albuquerque, NM and in Chantilly, Virginia. Not only are the services associates rude and unhelpful, but they have cost us money and time that is simply unacceptable.
After buying our car in Chantilly, VA in August 2006, we found out that they did not have a second key as promised (we were only given one key), that they did not (and still have not) entered the extended warranty we paid for into the computer system and, to add insult to injury, the engine had to be replaced after 400 miles and Chantilly did not have time for us so we had to take it to Rosenthal in Vienna, VA (who did a good job but they scratched the hood of the car while in the shop).
We had to delay our move from Virginia to New Mexico by two weeks and take leave from our jobs to wait for the engine to be put in (1 week after buying the "certified pre-owned car"). We called the service associate Richard ** dozens of times about the key and warranty and only once received a return call from him. His supervisor, Andy **, while somewhat better at returning our calls has not contacted us in weeks about our extended warranty.
In Albuquerque when they reprogrammed the new key that we finally received from Chantilly after 3 months and over 15 calls to the associate Richard **, they reprogrammed our old key and made us pay to program the new one. Now we have one key that is not cut but is programmed, and another that is cut but is not programmed, so we have to carry around two keys. When we complained to the service associate (who charged us for the programming) he said that we should just go to a key shop to have it cut, but most shops don't cut that kind of key and clearly we should not be the ones paying for this to be done as it was not our mistake.
Overall, we have spent in excess of 15 hours dealing with Land Rover, delayed our move from Virginia to New Mexico by weeks and made dozens of phone calls. We are absolutely disgusted with the service provided by Land Rover and the absolute lack of care or consideration given to us by Land Rover employees (However, to be fair, at Rosenthal one employee, Jack, stood out as the only person who appeared to care about the shoddy service we received.).
We are looking to sell our Land Rover and will never buy one again. Also, we plan to tell everyone we can about our experience. If it had been one error or one service associate we would have let it go, unfortunately, it has been in two locations with numerous employees.
WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA -- I am writing to share my disappointment with the quality of my Land Rover Discovery II. This vehicle developed a major drive train problem with less than 54,000 miles on it. No vehicle that I have owned in over 45 years of driving has performed this poorly. This early failure is not the norm for Ford vehicles and I expect more from you.
Here are the details- VIN: SALTY1246XA211891. The vehicle is currently at Cape Fear Land Rover in North Carolina awaiting parts. It was diagnosed as having a bad front transfer box on Thursday July 29, 2004. The part was found to be on national back order which suggests a high failure rate and seems like defective parts in the original vehicle. A part was found 4 states away which will be shipped in sometime during the first week of August. The repair will cost around $2,500 as long as the dealer does not find other issues.
I have also been told by other Land Rover owners that Land Rover technicians frequently misdiagnose front transfer case problems when the issue is really one of needing to grease or replace front U joints. It seems to me that this is premature failure of a drive train component which should reasonably be expected to last a minimum of 150,000 miles in a vehicle used as lightly as mine. I would appreciate your intervention to turn this from a bad experience into a good one by having the vehicle fixed without charge.
My 1999 Land Rover Discovery II became undriveable in July of 2004 due to a premature failure of the transfer case. The failure came shortly after the end of the warranty and with only around 54,000 miles on it. Ford/Land Rover called this "normal wear and tear" on the most critical driveline component in a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Cost me over $2,300 for the joy of operating a Lemon. My red Land Rover now sports magnetic signs with beautiful lemons in the background and the legend Land Rovers are Lemons.