Fletcher Jones Audi Chicago Complaint - Fraudulent service department at Fletcher Jones Audi Chicago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- The following events summarize my complaint against the Fletcher Jones Audi Dealership in Chicago. This is the actual correspondence sent to Audi and the service manager at Fletcher Jones.
I purchased a new 2007 Audi A4 2.0T on 9/23/06. It has about 7,500 miles. The 5,000 mile maintenance check was performed in 4/07 without any problems. On 9/17 the check engine light illuminated, so I called the service department to schedule a service visit and was scheduled for 9am on 9/21. The following day, the car did not start in the afternoon when I was parked in the Best Buy parking lot on North Ave. I called roadside but before they arrived (about 20 minutes later), the car started and I cancelled the roadside service. The check engine light remained illuminated. I also called the dealership at this time and requested bringing the car in to be checked immediately and that I needed a loaner car. I was told that no loaner vehicle was available, even though my salesperson “promised” me a loaner vehicle at the time of the sale in case of an emergency. The morning of my appointment, the car did not start again. This time it did not start on its own before roadside came (about 30 minutes later). The car was towed into the dealership. The check engine light had been illuminated all of this time.
At the dealership that day, the Audi service adviser diagnosed the problem as "bad gas" in my fuel tank which was not covered by warranty because it constituted “an outside influence”. I authorized a check of the fuel system. According to the report: “found 2 dtcs … upon checking fuel pressure noticed gas had a funny smell and was cloudy … drained bad fuel from gas tank and refilled with 5 gallons of fresh fuel … car now starts and runs to specs.” I was charged $497.93 for “labor” – no parts were replaced or fixed. I was told that the car was running smoothly AND that the check engine light was off. When I picked it up, the car started but the check engine light was still illuminated. I also found dubious the fact that my gas meter read more than half full which made no sense if they only put 5 gallons in a tank that holds about 15 gallons. Was some of the “bad gas” left in the tank? I left the car at the dealership to resolve the matter, the illuminated check engine light, which I thought caused the problem in the first place.
The following day (9/22) the report reads: “low fuel pressure sender internally malfunction test with 5052 and found pressure sender to be out of range at 11310 mbar … the range for this sender is between 2800-7200 mbar … REPLACED sender … and checks out OK”. This time the replaced part as well as the “labor” was covered under warranty. When I picked up the car on 9/22 the check engine light was off. The same day I spoke to the owner of the Citgo station where I usually purchase gas including the last three times on 8/23, 9/5, and 9/18 (after my first no start event). He told me in 15 years, this was the first time he had heard of a problem with “bad gas” at his station. He stated that they did not use E85 fuel, a claim that both the service adviser and salesperson at the dealership made. Moreover, he made the point that if it were “bad gas”, there would have been more than one car with a problem in the hundreds that use the station every week. I also spoke to service advisers at other Audi dealerships who stated that a malfunctioning low fuel pressure sender could have caused the car not to start normally.
I am accusing the service department at Fletcher Jones Audi of intentionally trying to find a problem that would not be covered by warranty, and I want to be reimbursed for the charge of $497.73. The work done was entirely “labor”; as the service adviser told me before I authorized the service, “my technician doesn’t get paid if the fuel system is checked without authorization to accept a charge of $475, which would not be covered by warranty”. I think I have enough evidence to demonstrate my accusation. If there is something that I am missing, I would like to see the dealership’s evidence, not just a “bad gas” diagnosis. I have the sample of “bad gas” given to me by the service adviser – some of it must still be in my gas tank since it still reads about half full and not a drop has been put in since 9/21.
The Fletcher Jones Audi dealership in Chicago has lost all credibility with me. I don’t think I will be taking the car there for any future maintenance checks covered under the maintenance plan that I purchased. I do not see myself doing business there again either and will probably recommend the same to my colleagues and friends. Quoting the Fletcher Jones Chicago website: “Our organization learned early on the key to any successful operation is customer satisfaction”. Customer satisfaction in this particular case has been severely compromised.