SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- Somewhat in their defense I had my transmission rebuilt at another shop several months prior (moved to new city).
When I first called the shop on Arden I was told there was a policy about having to take it back to the original shop if it was less than 50 miles. I then found my original receipt and it did not say anything like that. I called the Arden shop back and was told to go ahead and bring it in. On October 29 I brought the car in. After they looked at it I was told that they were going to send the transmission back to Yuba City for them to work on and that it would be a couple days. Things kept getting delayed until I finally picked up the car on Monday November 10th. I was informed that the delay was due to the fact that they consider the car an exotic and only one guy could put it back together and he was out.
Nov 14th, 2008
Drove Subaru to work, approximately 2 blocks from work I felt the transmission slipping and then there was a popping type of sound and smoke started to come out the back of the car. I pulled over in an alley across from my work. The car was smoking and flames were seen underneath the transmission/engine area. I ran inside the office and grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
Shortly after 8 am I called the AAMCO on Arden way and talked to Dave. I told him what happened and asked him what he was going to do about it. He informed me that he was not responsible that he only installed the transmission which was rebuilt at the AAMCO dealer in Yuba City. I informed him I did not think that was fair because he was the last one to deal with it. He then informed me he is an independent owner and not affiliated with other shops. He then told me I could call AAMCO Headquarters and talk to them.
I called AAMCO headquarters and was put through to an automated system and was instructed to leave a message about my complaint. I did so. I also sent them an e-mail.
I then called the Yuba City AAMCO and told them what happened and they told me they were not responsible because they did not know if the Arden shop put it in correctly. Chris informed me they have a policy which says the last shop to deal with it is responsible for 30 or 90 days (he was not sure which).
I then called the Arden shop back and asked what he was going to do again. He then asked me how I knew if it was the transmission. I informed him it seemed intuitively obvious if I just had the transmission put back in for the 2nd time and the transmission went out and then leaked transmission fluid on the exhaust that it was the transmission. He informed me that he could not know that and it could be anything. He then asked if it was leaking prior. I told him no it was not since I just picked it up 4 days ago. He acted like it was a total coincidence of problems and not his fault in anyway. I then said I wanted it fixed and could he have it towed back to his shop. He said he would call the Yuba City shop back and get back to me. I did not hear back from him.
At 3:30 I called the Yuba City shop and talked with Chris. Chris said he had been talking to Dave at the Arden shop and he thought they were going to have it towed back to the Arden shop. I told him I have not heard from them, he said he would call and call me back. He never called me back.
Monday November 17,
Waited until 10:30 and then called HQ again, they said customer service was at lunch (which is funny because it is jut a recording for customer service anyway). I sent another e-mail because it had been past 24 hours and I still had not heard back from customer service like it says on the recording. At around 11:30 I called the Arden shop and spoke with Dave. He apologized and said he forgot and that he would send a tow truck over to get the car. Around 12:30 the tow truck showed up and took the car. At that time April from HQ called and I went over stuff with her. Not much help, still no answers as to who was responsible.
I called the Arden shop to request that all parts be saved. Dave was not in so I left a message with Stella.
Finally got the car back and was told one of the hoses had leaked transmission fluid on the exhaust. I was showed the hose with a cut in it. Seemed funny how a perfect knife type cut got on the hose. He said he put new hoses in it for me.
A few weeks later the car starts acting up and not shifting the check light comes on. This time we took it to Subaru who informed me the wrong size hoses had been installed. N
Not one step in the whole process did anyone of the two shops properly fix the problem. I was just offered excuse after excuse. I did learn that as soon as there is a problem they are not AAMCO but an independent shop. So my lesson is they are not good enough to operate as an independent shop but use the franchise name to get business. Never again with AAMCO. I just remembered the original estimate I was given over the phone went up once it was apart at the original shop.