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MINI of Charleston Complaint - Poor respect of privacy and safety at MINI of Charleston

Review by UsedJeep on 2010-10-29
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA -- I purchased a used 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited from MINI of Charleston. During this process I was assured the vehicle was inspected and was even offered various warranty options. I did accept an engine and drivetrain option but this is unrelated. There were two separate service issues that occurred.

1. Poor respect for privacy requests. I was asked to sign a sheet allowing them to contact me after the purchase and I refused. I was told the sheet must be filled out to complete the sale but they would mark it "do not contact." I went so far as to mark it myself. The next week I received an automated call and complained to the associate. They blamed this mistake on a "database error." Do not sign anything allowing yourself to be contacted regardless of how they represent it.

2. In a much more serious issue, after owning the vehicle for two weeks I noticed the plate over the passenger side seatbelt was missing. I searched the vehicle rear floor and could not find it. I tested the seatbelt and it does not function. It will not lock position in an accident. I contacted my sales representative and brought in the vehicle. I assumed safety was part of the inspection. I have since called their service line and was told they do a certified inspection of used cars and this includes safety inspection.

However, they will not repair or replace the seatbelt. The most they were willing to offer would be to sell me the part or charge me full price to have it replaced. It seems minor but I had the assurances of their mechanics that the vehicle was sound and I spent two weeks with the most important person in my life sitting in that seat. I hate to think what would have happened if I had not noticed the issue myself. I now even questions my airbags, etc...

If you decide to purchase from Rick Hendrick MINI of Charleston please be prepared to be bombarded with emails, phone calls, and little notes in your mail slot every day for at least a month. Do not expect any help if basic human safety is your concern. They will sell you a vehicle with faulty safety equipment and will not assist in repairing it.
Comments:7 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-10-29
Posted by Skye on 2010-10-29:
Did you buy this vehicle as is??
Posted by Starlord on 2010-10-29:
Skye is right. Also, did you have an independent machanic check it out before you bought it? A hundred bucks or so is cheap peace of mind. If you ask to have a mechanic check it out and the car lot balks, use your feet to go to the next lot. I don't understand the comments about privacy. By buying the car, you formed a business relationship with the car lot. No privacy is violated here.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-29:
They should have replaced it for you, no questions asked, but I'm not surprised they didn't.

Whatever you do, don't purchase from them or have them install it, you'll be paying too much. Find out what model you need, then purchase it at an auto parts store or order online and take to a local mechanic to install for you.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-10-29:
jc, better yet install it themselves.
Taking a part to a local mechanic to install, is in my eyes, insulting to the mechanic. Kinda like taking an autozone muffler to midas and wanting them to put it on.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-29:
LOL Slim...I might try that, I'll let you know how it goes. I was thinking about a time several years ago when I was driving an older car and need to replace a seatbelt and my mechanic told me he could order one or I could just go get one and bring it in and he'd install it for a few bucks since that wasn't something they typically did much of. But that may not go over very well at most places.

And installing it yourself...I was thinking of CYA..if an accident happened and it was determined the seatbelt was incorrectly installed, ins may not cover medical expenses?? Better to have it done by a certified mechanic..I dunno, I'm paranoid about stuff like that.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-10-29:
That's the difference..."my mechanic". We do the same thing..got a local mechanic that does all our work, and will cut us a break. The majority of people don't, but jump around from place to place, no loyalty. Our way pays off in the long run.
Posted by leet60 on 2010-10-29:
"I was assured the vehicle was inspected" - key words. It probably was inspected, based on THEIR inspection criteria - which was likley to fix anything that wasn't immediately obvious and leave you to discover the rest.

Never buy a used vehicle without having it inspected by an independent mechanic. If the dealer or private party refused to allow that, believe it - they are hiding something.

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