AAMCO Customer Complaints:
San Lorenzo CA
I took my car in to the AAMCO Transmission service center for repair first thing on a Monday morning. They called shortly after I dropped it off and said it looked like it needed a new transmission, but they would have to disassemble it to see what parts would be needed. They said that would cost $500. I gave them the go-ahead, and they promised to get an estimate to me by Tuesday afternoon…
I finally called them on Wednesday, and they said they had just finished the estimate, and it would be $2000 to rebuild my transmission. They promised the work would be complete by the following Monday.
When I called Monday morning, they said they were just finishing up the work and were about to take the car out on a test drive. They promised to call when it was ready. They never called back! When I called Tuesday, I was told the manager was not there, but they promised to have him call me back. He did not. On Wednesday, I bummed a ride from a friend and went down to the shop to see what was going on. My car was still sitting in the same place, it didn’t look like anything had been done, and the service manager seemed to be very surprised to see me. I was told they were still working on my car, it would be ready soon, so I left.
When I didn’t get anywhere with anybody at the shop on the phone on Thursday, I called the VP of the franchise and he agreed to meet with me at the shop that afternoon. I had my brother go with me, since he knows a good bit about cars. The VP explained that they had too much work, had made a promise they couldn’t keep in terms of scheduling the work on my car, and he said they would try to have it ready for me to pick up on Friday afternoon. He called me Friday and said they needed a special sensor that was only available from the dealership, and the part still had not been delivered.
Believe it or not, on Monday, the service manager called and said the sensor from the Ford dealership wouldn’t work, and they were going to try something esle. I questioned him on this, since my car is a Mitsubishi. He apologized, said he had the wrong customer, and said he would call back.
On Wednesday of that week, I had a burly towtruck driver sneak into their lot in the middle of the night and tow my broken car back to my driveway. I have started legal proceedings and hope to recover the money I lost on cabs and rental cars!
In the Fall of 2006 I took my car (a Miata) to a AAMCO several hours from my home for service. After their repiars were completed, I proceeded
to drive the car home. I made it about halfway before the engine started missing and finally quit. It was too late in the day
to have it worked on so I had to checked into a motel.
The next morning I had the car towed to a nearby dealership. They soon discovered the car's wiring harness
had been misrouted so that it was rubbing on the driveshaft. They said the car was sparking when they put it up on the car lift.
I was lucky that the car had not caught on fire! They said they could patch the wires up so I could make it the rest of the way home.
But before I could get out of there they found additional problems....
AAMCO had removed the transmission mount (or PPF) in my car when working on the transmission. It is a structural member that supports the
transmission and connects it to the car. It is held on by 4 pretty big bolts. The dealership technicians showed me that two of these bolts
had had been stripped and a third was missing. That meant the PPF was being held on by only one of the original bolts!
The put a temporary fix on both problems so I could get the rest of the way home without having to get the car towed the whole way.
I called the president of the AAMCO franchise about the problems, and after almost a month he finally agreed to pay for the repair at the
dealership - roughtly $200 - but he refused to pay for the towing or hotel bill. He also said he would not pay for the repair of the
transmission brace but would look at it in his own shop to see what had happened. Of course the shop is several hours away, and the car
is not safe to drive. The president insisted that any work on the car would have to be done by his facility. He claimed that if I tried
to drive the car and it broke down on the way, he would send a towtruck! Yeah, right.
I took the car to the local Mazda dealer who repaired the brace for $800+. The wiring harness repair was also included in this total.
Like I said, the President of this AAMCO has refused to pay for these repairs unless I bring the car to him.
I definitely will not allow this place to work on the car ever again. I am working with my local COC and BBB to arrive at a financial
settlement of this issue. I think it's important to make the public aware that the shop sent a car out in a damaged and unsafe condition
and refused to own up to it. If I hadn't had the electrical problem, the transmission mouting problem probably wouldn't have been discovered
until it was too late. If an accident had been caused by the failure of the bracket, or possibly even a fatality, nobody would have ever known
what caused it!
I wish they would close this AMOCO shop down permanently. Last summer I took my Escalade to this shop for repair. I was told it would cost
about $1200 dollars to repair the tranmission. The thing had a messed up overdrive and reverse. I was told it would take about 5-6 days.
Six days full days later I called to check on the progress since I hadn't heard from them. They said their store had been robbed but none of the
cars in the shop had been bothered or vandalized. Apparently this messed their schedule up. I went down to the shop to check on my vehicle and
get some of my personal belongings out if it, and they treated me like I was a real pain.
It took yet another week and it was finally finished. But instead of the $1200 it was $2000 dollars! I was really mad but they claimed there is no way
to predict the exact price of a repair. You would think since they do this for a living they would be pretty good at it.
I would've refused to pay the bill, but at this point my vehicle was kind of held hostage you know?
To everybody that hears about this, my advice is to stay away from AAMCO, they are going to screw you for everything they can!