Phoenix >AutoNation FIAT North Phoenix
2625 W. Bell Road, Phoenix, AZ | Directions 8502333.63981015980244 -112.1130196005106
M-Sa 8am-9pm, Su Closed
Neighborhoods: Deer Valley
In November 2013, I bought a ’97 Escort from AutoNation Fiat for my son to drive. The buying experience was fine. One week later, fuel started leaking. I took it to AutoNation Toyota in Tempe, much closer to my home than AutoNation Fiat. They told me the bottom of the car was banged up and it had obviously been driven over something - a fact not in the CarFax that had not been revealed to me prior to purchase. In addition, the fuel filler hose was kinked, other hoses were twisted, the gas tank was the wrong one for the car, and a bracket was loose. They said AutoNation Toyota never would have put it up for sale in that condition, and arranged to have it taken back to AutoNation Fiat for repairs. I tried to contact my service manager, Erica Gallegos, to discuss the issues, but she never returned my calls. They replaced a fuel pump seal, adjusted the tank strap, and rerouted the filler neck hose. I had just filled up the tank, but the car was returned with ½ tank. One week later, after another fill-up, fuel started leaking again. When I called to describe the issue and ask about my car, I was transferred to Erica, who never returned my calls. This time they replaced the gas tank, but again it was only ½ full. I was out of the country at this time. My son indicated there was still a strong fuel smell. He took the vehicle to a nearby mechanic who said the filler hose was kinked and the gas tank was leaking. Upon my return, I confirmed there was still a strong fuel smell. I called the service center, and was again transferred to Erica. In my message, I explained the issue and pointed out she never returned my calls the previous 2 times, so if I was supposed to speak to someone else, please let me know. Lo and behold, she called me back, only to tell me they had replaced everything they possibly could replace. They would check it out and detail it since the odor was probably just stuck in the fabric of the car. Doubtful, but I agreed to return a third time. Before towing it, I noticed a puddle which I first thought was oil. Later, Erica and a mechanic showed me a hairline crack on the top of the replacement tank, and the mechanic pointed out a sticky substance near the crack that he thought I could have mistaken for oil. I now suspect someone at some point had tried to repair the crack with epoxy, and once gas contacted the epoxy, it dissolved and dripped off the tank. They located another tank. This time I told Erica I expected the gas tank to be full, and it was. That night, we could still could smell fuel in the garage. I replaced the fuel cap, sprayed Febreze on the upholstery, and had the car and undercarriage cleaned, to no avail. I then took it to a nearby mechanic and was told the filler neck hose was loose and it was a heater hose instead of a proper fuel hose. He indicated it would only last up to 6 months, so I would need to have it replaced. I can still smell fuel in my garage after the car has been parked there for a short time. It has been in the shop for 23 days of ~60 and it still isn't fixed. What would make me happy? Nothing, really. But, I’d like AutoNation Fiat to either pay to have the car fixed at an alternate, non-affiliated garage, including taking it there and back, or, if they don’t want to fix it (which seems to be the case), allow me to return the car under the Lemon Law for its full full purchase price. In addition, I expect them to reimburse me: $14 fuel cap, $20 car wash, $38 diagnostic and re-attachment of the fuel hose, $40 for 2 half-tanks of gas that disappeared from my car, $20 (so far) for bus passes my son had to buy when I was unable to let him use my car, and $151 for mileage to drive one car 30 miles to pick up the “repaired” vehicle and then drive two cars home (@ IRS 2014 standard business mileage rate $0.56/ mile). Last but not least, they need to apologize profusely for repeatedly putting my son’s health and safety at risk. Well, never mind that last one – they can never make up for that.
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