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  #1  
Old 12-24-2009, 04:16 AM
flingger flingger is offline
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Default Hope that this NEVER happens to you!!!

Ok, this is going to be a bit long.

In early October 2009, I brought my MINI to DESERT MINI in Las Vegas to have some warranty work done. I was at 45000 miles and was prepping my car for the SEMA Show so I didn't have much time to get the work done otherwise. I had made a laundry list of items I would have like addressed...things like the trim around the roof, the battery and the sunroof rubber trim were the main concerns. I left the car and went about my business. I got a call to come pick up my car a couple of days later. I went in to the dealer and talked with the service advisor regarding the repairs that were done. Couldn't fix the trim...was told that because it wasn't broken it isn't replaceable, even though is looked much more worn on the sides than the front or rear did. They did replace the battery, as the "eye" was black and they replaced the gasket around the sunroof cartridge. I distinctly recall stating that the rubber with the fuzzy part was worn, but somehow that got communicated into "leaking". Whatever, is was getting taken care of...I thought. They were a bit hesitant, as the car had no interior panels in it since I was building the stereo and sound deadening the car from the beltline down. I have to say, the car looked less than great at the time, but the things that I was working on had no bearing on the areas being warranted. I drive the car away from the dealer happy...my stuff got fixed.

A few days later I returned to southern California to finish the car. I was essentially in the stereo shop just about every day working to finish the car. Eventually we noticed that the lower two brake lights weren't working, but the third brake light was working. I also had some lights on the dash start to light up and not go away....strange. We continued to work on the car because our deadline was fast approaching and we were running out of time. We finally finished the car after several all nighters. Packed up the car and headed out to the SEMA Show.

Since I work for the SEMA Show, I have to be there four or five days before the show starts to do my job. My boss arranged for a detailer to clean my car for the show which included spray washing the car, vacuuming, windows...the whole nine. Super happy and relieved, I picked up the car, placed it for the show and that was that. After the show, I drove home sans brake lights with the Christmas tree effect in the dash.

Once I got home, I took the car to South Bay MINI to have the brake light issue attended to. They gave me a loaner car and sent me on my way. The called me, stating that they checked a module and that nothing could be found. It was suggested that I might have loosened a ground somewhere, which I checked the following day to no avail.

A week later, a car buddy of mine hadn't seen the car since finished so we went to lunch. On the way there, he asked me where the water in the floor mat came from. It had rained the day prior, but I thought maybe I held "unlock" too long and popped open the sunroof a tad...who knew.

Then, out of nowhere Southern California got some more rain...weird, I know. Shortly thereafter, I lost the third brake light and then my NAV flickered on and off and never came back to me. I decided to sit in the car during the rain. I noticed a decent amount of water on my new sub enclosure. I then noticed water dripping into my footwell. So I pulled the WeatherTech floormat out and touched the carpet...soaked. Passenger side, soaked. On the first sunny day, I pulled out my sub enclosure and there was two inches of water where the rear seat would normally be.

I started doing research here on NAM and MU(what great resources). I learned that the drains could get plugged and the water could get into the car. I headed out to the car to immediately discover that the drains were clear of any obstructions. I thought for sure that would have been the culprit. Back to NAM to do more research and found that a plugged drain OR, the drain could fall or be left off entirely. I felt that it couldn't be anything but that and took my car back to South Bay MINI. I was given another loaner (this time a docile 328). I suggested my findings and that given the FACT that Desert MINI had replaced the sunroof cartridge recently, it was probably the drains that weren't connected. I left the dealer and headed home. I forgot to mention that the interior of the car smelled like a fishboat, the windows would drip from the moisture and EVERYTHING was moist down to the foam sound deadening stuff on the inside of the rear panels. The next day, I called to see how the progress of the repair process and I was told my car would be put back together and to come and get it. According to the service writer, Desert MINI had stated via telephone that a Foreman worked on the car and ABSOLUTELY put the drains on although the technician at South Bay noted that all four drains were disconnected AND there wasn't any indications that anyone had removed the headliner. I insisted that it wasn't possible to be anything but the drains regardless of what DESERT MINI states. The foreman agreed to leave it to a higher power...the regional service manager.

So, here we are...waiting. Its been a week since I dropped my car off and I have not heard anything really. I called yesterday and was informed that the Regional Service Manager was there and they were discussing me and my car quite a bit. I called today and spoke with the service writer again. I asked to speak with the regional service manager and it was suggested I call MINI USA which I did. Very nice, understanding people there (actually, everyone has been nice...including me). Got a "case manager" on the phone and basically explained the situation to them, they took my number and explained that they would contact me in two to three days.

So, here is how I see it (obviously bias). Car is modified to an extent...yes. Car is not modified anywhere near the drains for the sunroof...basically, I haven't touched them and it doesn't look like I have either. The last/only people to touch that area of the car is DESERT MINI, which directly repaired a part that would require the removal of the drain tubes from the sunroof cartridge. So, regardless of how modified the car is, the damage is the result of the fine people at DESERT MINI. Even if it wasn't the result of DESERT MINI's actions...it would still be a warranty issue I believe.

Anyway, I will post whatever happens here, on MU and on SCMM's site. Wish me luck.

Last edited by flingger; 12-29-2009 at 10:44 PM.. Reason: CYA
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  #2  
Old 12-24-2009, 04:37 PM
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Good luck man, Just went through similar situation with my wifes chevy equinox.
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2009, 10:54 PM
flingger flingger is offline
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Called up MINI USA and spoke with Sonny, my case manager. He told me that MINI USA had determined that the damage was a result of "outside influences". Therefore, they would not be participating in the repair of the car. Additionally, DESERT MINI concluded that THEY also would not assist in helping remedy the situation. This is crazy! Technically, the car is still under warranty...and the warranty work wasn't done properly. WTF!

What this boils down to is this...there is evidence that DESERT MINI worked in the area affected, which they do not deny. They would actually have had to touch the drain tubes to do the repair they did (both in removal and in theory, installation). On the flip side of that argument, there isn't ANY evidence pointing towards anyone every touching the headliner. Based on those FACTS, how would you determine fault and responsibility? Come on guys...do what's right!

All I want is my car fixed.
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2009, 11:59 PM
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Sounds like MINI USA just flipped you the Finger!
I know you probably don't want or have the time to do this, but continue to pester the dealership (not to the extent of making a scene, but to the extent that all they want to do is get rid of you)

I have also seen people who have gone to the extent of vinyling graphics about their displeasure of Dealership A or Brand B...but that is going a little extreme.

There is always the media as well...but that is a whole 'nother kettle of fish...
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:07 AM
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. I ran across this video the other day about another MINI owner getting the shaft. Might be a good idea to do the same in your case.
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2009, 12:16 AM
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That's a crappy situation. Hopefully MINI comes around and fixes the problem. Good Luck.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O2R56 View Post
Sorry to hear about your troubles. I ran across this video the other day about another MINI owner getting the shaft. Might be a good idea to do the same in your case.
Sounds more of a case of the owner getting false info from the salesman regarding the grade of fuel to use...I have used Mid and Reg in a pinch and you could tell the difference right off the bat...The dealer did A LOT to compensate her for the experience but in the end I think a lot of her problems were caused by her own neglegence and a shady sales person.

A
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:36 AM
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Sorry to hear about your situation. I've had a few run-ins with the Service guys of my own but nothing as major. That being said... Not that I'm suggesting it, but the whole whine out loud via social media approach seems to have a pretty good effect these days. A couple fact-based (verifiable) Twitter posts may certainly get someone's attention who might be inclined to do something about it.

It sounds like you've been reasonable and well-tempered about the whole thing so far. Stick to the facts and hold your guns as long as you can. We're rootin' for ya!
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:49 AM
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have all of your friends go there over a two week period and shop for MINIs make sure each one ties up a salesperson for at least 4-5 hours haggle over price, ask stupid questions, flip flop on which one to get etc.
Have as many friends as possible do it for at least 2 weeks. Make the shopping believable but never commit.

After the two weeks call the general manager and tell him what's been going on with your car and then tell him about your friends "shopping". Point out the amount of time his salespeople have been wasting and how they have not sold cars to the people they have spent so much time with.

Then tell him/her you have a lot more friends the sales staff hasn't met yet and you hope that desert mini comes to realize it would be more profitable to eat their pride, fix the problem and get back to having their sales people work with actual customers as opposed to your broke ass friends.

If THAT doesn't work we'll just have to have a m|u drive in at desert mini with "fix the drain" signs at AMVIV
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:38 PM
flingger flingger is offline
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So MINI North America has failed in every aspect to side/assist with the consumer. The consumer that is an officer in the largest MINI club in the US, and that is one of the SEMA Show Management Team. Desert MINI is completely avoiding stepping up and doing the right thing. They would rather stand behind their shop foreman, that worked on the car, than admit they made a mistake. The only shining star right now is South Bay MINI. I really wish this would have happened there. Their service manager, Roy, is a real stand up guy. They even provided me with a loan car for the past couple of weeks at their own expense while this ordeal has been transpiring.

Simply, what this really boils down to two FACTS...did Desert MINI work on/touch the drains during the repair in early October 2009...answer YES! Indisputable! Second fact...does it appear, in ANY way that the headliner or anything else near the drains has been touched by anyone or anything? NO according to South Bay MINI's tech! So based on those two facts, regardless of how modified the car is below the belt line, that the evidence shows the responsibility falls into Desert MINIs lap. My insurance company is going to have a field day with them. The sad part is that the car is supposed to be on display in a booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

I hope that all of you read this and take it into account that the possibility exists that if Desert MINI works on your car and something goes wrong, you very well may be completely on your own to remedy it.

Updates to come
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2009, 02:46 PM
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Very sorry to hear about your troubles, and I hope it all gets taken care of promptly... But here's an "extreme" idea/threat you could do...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HUTCH View Post
I have also seen people who have gone to the extent of vinyling graphics about their displeasure of Dealership A or Brand B...but that is going a little extreme.

There is always the media as well...but that is a whole 'nother kettle of fish...
Quote:
Originally Posted by flingger View Post
The sad part is that the car is supposed to be on display in a booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.
On the display booth, if you still don't have the car fixed (hopefully that won't be the case), you should have a board or similar stating something like "Due to the lack of effort and helplessness of (insert whoever you're pissed at here), my MINI is still not ready for this display. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. You can see the car at (give location of dealer you're pissed at)."

Again, this would be extreme, but just giving you a smart-ass idea. hehe. Tell the guys at the dealer that you're seriously considering that, and hopefully they'll think about it...

Best of luck with everything, man.
Leo.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:46 PM
flingger flingger is offline
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So at this point, I have contacted my insurance company and expect the ball to get rolling come Monday.

I really have to say that I am dismayed that MINI North America AND Desert MINI cannot find it within themselves to "man-up" and do what is right. I encourage you, if you are in need of service or are going to purchase a MINI, to avoid Desert MINI at all costs. I believe that because they are the only dealer in Las Vegas that they feel they do not have to treat their customers with respect and professionalism and above all, integrity. I also believe that leadership has a trickle down effect and therefore the management and even ownership of this dealership reflects how it and its employees make decisions that support greed and poor service. Any other business would see the mistake and would do whatever it takes to make it right. This is the kind of ethical practice it takes to make lists like "top companies to work for" and "customer top pick"...a list that Desert MINI will probably never be on (not that they aspire to). It is deplorable and inexcusable to run a business like this.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:26 AM
flingger flingger is offline
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At this point, my insurance company wants to total the car as they have no confidence of a quick and permanent repair...so, one tech leaves off four drain tubes and totals a car. Interesting math...1+4=$34,000. This is how "THE BIG AUTO COMPANY" completely takes advantage of "the little guy". I'm just so sad...I love the car so much, yet one dealer has taken all of the wind out of my sails.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:40 AM
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that sucks royally
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:42 AM
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damn i just saw this, i hope something positive comes out of this, you had such a sweet mini at sema and i remember it from way back when it was stock with the tein springs and all, i hope something does get worked out
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