Still having car problems

My car broke down two weeks ago. It is caused by a faulty sensor in the door latch. The faulty sensor causes the car’s computer to think that someone is attempting to open the driver’s side door, so it rolls the window down by half an inch. Continuously. Until the battery dies. To keep the battery from being drained, I had to disconnect the battery every time I parked it.

I called Dodge, and they told me that even though this a problem that they know about, my car is out of warranty, and they would not cover the repair. A big “screw you” from the manufacturer, it makes me feel like they are scamming people by hiding defects in the car.

After contacting three different repair shops, I was told by all three that the only place that the car can be repaired is the dealer. Nice racket, huh?

So, I brought the car to the dealer’s service department, and told the mechanic what I thought the problem was, and even provided a copy of a technical service bulletin that was issued by Dodge, describing the issue. He didn’t believe me, and had to investigate it himself. I sat at the dealer for 3 hours, after which he told me that he fixed the problem, and didn’t even charge me.

Only he didn’t fix the problem. As soon as I came near the car, the window rolled down and back up. I went and got the tech, and showed him the problem. He said that he would have to keep the car all day in order to troubleshoot. I again explained what I thought the problem was. He told me that he would call Dodge.

A week later, he still has the car. Dodge has confirmed what I was telling the mechanic all along: the sensor in the door latch is bad. It is supposed to be fixed today, at a cost of $330. My car has been out of commission for two weeks now. Two weeks of getting rides to work from others.

This is the last Dodge, and probably the last American car I will ever buy. I am going to trade this thing is before I have more problems. It is obvious to me that Dodge is practicing planned obsolescence by designing cars that barely make it through the warranty period. I cannot have an unreliable $45,000 car. I think I am going to begin shopping for an SUV. One with a long warranty, and not an American model.

Sorry, American car makers: You make shitty cars. Until you make a quality product at an affordable price, I will NOT be buying American.

(The problem is that you are paying forklift drivers $100,000 a year. All of the money spent on your cars is going to labor, and not into making a quality product.)

Screw you, says Dodge

To complicate my already hectic week further, my car would not start yesterday. The battery appeared dead, so I took it to the auto parts store to have it checked. They said it was fine, just completely discharged.  I took it home and put it on the charger.

While I was doing this, I found the problem. The Challenger has a feature called “Smart Window” that cracks the window in each door as you grab the door handle. The feature in my car is constantly opening and closing the windows and killing the battery. This is an issue that is common in the Challenger, and Dodge was aware of for a full year before I bought the car. At least one service bulletin was issued on the problem.

The dealer has told me that since my car is 3,000 miles outside of the warranty period, they will not repair it under warranty, even though this is a defect that they knew of when they sold me the car, and did not disclose.

How is this NOT fraud?

The car is not even two years old, and has 39,000 miles on it. It needs tires, brakes, and now needs the door handles replaced because of a manufacturing defect. I have taken it in to be repaired under warranty three times already. The total repairs that are needed at this point are close to $3,000. This is my last, and I mean last, American car. I have never spent so much to keep a new car running.

No wonder you domestic car makers need bailouts, your cars are rubbish. I am going to trade your piece of crap in on a Nissan or Toyota within the next three months. In the meantime, I will have to keep the car in the garage with the windows down.