An open letter to Jeep.
I currently drive a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, which I purchased almost three years ago. I want to take a moment to explain that when I bought this Jeep – I was on top of the world. I had worked really hard to save the money for it, and it’s my first “luxury” vehicle. I absolutely LOVED this car.
It’s a 2012, and when I bought it, it had 31,000 miles on it. Today, it has almost 64,000 miles on it, and is still under warranty. It’s had at least four recalls on it, three of which I took care of a few years ago.
When I called to get the most recent one fixed – the fuel pump – I was told there was a three-month wait. Yes, a three-month wait. So, I put my name on this list and went on with my life.
And then, my check engine light came on about a week before I was set to make a 10-hour road trip (each way). I called a local dealership to make an appointment and was told there was a two-week wait. I didn’t feel safe driving that far with the light on, so I took my car to a Firestone near my apartment for a diagnostic.
$95 later, they told me it was a pretty serious issue, an engine misfire, and said I should take it to a dealership to get it fixed, as the affected parts were under extended warranty. So, I called the second dealership, who said it would also be a two week wait just for a diagnostic.
“But, I already got a disgnostic,” I said.
“Well, we have to do our own to prove it’s under warranty,” he said.
I explained that I didn’t feel safe driving it 20 hours under the current engine conditions, to which the employee started yelling at me through the phone, “AS LONG AS THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ISN’T FLASHING, IT IS FINE TO DRIVE!”
I hung up on him. I’m not going to be treated that way by anyone, let alone someone I am looking to get help from. I will be damned if someone from Jeep tells me to drive my car across the country with a faulty engine.
So, I called customer service and explained the entire situation. He instructed me to not drive the vehicle that far, and that if I rented a car, I would be reimbursed by Jeep as long as I kept all of my receipts.
I looked online for additional Jeep dealerships in my area to see if I could find another one that may be able to help me. A nearby dealership had an open appointment in three days, so I made the appointment.
But when I arrived, it was not an appointment. They simply took my name and wanted me to leave my vehicle there “for weeks”. Umm what? I asked.
“Ma’am, as you can see we are busy,” he said, gesturing to the dozens of cars in the service lot.
“Yes, I get that, but what am I supposed to do?” I asked him.
He pointed to the car rental building and said I could rent a car for $35/day.
So, let me get this straight: Because Jeep built all of their vehicles like a piece of shit, I have to PAY for another car to drive, while my own car (which I am still making payments on) sits in line for servicing, and just saying this again, it’s still under warranty.
I was visibily upset, and my eyes started to water as I explained this to the employee. He waved the paperwork from the Firestone diagnostic at me: “Maybe you could have spent your money on a rental car and not this diagnostic,” he said.
UM, EXCUSE ME!?
First of all, I’m not going to have a mother fucker from Jeep tell me how to spend my money. Apparently my biggest mistake was spending money on a Jeep, since it’s such a piece of shit. And yes, I got the diagnostic, because no one, and I will say NO ONE at Jeep can help me, and I was hoping it was a minor issue that I could get fixed. So, excuse the fuck out of me.
So, I told the employee to kiss my ass, and hopped in my Jeep and rode off. I called customer service again, and explained the entire situation. She told me that I could rent a car but I definitely wouldn’t be reimbursed for it, until I got an official diagnostic from a Jeep dealership. And, even once that happened, I can only get a rental for five days, and she said that if Firestone was correct in their diagnostic, the repair would take “much longer” than five days, so I’d have to get a case manager to help me get reimbursed.
She then looked up my car’s VIN and got saucy with me and said, “Well you DO have a recall on your car, maybe it’s that! When are you planning on taking care of it?”
“I’m on a waiting list for December,” I told her.
Her tone changed. “Seriously?”
I ended up renting a car for my trip ($250) simply to have peace of mind. Not only did the rental car cost money, but I also had to pay to park my car at the rental lot, so in total it was about $300 just because my Jeep’s engine isn’t reliable and no dealership could help me.
When I returned from my trip, I called the fourth dealership and got myself on a waiting list. It’s been three weeks and I’m still waiting; driving around with my check engine light on. And while, my car does drive okay around town, the more I drive it, the worse the problem gets.
I’m honestly reaching my breaking point here. This is my second Jeep, and until now, I’ve really had some positive experiences with the vehicles I’ve had, and I thought I would have this car for many years. But now, I’m considering getting rid of it.
What’s the point of having some extended warranty if no dealership is going to fix it? What’s the point of having a good car for road trips if the engine just might explode while you’re driving it? How do I get the recalls fixed when there are waiting lists three months long?
Once I get to the top of the waiting list, who knows how long it will take for my car to actually be serviced. And truthfully, I don’t want to pay for a rental car. A rental car for one month, plus my monthly car payment would be at least $1500. Just to fix the car I already have… that’s under warranty.
The part about this that upsets me the most is how I’ve been treated by Jeep as a brand. Is that the type of company Jeep is – the type that is okay with their customers driving around in a ticking time bomb? Shouldn’t Jeep want the best for its drivers; want them to feel safe and taken care of in their vehicles?
The recalls and engine problems are no secret in the car world, and you’d think that Jeep would want to make up a little for it by treating their customers with a little respect and kindness. It’s pretty stressful driving around a car that, at any point, could break down, and could injure myself, my passengers, or other drivers. And Jeep wouldn’t care a bit.
Is that what they mean by “It’s a Jeep thing”? – That all they care about is the sale, and once that’s over you may as well drive the damn Jeep off a cliff? Mmmk.
I’d love to hear from Jeep, and understand what they expect their drivers to do – especially for something that isn’t our fault.
In the meantime, I’ll be researching other places to take my money. I’m looking for a reliable vehicle, and a brand that’s going to appreciate my business. I’m open to ideas – what kind of car do you have and what are your experiences with the brand?
Posted on October 6, 2016, in The Squeeze and tagged blog, blogger, car, dealership, Holly A. Phillips, its a jeep thing, jeep, jeep sucks, jeep waiting list, new car, recall, The Bitter Lemon, warranty. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.