It’s a familiar sight, auto dealerships selling cars from different manufacturers. Little do most people realize, reorganizations in these businesses can complicate your new and extended auto warranty claims process in unexpected ways. Dave Cass in Galesburg, IL learned this lesson the hard way just recently.
Warranty Claims When Dealerships Divorce Manufacturers
Galesburg Honda Toyota in Galesburg, IL split manufacturers last September and became simply Galesburg Toyota. The Honda portion moved to West Burlington, Iowa and became West Burlington Honda—both owned by the same franchiser. Some manufacturers do not like sharing the same dealership, so the story goes, and this was the cause of the split. Most people did not realize that this happened, or what that meant to their warranty claims.
Mr. Cass bought a Honda from this dealership back in 2009. A few days ago, he tried to get a warranty-covered repair done at the dealership based on a notice he received from Honda about a safety recall. He soon discovered that this dealership was no longer under the Honda umbrella.
How This Change Aggravated Dave’s Warranty Approval Process
Naturally, Mr. Cass could not have the repair done at Galesburg Toyota under warranty. The problem for the Honda-owning residents of Galesburg is that all of the nearest Honda dealerships are at least 40 miles away. West Burlington Honda is about 42 miles away, Bob Lindsay Honda in Peoria is a little over 42 miles away, Zimmerman Honda in Rock Island is about 40 miles away, and Lujack Honda in Davenport, Iowa is about 43 miles away.
Jeff Everhart, Galesburg Toyota’ General Manager mentioned that customers should contact their Galesburg salesperson for help resolving this problem. He commented that the change of venue was Honda’s decision, and his sales staff is trying to accommodate their customers. He mentioned that they will even drive the customer’s car to West Burlington in some cases.
For CARCHEX and Dave Cass, the Fix is Not Worth the Headache
Dave Cass, naturally, is not satisfied with this arrangement. He declared that he would never buy a Honda again unless he could get it from a local dealer. He also wrote Honda and gave them a piece of his mind.
We at CARCHEX agree with Mr. Cass, that Galesburg Toyota’s customer assistance is not enough to truly fix the problem. Of course, that problem is not in the dealership’s hands. What we believe where Dave Cass is incorrect is in his vow about buying Hondas and in writing a complaint letter to Honda. All too often, these measures do not benefit the consumer in any real way. Instead, we suggest that he get a CARCHEX extended car warranty so he can get his Honda—or any other vehicles—repaired by any qualified technician, not just ones employed by the manufacturer. Whether his manufacturer warranty or an extended auto warranty was in effect, having one of our warranty plans would have prevented a lot of hassle for him.