Dealership Chain won't do Anything if over 10yr/200k

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Dec 7, 2012
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If I am being honest, I can see both sides, for part of the situation...

A few weeks back I did a front-end refresh in my Tahoe and visited West-Herr Chevrolet of Orchard Park for alignment. Truck is a 2005 with 320k miles. Alignment went well and I was pleased with the work. Dealer had a nice waiting area and I figured I'd continue to patronize the dealer with other things I need.

I stopped in today to make an alignment appointment for our 2005 Suburban, which was a Dallas/Fort Worth truck, that of which is stupid clean here in New York. 232k on the clock. I also intended upon making a state inspection appointment for my Tahoe.

I make the appointment with the service writer, then we begin making the appointment for the Suburban's alignment. He says "I have to ask my service manager something real quick". So a few minutes go by, and the service manager comes out and starts talking to me. "Unfortunately we cannot work on anything that is over 10 years old or over 200k miles." I was beyond shocked. I said "this Suburban is cleaner than all of your 2020-2021s on your lot". They kept stating that it is company policy throughout all West-Herr dealerships and that there was nothing they could do. They stated COVID parts shortages and that they can't get GM parts for a lot of older vehicles and if they break something during an alignment they can't replace it with GM and they cannot use aftermarket parts. They also said they made a mistake last time scheduling me and they honored my appointment and did the job because they made the mistake. That was cool I guess. The one service writer told me that he got his rear-chewed out by management for scheduling the appointment. That right there ain't right.

It was pointless arguing or really saying much more. They even said they won't run a vehicle over 10 years old for inspection... which I am not sure if that is possible or legal in NY.

I think it's a hilarious way to get Mr. and Mrs. John & Jane A. Gullible to think "wow our car -- the dealer won't service it next year, yes lets please talk to a salesman to start looking at the new Trax for ONLY $109 more a month than we use to pay for our loaded Yukon XL Denali back in 2013." When I said I can see both sides, I can understand a dealer or really any shop wanting to deny working on the 20 year old rotted out, strut pokin' thru, gas leaking LeSabre. But to blanket 10yr/200k for a New York State Inspection or alignment when a customer has explicitly stated the entire front end is new. Thats wild.

Went to a small two location Dealer a town over called Jim Murphy Chevrolet... Jim Murphy used to have a Pontiac franchise which everybody knew in Cheektowaga. Told them; they were shocked that West-Herr said that and agreed they're so big that they can choose whatever they want. They were happy to do the work.

For a matter of principle, I am going to research the State Inspection component, because I can't see NY allowing a registered inspection station to deny running a vehicle through inspection. Sure, you can fail it, but I do not think they are allowed to just not run one.

Still ain't keeping me out of my GMT800s.
 
I can see why. With something that old they don't want to be on the hook for any of those "last time you guys had it you broke this" repairs.

With that said, my newest vehicle is 15 years old. The last place it is going is the dealer, since most of their techs are fresh out of school and trained on the new vehicles on the lot and the stuff within warranty.
 
I cant speak to NY inspection law but I can speak to PA law as an inspector and station authority. In PA, while I must inspect any vehicle presented that we are licensed to inspect and fits in our legal inspection area, I am allowed to require an appointment and inspect at mutual convenience. How it was explained by the state is that if I dont want to inspect a vehicle because its something I dont want to work on (for me thats euro besides VW/Audi and Volvo) its perfectly legal to tell a customer that my next appointment to inspect their vehicle is 6 months from now but if they set an appointment and show up I have to inspect it.
 
I can see why. With something that old they don't want to be on the hook for any of those "last time you guys had it you broke this" repairs.

With that said, my newest vehicle is 15 years old. The last place it is going is the dealer, since most of their techs are fresh out of school and trained on the new vehicles on the lot and the stuff within warranty.
Same here and yeah I can agree with that. The NYS inspection component is what I think is shocking. I do think thats against the state regulations.
 
I cant speak to NY inspection law but I can speak to PA law as an inspector and station authority. In PA, while I must inspect any vehicle presented that we are licensed to inspect and fits in our legal inspection area, I am allowed to require an appointment and inspect at mutual convenience. How it was explained by the state is that if I dont want to inspect a vehicle because its something I dont want to work on (for me thats euro besides VW/Audi and Volvo) its perfectly legal to tell a customer that my next appointment to inspect their vehicle is 6 months from now but if they set an appointment and show up I have to inspect it.
I think NY is very similar, I read a similar sentiment in the NY inspection manual.
 
Both snipped from the ny site below.

When a vehicle inspection is requested, an inspection station must inspect any vehicle it is licensed to inspect or must provide, in writing, an appointment date that is within eight working days. If an appointment is made, the station may require a deposit that cannot exceed the inspection fee.


Consumer Help​

If you are not satisfied with the quality of a vehicle inspection or repair, or the service provided by a motor vehicle dealer, first attempt to resolve the issue with the management of the business. Keep a written record of all contacts with management in addition to details about the inspection, repair, or sale. Copies of work orders and invoices are proof of your attempts to resolve the problem.

If an acceptable resolution is not reached and you wish to file a complaint, you must submit a Vehicle Safety Complaint Report (PDF) (VS-35) along with any supporting documents to the DMV Consumer & Facilities Services Complaint Unit. To submit electronically, download the complaint report available at the link above to your personal device. Attach and then email the completed report as well as any supporting documents to [email protected]. Please note that DMV staff will communicate with you through email.
 
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Isn’t it a thing where dealers have a parts inventory for a cars less then ten years old? If they don’t have a part on hand, then they have to spend more inquiring that part for that 10+ year old car they’re working on.
 
Just another reason it's hard to keep a vehicle on the road "until the wheels fall off". Trying to find a good mechanic that knows your engine/vehicle well is hard to near impossible to find. I can't even go down to one of the local tire shops without my wheel coming loose on the way home. I do think that 10 years 200k is reasonable though but I'd be a little irritated to find that all out after you showed up. We've all had situations like that in different scenarios where "They weren't suppose to make the appt." but fortunately they did you right which they didn't have to. Now you know for next time to take it to another repair shop. I've bought several of my vehicles from southern states for the same reasons you did & it's a must if we're buying older equipment. Good job!
 
It gets better. If a dealership chain's company policy is to not service over 10yr or 200k, then they of course couldn't do the pre-delivery service to make used cars safe for the road. Also in NYS, if a dealer has to sell a vehicle it has to be inspected. So I have no clue how they're selling 10+ year old cars.

Of course I'm being smart... they would really sell a 2012 Camaro then deny the person an oil change 2-3 months later?

Screenshot 2024-01-30 at 9.30.22 PM.jpg
 
The average car on the road is now over 12 years old. So they won't work on the average car.
Orchard Park NY looks close to the big lake, not sure how much money is out there. NY has lower income areas, but lots of high income areas too. My thinking is, maybe this dealership is in a high money area, where their cars are not average age--otherwise, the amount of road salt NY uses in general probably means most if not all of the state has cars on the newer side. Other states might have the older cars that are skewing the average.
 
Orchard Park NY looks close to the big lake, not sure how much money is out there. NY has lower income areas, but lots of high income areas too. My thinking is, maybe this dealership is in a high money area, where their cars are not average age--otherwise, the amount of road salt NY uses in general probably means most if not all of the state has cars on the newer side. Other states might have the older cars that are skewing the average.
Good for them. They will be crying for business someday. A lot fewer new cars were sold since the pandemic. Less new cars means less to work on and the fleet gets older.

If there too hoity toity for them, I would say this. I have had the pleasure to report directly to 3 self made multi millionaires during my career. They all have taught me a lot. One consistent thing between all of them was a dollar is a dollar and never look a gift horse in the mouth.
 
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