To whom it may concern:
I bought a 2004 Dodge Intrepid with about 24,000 miles on it. It seemed like a solid car, and I spent the extra money because I wanted a reliable car to carry me through 5 or 6 years.
I do a lot of driving, and at 52,000 the oil light came on; I stopped immediately and checked the oil level, coolant and for any obvious problems, but there were none. I drove it slowly to the place where I bought it, and they told me that the after-market oil filter on it was the problem (did not know Fram was an after-market brand). I said OK, let them change the oil and put the recommended oil filter on it.
23 miles toward home, the oil light was on again. I called the dealer and was told to bring it in so they could look at it. I was going on a vacation, so I rented a car after buying a ‘dependable one’, dropped the Dodge off at the dealer, and came back in a week.
Upon picking the car up, I was told they could not duplicate the problem. Again, on the way home the oil light came on again. At this point I hit the Internet and got an education on this ‘problem’. Armed with this new information about the defect, I confronted the dealer who denied knowledge of the issue (yes, right). After going up the management chain, I was told to use the extended warranty that I bought with the car, being 2,000 miles out of Dodge warranty. I called the extended warranty people and explained the situation, and told them the car still ran, but was showing signs of this defect. They promptly told me that “since the vehicle is still running, it cannot be covered under the warranty." At this point it was a maintenance issue as far as they were concerned. Also, if I were to continue to drive the vehicle without getting it fixed, they would consider me negligent and deny any claims with this issue.
I went back to the dealer and explained all this with the new information, and was coldly told that they would not do anything. The car was 46 days out of the Texas Lemon Law (yippee). This left me with a decision; I owed $25,000 (I ate some negative trade in value on 2 cars), I have to replace the motor at an estimated cost of 8,000 to 10,000 dollars, and that motor will have the same problem, (gee what to do). Also, since I do my own vehicle maintenance, I found out that I am ineligible for the extended warranty. I was told “You must prove by records from a commercial facility that the oil changes were done according to the manufacturer’s schedule.”
Why don’t you just call me a liar to my face? I have a 1964 Chevy Truck, original motor (99 percent untouched), even the paint is still in decent shape. They are telling me my family does not know how to care for a vehicle? The truck has been in my family since it was driven off the showroom floor, and has never seen an ‘oil shop’. The maintenance facility it is used to is a jack and a shade tree. They don’t build them like they used to.
To quit rambling, I have been forced into bankruptcy courtesy of this car. I refuse to make payments on something I can’t drive and can’t afford to fix; not to mention all the time and effort fighting this thing. This should not be happening. Any reputable mechanic who has looked into one of these motors would tell you the motor has a serious design flaw. There are numerous sites on the Internet about this.
Aaron L. VanBuren
13001 Cleveland Gibbs Road, #46
Roanoke, Texas 76262
P.S. Do you want to help? Send a check for $60,000. That will pay off the $25,000 loan on the 2004 Dodge Intrepid, get me a reliable vehicle, and a little for you being a pain and destroying what little credit history I had built up. But I understand that is wishful thinking. Who stands behind their products anymore? Certainly not Chrysler/Dodge.