Got 07 transmission fixed at shop, charged $1500 then doesnt work.. lost in court
Back in 2010, one of our trucks we had for a month, suddenly one day the engine light came on and transmission started shifting into neutral, banging into gear, took 3-6 seconds to go into reverse when shifting etc.
If you turn off the truck and turn it back on, its fine for 10 seconds to maybe a minute and then it would start all over again. It didn't seem to matter cold/warmed up or whatever.
I took it to a shop in Hamilton, NJ for repair, a transmission only facility. They told me it needed a pump assembly, and would cost $750 in labor to remove and reinstall the transmission and $700~ for the part. fine, we need it for work.
Few days later, i go to pickup the truck, tech says it still has a slight delay going into reverse, but only the first time after you start it... we tried it and seemed true. No engine lights were on, like they must have just reset it.
Drive it home, seems fine, 20 miles. Drive it the next day and felt one thud, where it wasn't in gear, but no engine light yet. another 10 miles or less...
Drive it the 3rd day with our 24' enclosed trailer and 10 miles later, engine light is on and its throwing all of the same solenoid shift codes as it did prior to the repair.
I sent them a fax July 8th 2010, so 5 days after i picked it up notifying them of the problems. Now prior to this work, ive never heard of a pump assembly, assumed it was the torque converter. My transmission guy who is a friend in another state, said the pump assembly is behind the torque converter under another plate. I even came on powerstroke.org to inquire about exactly what they could have possibly replaced.
Tech says bring the truck back, i did and it sat there for a week. "undocumented", but whatever. He calls me up "a week later" and says it needs a full rebuild for $3000+ tax. I decline. I've already paid over $1500 for a repair that didnt do a damn thing. Plus, they warranty the repair for 12months or 12,000 miles. So no warranty? sounds like fraud.
Fast forward to August 2010, i get a used 2007 F350 trans with 15,000 miles on it, our 07 had 56,000 at time of repair FYI. I have a buddies shop remove our 07 trans and install the replacement, everything works perfect, but he told me that the transmission had never come out of the truck, with less than 100 miles on it since "the pump assembly install" , all the bolts were just as dirty as the rest of the transmission. The fluid did look clean though, so we all guessed that the original trans shop charged me $1500+, to flush and refill with a filter, my original transmission.?
I file a small claims court demand for the amount, plus attorney fees because i had the attorney initially contact them, they made this bogus story about how i told them what i wanted done and i never brought them the truck back etc.
So then, the transmission shop files the reply in court "this is before we go to court", their answer to my complaint, was that i told them i wanted a pump replacement and thats all, that they told me numerous times that that wouldnt solve the problem. Keep in mind, everything the owner of the trans shop states in his answer on paper to the court and in court on our court day, is all verbal. No where do they have on paper me saying any of these things, its purely his word against mine with those statements.
In court, your word doesnt mean much, you need proof, documentation etc.
I have the code printouts before AND after the repair, the same
P0756 2-3 shift solenoid valve
p0766 shift solenoid d stuck off
p2701 trans friction element b time
p2703 trans friction element d time
I also have my fax, which the trans shop even sent their copy to the court too, from July 8th, at the bottom, i state verbatim "WHAT WAS YOUR DETERMINATION THAT THE PUMP ASSEMBLY HAD TO BE REPLACED?"
So obviously, his story about me coming in in June, telling them how "I" want the transmission repaired is fabricated.
It gets better when the 50 year old owner of the trans shop starts to talk and elaborate on the situation, and my attorney is asking him specific questions.
At one point, he flat out said, he did'nt open the transmission.... really? So how did you install the $700 pump assembly?
My attorney did good, he pestered him with questions about how he made the determination that i needed a full transmission rebuild and that if he stated already that he told me a pump assembly wouldn't solve the problem, then why did you sell a $1500 repair job to the customer that you knew wouldn't fix the problem?
Our arguments were great, theirs seemed diluted and yet it came down to a couple things for the judge....
1. 12/mo/12k mile warranty, he asked what the mileage on the truck is now? Why does that matter? 68,500, so 2+ yrs later, theres just over 12k miles on the truck, really it doesnt matter. Judge feels trans is out of warranty anyway because its over 12 months now. Well of course it is now, but it wasnt on July 8th when it still didnt work, the end of July when it sat in their yard "and didnt move" for almost two weeks and the first week of August when i had another transmission put in the truck. Says the warranty expired, no fraud here.
2. Owner of trans shop has 24 years experience, yet sounds like a rookie talking about what parts break and wear out in the Ford Torqueshift transmission, he did put it in the judges mind that this transmission has a high failure rate and Ford has bulletins "which he apparently printed out", noting the variations of what can fail... yet i know few guys with diesel ford trucks that have transmission problems, especially in a 550 where they're not modified, making more power etc. So somehow his "word" is not trumping my documentation. So although its obvious that they sold me some service to then hope they can get a full rebuild out of it in the end and profit more, judge feels theres no negligence by the owner or the shop.
3. Can't use the code printouts because im not an expert... the trans shop is the expert and he said that these codes come up commonly so its no indication that the transmission is faulty or that their repair didnt work. REALLY?
Judge rules in favor of defendant/trans shop, dismisses case.
My only recommendation next time, since you can't even get your money back legally, is to pay by AMEX or a CC, and if you have problems, immediately file with the CC so they get a charge back and fight it that way, you're much more likely to get your refund if the work is not done up to par.
Judge and defendant are in same town/city, not saying he's biased, but the defendants/trans shop's lawyer is apparently a municipal judge in another town... probably why i lost, aside from the actual case, but whatever. Maybe it will protect the next guy in line here in the future so you don't get screwed over like we did.
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