In September, 2017, I drove my 2007 Cadillac CTS into Disbrowe's drive-through service bay as my brakes had felt "mushy" for a couple of days. The service advisor gave me an appointment for the next day and up sold me to a $99 "Seasonal Maintenance Package" which included Oil and Filter (which my car computer did not indicate I needed) as well as a brake inspection which the service advisor assured me would address my problem. I specifically asked for brake fluid line inspection as brake pads and rotars were new in the last year. She did not offer to test the brakes out or provide a shuttle home. Instead she let me drive the car away. I felt very nervous about it. When I picked up my car following service, the bill was $352.89 for oil and filter (which I thought was part of the $99 package) and for caliper service. NOTE: I WAS NOT CALLED TO GET APPROVAL FOR THE CALIPER SERVICE! The service advisor assured me the brakes were fixed. I left the dealership and the brakes still felt mushy. The next day backing down my 50' steep driveway, I completely lost my brakes. My foot went to the floor. I was careening backwards at considerable speed. Miraculously, I missed a tree, a telephone pole and a parked car, and ended up backwards in the middle of my neighbour's garden 2" from a tree. Even more miraculous, there happened to be no people or vehicles going by. What a terrifying 6 second ride! I could have been killed or killed someone else. I towed the car at my expense back to Disbrowe's where I was invited to meet with the owner and head mechanic under the car on the hoist to have them show me the corroded brake fluid lines, which I pointed out was a conversation we should have had the first time. before I nearly killed myself. The owner admitted that the service advisor had failed to make note on the service work order that I had come in because of a brake problem and that I had specifically asked to have the brake fluid lines examined. The technician had rotated the tires, topped up fluids and did a caliper service and failed to notice the brake fluid lines were leaking as part of the brake inspection.
The owner quoted $3800 to replace all the brake fluid lines or $800 to replace the front ones only so that it was driveable. I was quite shaken and said to fix the front ones while I figured out what to do. Then she took me into the showroom and sent me out on a test drive of 2017 Cadillac SUV - without a sales person. On my return I waited a half hour and no sales person attended me so I handed the key to reception and left. What a horrible dealership experience from beginning to end.
The cost of front brake fluid line replacement came to $785.75 for which the owner only gave me a $205.55 credit for the caliper service which she shouldn't have charged me for anyway as I had not approved it, and which obviously wasn't needed. In total I paid $933.09 for this disastrous experience. I wrote to GM Customer Care in Oshawa, Ontario asking for a refund of my money and had several subsequent phone conversations with "Diane" who in the end said the "team determined that they would not reimburse the money"
My claim for reimbursement is based on the following issues:
1. They should not have even let me leave the dealership on my initial visit since I told them I was afraid to be driving my car with bad brakes. Instead the service advisor up sold me to a maintenance package assuring me the brake problem would be addressed and sent me home.
2. I specifically asked them to check brake fluid lines and told them the brake pads and rotars were new. The service advisor did not make note of this, or make any notes whatsoever on the work order and the technician did not check brake fluid lines, which given the level of failure, leaks must have been obvious
3. The technician went ahead and did a caliper service and the service advisor did not call me to get approval for this $205.55 expense first.
4. The owner should have stepped up and fixed the brake fluid lines at no charge given the horrendous and frightening experience and the incredibly dangerous outcome of their incompetent staff. Instead, the owner conceded that they were at fault but would only refund the caliper service which of course, she shouldn't even have charged me for since I had not approved it.
In hind sight I should have left the car on the hoist and done nothing until I contacted my lawyer to negotiate better compensation for their incompetence and the stress and upset they put me through. It would have probably cost them a lot more. All I wanted was a refund of the money I spent as some gesture of goodwill to a loyal GM customer of over 50 years. I am simply appalled at the response of the dealership and of the GM Customer Care to this experience. Everyone in my community, many of whom are Disbrowe customers, know what happened to me and more importantly know how badly it was handled which has done far more damage to their reputation .