Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Saab story

"You have a new voice mail" said the message.

Hi, my name is ----------- and I'm the one with the Saab that you broke the "convertible top" five months ago. Can you call me back and give me the part number I need so I can get the part since you cannot find it. I'm so frustrated with you that I'm contemplating legal action (we are in California after all).

As you know, Saab ceased to exist in the US some time back.  Prior to that General Motors purchased it and stopped supporting it's parts distribution as of 2010.
Good luck finding anything for those vehicles!
How many "auto repair shops" do you know that have the native Saab scanners and software to diagnose those vehicles?
If you said ABC Auto Care, you guessed right.
Through some strange circumstance we ended up with all the factory stuff for Saab.

Back to five months ago. A 2004 Saab 9-3 convertible comes to the shop with a broken convertible top. The complaint was that upon activation, they owner got a hydraulic fluid bath and the unit has not worked since. They manually put it back up to cover the vehicle so they could drive it. And made an appointment with us. Lucky us!

The hydraulic actuator had busted a seal. We checked the system to find out where the leak was and gave them a quote. The actuator was approved along with replacing a noisy blower motor and two bulbs in the head lamp assemblies.
We also started to test for an air condition intermittent issue but further work was declined.

The problem started once we replaced the actuator. Once the unit was replaced, we noticed the system still would not work. The computer would not command the convertible top to work due to the fact it had a message stored in memory for an out of position sensor (convertible top circuit). We cleared the code but came back immediately.
Further "free diagnosis" revealed a broken cable for the convertible sequencing mechanism.
That's when things turned ugly.  Somehow they couldn't comprehend that on a modern convertible vehicle, when something fails on the open/close sequence, all kinds of things break. It's s carefully choreographed sequence that requires a whole bunch of things working together in conjunction.

From that point on, the only thing they could say was that we broke it. We must have since it wasn't that way when they brought the vehicle. The top was working perfectly until it failed. We must have broken it!

That in itself wouldn't  have been a problem. You see, all repair shops often give away a ton of stuff they know they are not responsible for. We do it to keep the relationship. It's easier and cheaper for a repair shop to maintain a relationship that it is to acquire a new one. I would have gladly just give them the cable and install it for free in hopes to keep them as a client (I know, I ask myself the same question, WHY?)

The real problem is the part is on national back order. And with Saab out of business in America, it's a likelihood the part may never be produced. But they have chosen to make me the source of their frustration when it really is the fact the part can not be found. They should be angry at Saab.

It's not may fault GM decided to dump Saab and not support your car! Now leave me alone!
#convertible top, #autorepairshop, #freediagnosis