UPDATE: Walmart Refuses To Pay For Engine Damage Caused By Their Faulty Oil Change

Last Friday, we told you about Ashlee from Paonia, Colorado who took her Saturn to a Walmart Auto Service Center in the city of Delta for an oil change. Because they botched the job, the oil leaked out which resulted in extensive engine damage to the tune of $5,875. Since then, she spoke to a representative from Walmart’s insurance company who said that they won’t pay for the repairs, because when Ashlee discovered the damage, she took her car to a non-Walmart mechanic, and in doing so has “tampered with evidence.” Not to be trifled with, Ashlee is gathering evidence and witnesses and hiring a lawyer. Ashlee’s, letter inside…

Hey, it’s Ashlee again. You can add to that story that the insurance company for Wal-mart has just called me to say they are not doing anything about it because I took it to a mechanic first, instead of going to Wal-mart… because this process “tampered with evidence.” Don’t you think any normal person would take a sick vehicle to the closest mechanic to try and get help?

Also, Wal-mart sent an older gentleman with a ponytail, and an unprofessional demeanor to the GMC dealership (where the car is supposed to be getting fixed) to assess the damage. He said he found no oil anywhere, no problems, and the engine ran great when he turned the car on. So I called the manager at the GMC dealership who immediately went out to look at the car himself…. He found “oil everywhere” and he heard severe “rod-knocking” when the engine was running, which he says is a sign of a serious engine problem. He seemed appalled at this, too—just as much as I was! Wal-mart killed my car, then denied it, and now I am hiring a lawyer. I have plenty of picture evidence, and plenty of witness accounts. And as for the condescending insurance rep that snickered at me over the phone when we asked for my date of birth, this is not the last time you will hear from this little 22 year old.

They won’t pay because you decided to take your damaged Saturn to a non-Walmart mechanic? That is typical insurance company bullshit. What do you think would have happened if you had taken it to a Walmart mechanic? They would have denied everything and blamed it on something else–it’s simply a catch-22. It sounds like you are handling the situation correctly so far. Make sure you gather and record every bit of information you can, doing so will provide your lawyer with the proper ammunition to fight your case. Hang in there, Ashlee and keep us updated.

PREVIOUSLY: Walmart’s Botched Oil Change Destroys Your Engine

Comments

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  1. aphexbr says:

    Yeah, that’s the usual catch-22 situation with this type of thing. They can get out of a huge bill by denying they caused the damage. If they don’t deny that, you’re supposed to just trust them with your car again? “Sorry about screwing up your car, we won’t do it *this* time, honest!”.

    Yet, if you take the car to someone who’s more competent than the original guys proved to be, you’re left with the bill…

  2. K-Bo says:

    If she drove all the way back to walmart they would deny her claim because she didn’t stop as soon as she knew something was wrong. Can’t win.

  3. timmus says:

    Proceed with the lawsuit. “Tamper with evidence?” Wal-Mart is not the 5th Circuit Court.

  4. wagnerism says:

    Insurance companies for this kind of liability don’t stay in business by happily paying out claims. Their primary motivations are to collect premiums and fight every claim tooth and nail.

    Wal-Mart is insured and will never pay on this, so they are out of it and have no reason to get any more involved than a subpeona requires. To the inurance company, this is a direct attack on their profit margin.

    You didn’t think they’d make it easy… would you?

  5. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Christ on a pogo stick. I’m not “anti-America” or “anti-business,” but this is one more infuriating reason I’m “anti-WalMart.”

  6. wtrwlkr says:

    go get em ashlee!

  7. Dobernala says:

    @wagnerism: Wal-Mart is going to lose and have to pay for the laywer + related costs. Doesn’t make a whole lot of business sense. If the judge makes Wal-Mart pay for attorney’s fees, its even worse.

  8. boomerang86 says:

    I’ve NEVER used a Wal-Mart T&LE, and after this story I never will. Way to go, Bentonville.

  9. ObtuseGoose says:

    One of the richest companies in America destroys a customer’s car. Then doesn’t take responsibility for it, even though it’s clearly their fault. It’s very sad that they won’t step up to the plate and do the right thing.

    Ashlee should contact a local TV station and see if they’ll put her story on the air. There’s nothing like bad press on TV that gets results.

    Good luck, Ashlee. I’m sorry Walmart is putting you through this crap. If we already didn’t have enough reasons to boycott Walmart, this is the final straw.

  10. apotheosis says:

    What a bunch of dicks.

  11. n0m4d says:

    Why do people insist on being so cheap with oil changes? You go to Wal-Mart for the $14.95 oil change special and are surprised when 1- They botch the job and 2- They don’t come clean on it? Seriously, just take you car to either the dealer or a trusted local mechanic. As for Ashlee, sue the crap outa Wal-Mart and serve as a warning to others, I hope it all works out in the end for you. BTW: Saturn dealers usually have reasonable prices on oil changes and most will hand wash and vacuum your car too.

  12. Pro-Pain says:

    I called this right in the last thread on this story. She will have to sue and will end up settling for 50% of costs to repair vehicle. Not very fair, but what can you do? People DO NOT take your vehicle to Walmart for service. Remember this story if you do. Best of luck Ashlee. Call a lawyer.

  13. Elhigh says:

    IIRC, I said wait until they refuse to give proper service, then go after them.

    That’s it, babe. Looks like you’re due some serious compensation. Don’t stop squeezin’ their nuts until their eyes bulge.

    Word to Wal-Mart: I FUCKING REFUSE to ever shop in your shitty stores because of SHIT LIKE THIS! How much are you saving trying to dodge what you did to this girl’s car, vs. what you could gain by simply owning up to it and fixing it? Great service gets great customers, lousy service gets empty stores!

    Dumb fucks.

  14. trillium says:

    @n0m4d: I’ve been in this situation where I needed an oil change (and got it down while on the road during vacation). Unfortunately mechanics and dealerships usually don’t do oil changes on a Sunday. I ended up going to Wal-Mart as a matter of convinience. After horror stories like this – no more!

  15. bohemian says:

    Walmart does not employ mechanics. If she had taken her car back to another Walmart an untrained person who changes tires and oil would have looked at it. Walmart is not capable of doing diagnostics on a car.

    The insurance company is just being obnoxious. Lawyer up and sue the crap out of them.

  16. 2719 says:

    I think going to the local news station would be a good idea. If that fails than take them to court. I wish her best of luck.

    Now one thing I will never understand – people bashing Walmart all the time. We are responsible for Walmart being the way it is. We go for the cheapest possible option – every time! I do it all the time! But I don’t bash Walmart, if they have the lowest price and often they do, they get my business. And as long as majority of people think this way Walmart isn’t going anywhere. Judging by the Walmart’s financial data that seems to be the case.

  17. lusnia says:

    this is makes me so glad that i quit shopping at wal-mart altogether . walmart doesn’t care about you or anything else, it just wants the money out of your wallet.

  18. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @2719: Don’t hold your breath. I used to think exactly like you, but after hearing the stories about WalMart selling substandard products made specially for it by its vendors, I saw that WalMart’s everyday business practices were fradulent and unethical, and I stopped shopping there. You can literally buy, say, a comforter set or coffeemaker at Target and “the same” products at WalMart, and the WalMart one might well be a lower quality product. I’ve seen it myself, when I purchased a product at WalMart, then happened to see “the same” product in another store or at someone else’s home.

    It seriously makes you wonder what substandard “Made for WalMart” products you might have that you don’t know about. Computer equipment? Power tools? Food?

  19. asaturn says:

    the ponytail from walmart sounds like a very knowledgeable mechanic.

  20. andrewe says:

    @n0m4d: Why do people insist on being so cheap with oil changes? You go to Wal-Mart for the $14.95 oil change special and are surprised when 1- They botch the job.

    Cheap? You are blaming the victim for being cheap? I don’t know about you but if I pay for a service, especially one as simple as an oil change, I expect to get what I paid for.

    By the way, dealerships are just as bad, especially for oil changes. You didn’t think a licensed mechanic was changing your oil at the dealer did you?

    Mistakes happen and it all comes down to how you are treated when the do.

  21. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    I really hope she wins this one. This is the kind of stuff that makes you feel hopeless about your options. There are few companies that bring about this type of despise in me, and Wal-Mart is one of them….So is Charter for that matter, and I’m still dealing with them.

  22. ScubaSteveKzoo says:

    @ScubaSteveKzoo: On that note, anyone hear of the Ron White sketch about Sears messing up his tire replacement because clearly the mechanic missed “Lugnut Day” at Sears College?

    This reminds me of that, where not only did it destroy your engine, but also becomes an extremely dangerous situation. I hope they have to give you the keys to their store for their mistake.

  23. chiieddy says:

    It’s stories like this that make me glad I don’t shop there. While Target isn’t much better, I don’t get the feeling I need to shower vigorously after leaving their store.

  24. TouchMyMonkey says:

    Seriously. Because Wal-Mart mechanics are so good at rebuilding engines. It’s like they’ll do it while you shop.

    The last time I took my car to Wal-Mart for servicing, and I mean the LAST time, I also wanted a new battery put in. It was rather busy, but I didn’t expect this – first they did the oil change, then they put the car back at the end of the long queue for the battery install. This is something I might have done in the parking lot with a Crescent wrench in about ten minutes, and I might have done just that if I didn’t need to get the oil change at the same time.

    I went back to check on the car, giving them a good hour and a half to do what ought to have taken twenty minutes, and they told me the car wouldn’t be ready for yet another hour. When I asked why they didn’t put the battery in while they had the hood open for the oil change, I don’t remember exactly what the counter clerk said, but it came out sounding like, “we’re much too stupid to think about stuff like that.” That was it for me. I paid for the oil change, got the battery at Pep Boys or someplace, and never looked back. I don’t like monkeys working on my car.

  25. mike says:

    The problem with the “insurance” model is that you hope and pray nothing happens. But, of course, this isn’t the case. Sometimes, it comes around to bite you in the tush.

    For example, when Katrina hit, State Farm and others refused to pay out on flood damage because it would be too costly. Understandibly so, but they should provide that service.

    But with Walmart, these problems shouldn’t be many. It’s not like Walmart is intentially trying to destroy cars. The insurance company is doing their job to check out the damage but at a certain point, they need to pony up. If Walmart doesn’t want it’s premiums to go up, they should just pay for it outright.

    If all else fails, small claims court FTW. I would sue Walmart, the manager, as well as the actual mechanic SEPERATELY. That way, you increase your chances of a payout.

  26. differcult says:

    This is why I change my own oil.

  27. Meshuggina says:

    I would sit in front of the Walmart and hand out flyers telling people how you’re being screwed over by Walmart. Maybe enough lost business and some negative-press will get them to change their tone.

  28. kalikidtx says:

    Walmart, I hope someone at your company is reading this blog. This little incident where you are choosing to NOT stand behind your products and services will end up costing you waaaaaay more than the 6k she is asking for (which seems more than reasonable) because I like many others after reading this story will NEVER use your automotive centers or products again. Why would I as a reasonable consumer choose to support a company that does not stand behind their product? I do not care how cheap you advertise your services at, a company that does not stand behind the products and services they provide is NEVER worth dealing with at any price! Nicely done Walmart…

  29. sleze69 says:

    @Dobernala: Large businesses like Walmart have lawyers on retainer 356 days/year. Fighting these claims costs them nothing.

    Losing and having to pay for the other lawyer’s work WOULD cost them something.

  30. blgcountre says:

    I’ve had to deal with a corporate insurance company before. Here’s the quick and dirty.

    I was driving to school, came up over a hill noticed a big round hunk of metal in the road and it was too late to avoid hitting it. I ended up running over it with my left front tire, completely thrashing my rim/tire. Just a few seconds up the road was a store where I pulled into the parking lot, lo and behold there was a semi with the driver working on it. Several minutes into me cussing and changing my tire, a man in a pickup truck pulls up and hands said hunk of metal to semi driver saying, “You dropped your drive shaft in the middle of the road, here ya go”. Hearing that I got the information off the side of the guy’s truck and went forward getting ahold of their insurance.

    Initially the insurance company tried to tell me to buzz off as I was only 20 (they thought they could screw me over) and that they said it was legal to leave things laying in the middle of the road in Florida.

    I knew it wasn’t legal, but what do I do now? At that point I was stumped. I called a lawyer friend of the family and his advice was to tell the insurance company that I was going to contact the county/state insurance commissioner. Within 48 hours I had a check for my repairs AND my time.

    Moral of the story, try threatening to go to the insurance commissioner.

  31. @andrewe:

    Actually yes, when my vehicles go to the dealer for an oil change an ASE certified and Ford certified master mechanic is the person changing my oil.

    This poor girl got a raw deal and is being treated unfairly. She paid for a service, had the reasonable expectation that it would be provided and that her vehicle would be returned too her with fluids replaced, filter changed and all the associated caps tightened. Somewhere that train of events derailed and she now has her motor damaged.

    Walmart has insurance in the event that these things happen. Anyone would know that a GMC dealership mechanic would be one of the most qualified people to diagnose her vehicle’s problems. Not only do they have to be ASE certified but they are additionally certified by General Motors to repair GM products.

  32. mindshadow says:

    Figures. Sounds like grounds to sue the shit out of them.

    On a side note, I wonder if a nationalized insurance plan would work as well as nationalized healthcare (supposedly) would. Since it’s pretty-much mandatory anyways per law why is it not controlled by the government? That would take out a lot of the profit incentives and greed of a large company if it was ran by a non-profit government branch.

    Of course if it was ever seriously brought up it would be fought tooth and nail by the insurance companies and their lobbyists. The second you take away the profit incentive they would start shouting, “Well, it should be the consumer’s choice whether they have insurance on their house/car/whatever, though it’s wise for them to have it.” Either that or get some kind of sweetheart deal non-bid contract for insurance through their paid for senators.

    /end derailment

  33. Elhigh says:

    @sleze69: What do the lawyers do the other 9 days?

    Before I quit Wal-Mart shopping, I used to think I was getting a great deal. A little experience taught me otherwise. For instance, two years in a row I bought a new oscillating fan – because the one from last year had quit working. Last summer I bought an old – really old, like 1940’s old – fan. It weighs a ton and cost twice as much as the Wal-Mart fan, but it works. It still works after 60 years and it still works a year after I bought it. That sounds like a bargain, higher initial cost or not.

    That’s just one example of many. Now, I could blame Wal-Mart directly, and I do to a degree, but more I blame the manufacturers pawning such lousy mechandise on us. But where are we supposed to shop? The major retailers. What goods are they selling? Whatever generates the most profit. Evidently it’s the cheap, unreliable junk that generates the most profit. Well screw that. If that’s all Wal-Mart is going to offer me, then forget them.

    I’ll pay extra for better goods, but Wal-Mart won’t carry that. Cheap stuff for cheap prices, no thanks. No wonder our landfills are filling up so fast, Wal-Mart is selling the garbage ready-made.

  34. Phexerian says:

    Take pictures of everything! Find a lawyer that is ex military possibly. You want the lawyer that is a son of a bitch to represent you, which means, he will fight like a dog for you, which is a good thing.

    You have a good case so far. When the attorney makes an initial filing, walmart will turn around and try to settle out of court. Hell, your attorney may try and settle before the filing, which is fine IMO. Don’t settle unless they pay for all of the damages to your car, your attorney’s fees, court filing fees, rental car, and then extra for your trouble. It should cost them much more than the cost to have just fixed your engine. The point of the lawsuit is not only to get what you deserve, but to punish them as well for their egregious behavior. Do not take any offer that allows you to lose financially.

    You may can get your insurance company involved in it as well. If they flip the initial bill for rental cars, but think walmart is responsible, they may sue walmarts insurance company.

    Also, have your attorney subpoena the CEO of walmart and the CEO of their insurance company into the court room. They really will NOT like that. It will cost them a lot of money to have to deal with that. Also subpoena, store manager for that walmart, service manager for the car area, service employee that changed your oil, mechanics and owner of place you took the car too or at least a written statement from your mechanics and owner.

    And of course, contact the BBB and attorney generals office as well. May not be any help but you can at least take all the steps.

    Don’t do any picketing outside of walmart until after the case is over. You don’t want to hurt your case for any reason. You attorney would probably agree with me on that.

    Good luck finding a good attorney. Some are very incompetent when it comes to trial work, but, some are also very very very good.

    -Phex
    -3rd Year PharmD / MBA Candidate

  35. Elhigh says:

    @Phexerian: Hot damn, that sounds like a serious battle plan.

  36. backbroken says:

    I’m a bit confused by all the stories of folks who suddenly needed an oil change while out on the road. The oil in your car isn’t going to suddenly go bad after you hit the 3,000 – 5,000 – 7,000 mile mark (or whatever interval you prefer). If faced with the choice of driving a bit beyond the recommended mileage or taking your car to an untrusted oil change place, for gawd’s sake just keep on driving.

  37. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @andrewe: Well I blame the OP for not just fixing the engine herself. I mean who doesnt know how to repair everything on their cars these days?

    Amirite!?

  38. jlrolin says:

    I used to work for Walmart TLE, and in this situation, this is exactly how Walmart would handle it. The problem here is that in taking the vehicle to a mechanic instead of back to the store for inspection, there is a possibility that a mechanic could have potentially taken the oil plug out and stripping it.

    It’s the unlikeliest of scenarios considering the reason you went into the mechanic was to have it inspected. Walmart has their own local mechanics usually who they refer people to in case of these problems. Best thing you could have done was never mention the mechanic and have them pay for your car to be inspected by their own mechanic. The local mechanic isn’t “in” with Walmart, and they will gladly take Walmart’s money to fix your car.

    Unfortunately, now you have to go through the legal hassle and fees with Walmart. And to be honest, it isn’t a surefire win. Walmart will probably fight this claim very poorly as well, so a good lawyer will probably get you something.

    In the end, I reccomend not taking your car to Walmart unless you know a competent employee there and request them to change your oil. I trained many new hires there, and saw a bulk of the accidents that some of the idiots they hired have done to cars. It’s not worth the risk.

  39. DarrenO says:

    @backbroken: I’m confused about that as well. I’m also a bit skeptical about stories from random little blogs. I’m no big fan on Wal-Mart, but how do we know this (or just about any other story from an unknown / untrusted source) is actually TRUE? The Consumerist is a very popular site and would it surprise anyone to find out there are some people that hate a company so much that they’d make up bad stories about them to post them here??

  40. jlrolin says:

    Also, there is a misconception here that Walmart is certified to inspect vehicles. While they can make judgments on your vehicle as their opinion, they still refer all problems to local mechanics that bid on that referral.

    If you have a legitimate problem with your car after an oil change at Walmart, TAKE IT BACK TO WALMART. They will pay for a tow if needed, and the mechanic will bill Walmart if there is a fix that is needed.

  41. unpolloloco says:

    Walmart has nothing to do with this story now – it’s all walmart’s insurance company.

  42. tmed says:

    The “bring it back to us and we’ll do it right this time” plan is always annoying.

    When the doctor leaves a watch inside you, you want someone else to remove it.

  43. carlogesualdo says:

    A company that would sell a person’s car for the price of an oil change (that happened in Oklahoma City last year) and then refuse to transport the car back to Oklahoma from Florida when it was found, not to mention refuse to provide alternative transportation to the person whose car was sold out from under her for $15.95, is not going to pay for engine damage they caused. At least, not without major strong-arm tactics.

    The thing is – if she takes them to small-claims court, there is a really low likelihood they’ll even show up. On the other hand, there’s nothing to make them actually pay the judgment either. Enforcement is a whole separate issue.

  44. stacye says:

    @blgcountre: This is a really good tip. I hope it gets added to the story.

  45. stacye says:

    @unpolloloco: Until Walmart accepts responsibility, and admits fault to their insurance company, then this is DEFINITELY a story about them.

  46. @speedwell:

    Christ on a pogo stick. I’m not “anti-America” or “anti-business,” but this is one more infuriating reason I’m “anti-WalMart.”

    I’m right there with you. Except for the disappointing use of God’s name in vain.

    I don’t think at this point, anyone Anti-Walmart should be confused with being anti-business or anti-America.

  47. ColdNorth says:

    @Phexerian: “Don’t settle unless they pay for all of the damages to your car, your attorney’s fees, court filing fees, rental car, and then extra for your trouble. It should cost them much more than the cost to have just fixed your engine.”

    IANAL, but this sounds like bad advice. The purpose of the civil court system, as I understand it, is not to “make the bastards pay” but to arbitrate a dispute or redress a legal claim. I doubt seriously that W-M will offer to settle for the whole enchilada. More likely, they will probably wait it out, figuring that they can wait longer than the other side.

    It is unlikely that an ambulance chaser will take this one on, since the REAL money comes from personal injury tort, which this is not. As far as getting an ex-military attorney… well, I am sure they will do a great job. But so will any other attorney that the OP chooses to hire. I wouldn’t think being a JAG makes an attorney “meaner”. (But who knows? Maybe there’s something to it? Does anyone out there have any experience in this area?)

    Basically, I agree that the OP is doing the right thing and that she’s taken all the appropriate steps. She can go to any mechanic she likes (and I would expect any jury or judge to agree that it is perfectly reasonable that she would not trust W-M to take care of things after her experience). W-M and its insurance company are probably just playing the odds that they can bully one of their customers around into giving up the claim. I would say that the OP should proceed with her claim, but she should expect a long, difficult road.

    One possible route: Take W-M to small claims court. It is possible that the claims limit is close to $5000. (I know that it’s pretty close to that in my own state.) While she may have to forfeit some of her claim, she would have the benefit of skipping the lawyer and all the procedural nonsense. Also, she would get a much faster resolution. It’s something to look into anyway.

  48. mac-phisto says:

    ashlee – good luck! one piece of advice: don’t get drawn in by the insurance co. remember, it was walmart that killed your car, not their insurance agent. take walmart to court, insist that they pay…if i were you, i wouldn’t even communicate with the insurers – it’s not your responsibility. it is up to management to recover losses incurred – not you. send walmart a bill, demand payment, take them to court if they don’t pay. end of story.

  49. DrLemming says:

    I recently had a legal issue with a roofer and would offer the following advice:

    Start with an attorney. Find out the legal situation in your state before doing ANYTHING else, such as talking to the media, picketing the store, etc. Otherwise, you could complicate your case (e.g., Walmart counter-sues for defamation).

    Your attorney may recommend that before you sue that you file complaints with the BBB, the state Attorney General, and/or your state’s equivalent of the Dept. of Labor & Industries.

    Once you have a solid understanding of how the law works in your state, step back and take a cold, hard look at whether a suit is worth your time and money. There’s an old saying about lawsuits: you go in a pig and come out a sausage. It’s a hassle. So if you proceed, be ready to deal with it.

    As for Walmart, it is remarkable how the corporation figured it was cost effective to blow off this woman when it will cost them far more in bad publicity. Hey, Walmart, add me to your list of people who will never shop at your store again!

  50. humphrmi says:

    I predict that the insurance company will continue to push back until the minute that they receive the subpoena, then their lawyers will fall over themselves to try and “work out a deal”. That’s just how it works, sadly. And of course you, the consumer, have to shell out the money to file the suit and have them served.

  51. pockygt says:

    @andrewe: You are absolutely right about the licensing thing, because there is no such thing as a licensed mechanic/technician. All we have are certifications that are basically meaningless. So that makes it really difficult to have a positive image for new customers.

  52. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @n0m4d:

    My truested local mechanic only charges $5 more than Wal-Mart but takes care of oh so much more.

    @pockygt: Are you saying that ASE certs are worthless?

  53. mac-phisto says:

    @sleze69: retainer fees typically don’t pay for time in court – these are billed separately. sometimes the contract may contain a certain number of billable court hours – even if that’s the case, the representation is still costing walmart something (either a portion of the retainer or billable hours or both).

  54. deckard97 says:

    Hang tough Ashlee, be sure to tell your attorney to ask for compensation for non-economic damages (mental duress).

  55. Trai_Dep says:

    I’m highly amused by the thought of two Consumerist stories and the hundreds of comments chiming in with their experiences of Wal-Mart ripping off their customers being part of an official trial proceeding.
    Ashlee, be sure to put into writing all verbal communication you’ve received from Wal-Mart and their entities, especially the unprofessional tone, as well as their representative who glanced at the smoking wreck that used to be your car before their mechanics sabotaged it then announced it’s in factory ship-shape.

  56. ne1butu says:

    I wouldn’t let Wal Mart replace my shoelaces, much less touch anything that could impact the safety and reliability of my vehicle, one of the most expensive and complicated items I own.

    It’s important to understand the basics of routine maintenance.

    - How does an internal combustion engine work?
    - Why is maintenance important, and what does oil and an oil filter do? What do spark plugs and various fluids do?

    After a maintenance, you should always eyeball a few things when you pick the car up and after the first drive to make sure everything is a-ok.

    - Is there smelly or oily fluid on the ground under the engine your car, staining the pavement? There shouldn’t be. Condensation from the air conditioner is pure water, and that’s okay.
    - Under the hood, are all caps and plugs put back where they should go? Most engines make these critical checkpoint items in fluorescent yellow, green and orange colors.
    - Are all tools, wrappers and old parts removed from the engine bay? A lot of mechanics leave junk along the edge of the engine bay, which can cause problems.
    - Check out any new odors after a scheduled maintenance. The exterior of the engine should be free of oil, coolant and other fluids.
    - The owner’s manual lists all of the items that have been addressed for each scheduled maintenance. Go through the list and understand the basics of what you’re paying for.

  57. Oface says:

    @n0m4d: Read the original story. She had just moved to the area and it was the only thing she could find that she had heard of.

    Jesus Christ people. I’m so sick of “well you went to X company so that’s what happens.” or “that’s what you get for not knowing how to do it yourself”.

  58. mythago says:

    Good on you, Ashlee. Word of advice to anyone dealing with an insurance company: they will NEVER give you a fair offer unless you have a lawyer. NEVER. Period. They don’t even take you seriously until you have one. Then they’ll at least consider playing ball.

    However, anybody who tells you to “hire a bulldog” or “never settle/back down” is an idiot. You want a lawyer who’ll fight for you. You DON’T want a lawyer who is working out his or her anger issues on your dime. A “bulldog” will cut into your eventual settlement or recovery, assuming you get one, and will tell you it’s all his doing that you got as much as you did.

  59. V-Rock says:

    Ah, this so reminds me of my recent run-in with my homeowner’s insurance. A tornado came through Atlanta and put a tree right on my roof. I was talking to my insurance the following morning as the tree was being removed so they could tarp my roof and prevent further rain damage. All of the sudden the rep started yelling at me for removing the tree and claiming they would not cover it and that I was currently “destroying evidence.” I just laughed. I had my policy in hand and new he was full of it.

    Best of luck Ashlee!!!
    I feel for your Saturn. I have had my little Saturn for 10 years and have 207,000 miles on her and she just won’t quit. I hope you can get your’s back in shape.

  60. christoj879 says:

    Catch-22! Punday is really starting off well!

  61. pockygt says:

    @Jaysyn:
    I’m saying they’re not really an indication of quality. They basically say that this person has done a written test and worked 2 years in a shop.

  62. Nick1693 says:

    @timmus: Not yet. But soon.

  63. TACP says:

    @DarrenO: This is the Internet. People believe anything posted on it, especially conspiracy theories.

    I’ve never had trouble with their oil changes, personally. They actually use name brand filters, unlike some mom-and-pop shops I’ve gotten oil changes at.

  64. Cymor says:

    My mom had this same problem. Wal-mart forgot to put the drain plug back in, and it killed the engine. The difference is, she called them right back, and had them come and get it. They replaced the engine without any bickering.

  65. eross says:

    DarrenO, The fact that you recognized the filter brand does not necessarily have any correlation at all to the quality of the product or service. Do you really think Walmart corporation uses high-quality parts for their auto service? Having had a roommate who worked in their auto dept, I assure you that’s not the case–they use the cheapest of everything.

  66. knyghtryda says:

    As bad as most dealership experiences can be, I would say the 2 places I do trust my car to be serviced are the local mechanic and the dealership. The local guy I can always go back to if I have issues, and the dealership at least SHOULD know the important details of the car. Getting anything important (or anything at all) done at walmart is at best a bad idea. The girl needs to win this case and just vow never to shop at walmart again.

  67. biminitwst says:

    Yet another reason to NEVER, EVER go to Wal Mart.
    For anything.
    It only encourages them.

  68. DisposableMike says:

    I had a very similar experience with Walmart a few months back, but in this case, they actually behaved in the way that they should’ve and paid for all of the damages to the car, and the extra expenses that we incurred.

    The short story is that we had 4 new tires and an oil change done to the car. 10 days later, my wife rounded a turn and the wheel in its entirety came off. Apparently, when they installed the tires, they torqued the lug nuts so heavily that they were totally stripped. I found the tire in someone’s yard and the lug nut cap with all of the shredded lug nuts in it a few yards back.

    Walmart admitted fault almost immediately, until their insurance company got on with things and said that they wouldn’t be paying anything until they could asses their videos of their service transactions and get an independent estimate of the damage. There were a few nervous factors, such as the fact that the tire had to be put back on to get it on the tow truck, etc. But it was clear to all parties that the lug nuts simply failed.

    Cut to the end: Walmart ends up paying for damages to car (about $2500, with body damage, rotor, etc), rental car, and towing. No extra friction needed. A lot of phone calls and a few worrisome nights, but they ended up doing the right thing in the end.

    Now, since this is a consumer protection site, let me be clear about this: I have never shopped at Wal-Mart since, and they will never, ever service my vehicles again. They fairly compensated me and my wife for the damages that we incurred. But really, they should have been sued for punitive damages. Their carelessness could’ve easily cost my wife her life and the lives of other motorists if that wheel came detached in another circumstance (higher speed/different angle, etc). There was a very similar case that was settled for about $5 million in which the drive of the vehicle was killed due to the nuts failing on the tire about 6 months prior to our transaction. They should absolutely require their mechanics to be certified and their work to be peer checked.

    All in all, it was great of them to accept responsibility of their actions, but they still provided extremely bad service.

  69. carlogesualdo says:

    I tried to post this earlier, but it never appeared. Trying again…

    I expected this story today. I knew they’d try to avoid paying for the damage they caused and somehow try to blame the customer for it. This is a company that gave away a person’s car for the cost of an oil change by not verifying the person picking up the car was the same person who dropped it off. Then, this same company didn’t want to offer any compensation in the form of helping this customer obtain a rental car. Nor were they willing to pay to transport the customer’s car home from Florida when it was finally located, even though Wal-Mart was determined to be at fault. The customer had to figure out how to get to Florida from Oklahoma and pick up the car herself.

    Good for her that she’s taking them to court. They’re just trying to scare her with that “tampering with evidence” comment. Lawyers are pretty good at ferreting out the truth, much as we pretend to dislike them. I hope all goes well for her.

  70. Weirdsmobile says:

    I love seeing this post right after the “above and beyond” one about Costco. Costco is truly the Anti-Walmart!

  71. Please, for the love of country, everyone stop shopping at Wal-Mart.
    Buy local. support Mom and Pop stores.

  72. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    Walmart is NOT my choice for ANY automotive repair. This reaffirms it.
    However, I will use WalMart for bargains (as in buying oil to perform my own changes).
    I wish Ashlee the best and hope she gets justice. (I hate insurance companies, their reps, and their greed)

  73. dragonfire1481 says:

    She should be able to get a sworn statement from the mechanic attesting to the fact the damage was likely caused by Wal-Mart. There should also be a work order on file at the shop detailing what was done.

  74. camman68 says:

    On July 3, my 70-year old mother had to take my father to the Emergency Room. They live in a smal town in eastern Colorado and were on their way to Colorado Springs which is 200 miles away. About 40 miles from home they had a blow-out. My mom immediately called me to help them but I knew some local farmer would stop to help them before I arrived. When I arrived, a local farmer’s wife and her son had stopped to help and were tightening up the last lugnut. My parents made it to the hospital but I wanted to make sure everything was OK for their trip back home. I decided to get 2 new tires for the pickup. I shopped around but decided on Walmart because their is a store about 30 miles from their house and they would be able to buy two more matching tires when they were ready to replace the others.

    I went to the store on s. 8th street in Colorado Springs. I asked them what they had in stock and the clerk said she had 3 different models in stock. I asked to see the tires so I could make a decision. One of the tires she showed me was the “Uniroyal Liberator” and told me they were $105.00 each. I pointed at the price sign on the rack which said $100.00. She said the sign was wrong and the cost would be $105.00. It was about 5:00pm on the day before a holiday and they store was very busy. I decided to pay the extra $10.00 just so I could get my parents safely back on the road.

    They installed the tires and my mom paid for them. When we got to the truck, I noticed that they had charged her $3.50 for new valve stems. We had not discussed this but I was OK with it. Just for the hell of it, I decided to look at the tires/wheels before we left the parking lot. As it turned out, they had only replaced one of the valve stems. Since I had already decided to donate $10.00 to the store for the price discrepancy, I was infuriated about the additional $1.75. I went back inside and asked for a refund of the valve stem charge. I was told I would have to wait for a manager – which took about 30 minutes.

    By this time, I had been “stewing” far too long. I told the manager that the extra $1.75 pushed me over the edge. He appologized and gave me a gift card for $25.00.

    I’m satisfied with the manager’s response, but I am still very upset that they would try to rip-off a little old lady who was in a bind and was 200 miles from home.

    As many people as they had working on the vehicle, they should have had someone verify the repairs.

    I wonder if these stores have the same DM?

    Walmart Automotive Customers – Caveat Emptor!

  75. we are hearing just one side of the story.

    Oh, I am sure Wally farkedup the car. 99.9% sure.

    But like I said, we are hearing one side of the story.

    Like to see some facts (dealer’s inspection report, damaged parts etc) to support the claim.

    Wally’s insurance company will settle if the support evidence starts to mount.

  76. mizmoose says:

    @InfiniTrent: I’m disappointed at your judeo-christian-centered disappointment.

    I propose we keep religion out of it, and stick to the issue — WallyWorld needs a boot to the head.

  77. sliverworm says:

    The same thing happened to me with BrakeCheck a few years agao, they changed my oil.. then on the ‘test run’ the car broke down on the test run, then the manager never told me anything so after 2 hours of waiting I finally asked where my car was. He then broke he news to me. They somehow got it back up and running and so I got to take it home. Well the next day while on my way to work I heard a huge CLUNK in my engine. After that it just stopped running. I took it to another mechanic who said it did not have enough oil in it. After 3 months of arguing with Brake Check that they killed my car, they ended up just buying the car out right from me according to KBB value.

  78. pegr says:

    @InfiniTrent:

    He used your god’s name in vain. Not polite, but no skin off your beak. Jehovah with jelly, get a grip. (“someone on the IntarWeb was rude to me!”)

    One cannot choose their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Discrimination based on those attributes is irrational.

    One can, however, choose their religion. Discrimination based on religion makes perfect sense to me, as it is a clear reflection of one’s intelligence and perhaps even sanity.

    //atheist libertarian

  79. trujunglist says:

    @aphexbr:

    We destroyed your car, why didn’t you bring it back to us? Cheater!

    Walmart is the abusive SO of retail.

  80. Jesda says:

    I was at a WM store when a customer called in and said they had engine problems. The store had the car towed in, turned out the oil filler cap was not reinstalled, and the store took full responsibility.

  81. mountaindew says:

    I took my car to Walmart for an oil change, but lost a wheel cover when I went to pick up my car, and they said it wasn’t their fault…… hmmmmm…..

  82. Phexerian says:

    @ColdNorth: The process generally goes like this, as I have worked in a law office for accident and injury law for a little while. Something or someone gets damaged. Person retains lawyer. They tell the opposing party, hey, you screwed up my property, you are going to pay for it. They flat out refuse. THEN YOU FILE THE ACTION AND TAKE THEM TO COURT. Trying to make them pay, is outside of the realm of the civil court. Once in court, you’ve already invested time into the action, you might as well go through with it, unless of course they really really want to settle out of court then, to which it will cost them a pretty penny. When a company, as in this situation, acts egregiously, the courts may also punish them accordingly. The insurance company denied the claim on the basis that the evidence was tampered with. That, at least IMO, is malicious greed. The court may or may not see it the same way, but what you do is make sure it is brought up in court to show the company in their true light. You may or may not win the case, but if you do, they will be punished for it financially. It’s not that what I said was bad advice, its the standard practice that many lawyers use when arguing a settlement or fighting a case. They give them a chance to pony up, they refuse, then you punish them in court financially. It seems pretty fair to me, they try to wiggle out of a financial obligation, they should have to pay dearly for it which includes the plaintiff’s attorneys fees, all expenses indirect and direct because of the situation, and direct expenses to solve the problem.

    In respect to ex military attorneys, I am not referring to a person who was a JAG officer or the like, but simply a person who was in the military, and at a later time became a lawyer. This is out of my personal experiences and what I have seen, is that generally, they are not as wimpish as some of these other little pussyfoot attorneys that I have seen trying to practice trial law.

    Any other attorney that she chooses to hire you are sure they will do a great job? I’m sorry but I disagree and I find that to be somewhat of a blanket statement. There are many good attorneys and many bad attorneys out there. I am stating from my personal experience and from what I have seen, ex military persons with JDs generally stand up for themselves and their clients better. But it is not always the case.

    You may can get an accident and injury lawyer to take the case, and it may not be a bad idea, as they are exceptionally skilled at taking on insurance companies. I honestly don’t know what other kind of attorney to recommend other than a consumer protection type attorney.

    “W-M and its insurance company are probably just playing the odds that they can bully one of their customers around into giving up the claim. I would say that the OP should proceed with her claim, but she should expect a long, difficult road.”

    Good advice and I agree with that completely. Litigation is always a time and financially consuming process that involves a great deal of stress and resources. I would think that for an entire car engine, which costs thousands of dollars to be rebuilt, walmart should cowboy it up. No reasons the OP should be put into debt for something that was caused by a company with incompetent employees.

  83. HeartBurnKid says:

    Yet another reason I will not shop at Wal-Mart. Always. Err, Never.

  84. What I find funny about this story, is that her engine had relatively low miles. “Tampered with Evidence”? Who would bring this sort of nightmare on for no reason? Her car was relatively new, lower miles. Oh, I get it. She decided for “Funsies” to clank around pistons and valves, bend rods and take a $14,000 investment down the road with no oil for the hell of it. Then she plotted to exort them out of money — the repair costs EXACTLY. So she would be made whole, no better, no worse. Try for millions?!? NO! She wants what is rightfully hers.

    Yes, fun times! Thanks, Wal*Mart!

  85. hwyengr says:

    @DarrenO: On the flipside, with this being the scary, unverifiable internet, who’s to say that you’re not Astroturfing for Walmart*?

  86. jswilson64 says:

    @timmus: Why would the 5th Circuit court in New Orleans handle a case in California? Way out of their jurisdiction.

  87. AgentTuttle says:

    Another mechanic is called a “second opinion.” Go get ‘em girl.

  88. snakeskin33 says:

    Frankly, I don’t think any judge will look kindly on an insurance company throwing around the term “tampering with evidence,” which has absolutely nothing to do with this situation and is lawyer-ish scare-talk intended to intimidate consumers into believing they’re being accused of doing something untoward.

    Ashlee did absolutely nothing wrong by going to another mechanic — I have never heard of any requirement that you return to the same place if a mechanic damages your car. It would be great if Bob the mechanic would give you a statement; I would say always, always, always get a mechanic in a situation like that to give you something in writing explaining the diagnosis. Hopefully, whatever estimate he gave you contains that information.

    There’s no earthly reason why Walmart has the right to personally be the only place to handle the car. Unless there’s something about this that I’m not understanding, all you should have to do in civil court is prove that it’s more likely than not that Walmart caused the damage, and there are lots of ways to do that, even though you let someone else see the car. It’s true that you would have better evidence if you had taken it back to Walmart, but since THE CAR WAS DEAD, nobody’s going to fault you for protecting your own safety.

    “Tampering with evidence” is a crime not related to this situation in any way; they’re trying to intimidate you, and I wouldn’t hesitate to ask your attorney about adding something to your complaint about the fact that they’re frivolously throwing around criminal accusations to try to intimidate you into not pressing your claim. You might not get any separate money for it, but in my experience, this is just the kind of thing that really, really ticks off judges.

  89. xeensd says:

    Wow, Wally world did the same thing to my mothers ’96 Saturn
    SL2 (average of 32mpg) did not blow the engine but ate oil from then on.

    (I am hiding my 2004 Vue from the baddies at Wal Mart – only synthetics and my hands shall touch the cherished
    4 banger during oil changes – anyone seen the odd filters the 2.2s have – just a filter, casing is not changed).

    Xeen

  90. parkrndl says:

    I let WM put tires on my ’85 Caprice once. Wasn’t too bad till I took advantage of the free rotation and balancing deal that came with the tires. They f’ed it up pretty bad; made it wobble and shimmy so it was tough to drive on the highway. I let another WM redo it, and it was acceptable… never went back to them for anything after that…

    –rick

  91. This happened with my mother with Sears. they said because we took the car elsewhere after having problems again that they were not liable or responsible for anything anymore. WTF

  92. rellog says:

    I didn’t read all the responses, but if it wasn’t mentioned, I think there needs to be laws on the books compensating consumers for B.S. run-around like this. Some punitive measure that sticks it to insurance companies for ridiculous actions like these.

  93. buyer5 says:

    @pockygt: Exactly, its like saying an A+ certified PC tech is the best person to work on your computer.

  94. kolorfast says:

    @mizmoose: @pegr: Aren’t there enough religious forums out there, that we don’t have to deal with this petty crap on one that is dedicated to cars, and the cult thereof? *religious expletive*

  95. kolorfast says:

    Oh, and go Ashlee! Assuming her story is true, of course. Still, Wally World is one festering boil we might should consider lancing.

  96. Go Ashley. I hope she reams those arseholes for all they’re worth!

  97. CyberRanger says:

    My family consistenly shops at Wal-Mart b/c their prices are good on many items–but we would never buy tires or have any automotive work done there. Period. I wouldn’t take any of my vehicles to Jiffy Lube or Sears either. That is foolish. If I didn’t change my own oil & service my own vehicles I’d take them to a reputable shop like any other service I can’t do myself. There are many items at Wal-Mart I would not purchase either simply b/c the quality isn’t the best or their prices aren’t the best. the automotive service isn’t the best either. Duh!

    Wal-Mart’s handling of this situation is no different than what Sears, Target or Jiffy Lube would do. So simply stating you aren’t going to buy toilet paper from Wal-Mart b/c their automotive department screwed up it idiotic.

    This is as much about bashing Wal-Mart as it is about Ashlee’s situation. IMNSHO, she screwed up by taking it there to start with. Wal-Mart is partly responsible. Ashlee should have known better that to continue to drive it w/o oil. Bad on her. There had to have been a CHECK ENGINE light or OIL light on for quite awhile. Its there for a reason. Don’t ignore it. If she drove it as far as she says she did, then she is partly at fault. Own your s***.

    As a former mechanic, I’m amazed at how many people will continue to drive a car when there’s an obvious problem. I’ve had people bring cars & trucks to me that they should’ve stoppped driving 50, 100, or 1000 miles ago, but just kept on driving. Instead of a $50 or less fix they had $1500-$5000 repairs instead. One guy brought his van in after the entire brake rotor had not only worn down, but had been completely worn away. I’m talking about a rotor, not just the brake pad. When I gave him a quote he wanted me to put it back together (with non-existant parts) so he could keep driving it!!!

    People hate Wal-Mart b/c they’re successful. If they are so bad, then why are they successful? That flies in the face of all logic. Bad businesses do not make money. Bad businesses don’t stay in business long. Everytime a Wal-Mart opens, 10x or more people apply for jobs than are being offered. Must be a horrible place to work. huh?

    I figure we save in the area of $1000/yr by shopping there instead of buying the same items elsewhere. Is Wal-Mart perfect? No. But it isn’t the devil incarnate either.

    Wal-Mart doesn’t do business any different than they did 20 yrs ago. Their return policy is pretty good. I’ve returned stuff to Wal-Mart no other business would have even considered taking. Most of their employees are pretty good folks. Like any business there are a few bad ones. Taking your car to the Wal-Mart in Delta, Colorado is clearly a bad idea. Delta doesn’t have an abundance of qualified mechanics. Those that are don’t work at Wal-Mart.

    I know this. I grew up in Paonia.

  98. fjordtjie says:

    if she took back her car to the place that caused the damage, it would have been worse than going to the obvious choice, the closest mechanic that won’t damage her car further!

    you know you’re dealing with professionals when they mess up an OIL CHANGE.

    my question is, why would the mechanic she took it to let some skeevy seem-ing guy hop in and turn on her car? i hope she gets the competent person to testify as to the condition of the vehicle…and maybe some pictures too!

  99. Kajj says:

    @n0m4d: You should read the original article (and the consumerist commenter code). The OP is not a Wal-Mart shopper normally, and only went there because she was in an unfamiliar area.

  100. Nick_Bentley says:

    Yep if she took it back to Walmart the mechanic there wasn’t going to suddenly admit to the problem, so her “evidence tampering” by having a third party tell her what was wrong was the best thing to do. Just the fact that they sent someone over to deny all damage and oil leaks is even worse.
    I simply won’t go there anymore, no reason to anyway. Home centers and grocery or big box stores have all the stuff they sell, and it’s not total crap quality for the manufactured goods like towels I’ve bought there.

    I won’t miss all the frozen meats that taste like 40 percent of their flavor has been removed. I think it was a previous story where the butchers tried to form a union or join one, they allegedly planted management in to vote no, then they took all meat departments out of Walmarts and just use frozen now. $6,000 is peanuts to a corporation when they stand to lose a court case, and the loyalty of anyone reading this story. Amazing how a company spends so much on advertising and so little on damage control.

  101. I noticed a lot of commenters claiming it’s the customers fault for being cheap and taking it to Walmart in the first place.

    If Walmart offer an oil change for $14.95. Then they bloody well have an obligation to do it properly for $14.95!

  102. Mike the Dog says:

    @LandofMinos, a p’ p’ piece from here and a p’ p’ piece from…: A-F*cking-Men! If she pursues this in civil (not small-claims) court, she should get her repair bill and attorney fees back as well as punitive damages.

  103. parrotuya says:

    A few years ago, I bought tires from Sam’s Club. Within 3 months, my car started shaking so I took it to a mechanic who said that my tires were defective. Sam’s Club refused to refund my money or replace the tires. They said “Too bad.” I hope you win your lawsuit against the evil Wal-Mart and please add an extra $200 for my loss and then go spend it at Target! Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club is pure, unadulterated evil.

  104. Devezu says:

    The only way to truly win customers is not great prices, or flashy signes, or a sales event, but true to the core customer service. Remember, there is no store without customers. So when this situation happens, you must remember that the customer is actually above you, and do your best to keep the customer with you. By denying, not only do you lose one customer, but those who know her and the many (15,111 views at time of writing) who have read this article.

  105. @kolorfast: You were linked to this site from Jalopnik. Check the URL at the top of your screen.

  106. fightcommunismUSA says:

    For consumer information on auto shop mechanics, request information directly from the dealership only. Most dealerships are required to only have a supervisor who is a trained or certified mechanic for oil changes and other “light” mechanical work. I know this for a fact since my husband is a certified master mechanic and worked for several dealerships and shops over the previous ten years. His last job at the Big Valley Ford dealership in Portales, New Mexico about two years ago employed people at minimum wage to deal with their oil changes and tire service. He worked only about a year there before he said one of these “idiots” ruined two engines in a one month span doing routine oil changes. We also have had problems with people too stupid to know the differences between the oil and the oil grades, one guy at an mechanics shop tried to get my aunt to pay for a new oil pump,transmission, etc… because he didn’t know that some oil grades look red he told her that a car less than a year old had rust in the engine. LOL what an idiot, he refused to release her car,FLA saftey law, till my husband threatened to sue the company.
    My husband was so fed up with the way most mechanic shops and dealerships were run that he is now in another line of work, and you can bet no other person works on our cars.

  107. smonkey says:

    @mindshadow: I doubt a nationalized insurance would work well here. Just look at the care our vets receive. It’s disgraceful (read: Walter Reed). If national heros can’t get decent health care, then I doubt the unwashed masses would do any better.

    Walmart needs to be aware of what the insurance company is doing to you. They legitimately may not be aware of how the company does business. (I’m giving them the benefit of the dobut here) As any group of people grows, it becomes exponentially more difficult to be aware of all actions done in your name.

    I say fight them, get a lawyer. Often times even a a nasty gram with the right letterhead can solve these types of problems.

  108. cloydfox says:

    About 2 years ago I had my oil changed at Wal-Mart. As I was driving away I noticed smoke coming off the back of the car and a burning oil smell. I called Wal-Mart and they told me to bring the car back. I got back and they tried to tell me something just happened to break on the car causing oil to pour out of the engine as it ran… yeah right! Oil covered the undercarriage and back of my car. I had it towed to the dealership I bought the car from and they determined that it was a faulty oil filter that caused the problem. We really did not have much problem with Wal-Mart or the oil filter manufacturer. After it was determined that it was the filter, Wal-Mart switched the claim over to the manufacturer. The engine did need to be replaced! They paid for the repair, tow and a comparable rental car.

  109. hailster says:

    While I really think WalMart should pay for the damage, since after all one of their employees did cause the damage. I don’t understand why it would cost $6000 to get a new/rebuilt motor put in.
    Now if this is a 2002 or older Saturn I can get a rebuilt motor for roughly $1200. Toss on probably $500-600 for labor to get the motor pulled/reinstalled and that is far less than $6000. I would get a second opinion on the cost…

    Then again if it’s a newer Saturn I can’t say much since I don’t know how much that would cost.

  110. iamdiane says:

    Ashlee, What was the outcome with your lawyer. I went Sat. Sep. 19th for an oil change. Cashed out at 11:53am and started out of the drive way and onto the main road and my car died 2 mins after pulling away. I called a tow truck at 11:55am. They are saying that they did the oil change correctly, however my car just shut off and my engine is messed up severely. Spent all day with their claims dept. which told me that they are not going to be helping me with this claim since the oil change was done correctly that their is oil in the car and an oil filter. What they did I have no idea. But I am now without a car and over a $2000 engine problem. I was wondering how you made out with your lawyer. Guess this is the route i’m going to have to take. Let me know.