I'm having an issue with my driveshaft that should be covered under my warranty. My local dealer who has been servicing my car over the last 3 years refused to book an appointment for me because I did not originally purchase the car for them. They told me they are too booked right now, has anyone else experienced this? I've spent at least $8,000 with them servicing the car over the years. Should I reach out to Dodge?
If your car is covered under the original manufacturer warranty a dealership cannot refuse to service your vehicle. Your owner’s manual, warranty, and finance contract each state expressly that you should take your vehicle to an authorized dealer for repairs. This is a condition of the contract that is your warranty and if they refuse to honor it, they are in breach of contract.
That being said… Being too busy to take in your car immediately may be a practical reality and it is up to you to decide how you would like to proceed.
Option 1: Schedule an appointment at another dealer—preferably online where no one will have an opportunity to refuse you.
Option 2: Schedule the service with the dealer you want online, where they will not have an opportunity to refuse the appointment and take it in anyway. If they refuse to diagnose your car on the day, have them print out the repair order. This is evidence of a repair attempt and will count toward meeting the criteria for a future Lemon Law claim.
Option 3: Contact Dodge Cares. They will first try to arrange something to your satisfaction with your preferred dealership. If that fails, they will arrange something with another dealer. They may also offer to arrange collection of your car or a free loaner/rental as a customer delight gesture.
Legal Option 4a: Have an attorney contact them on your behalf. The attorney will call or write (e.g., demand letter) to the dealership and Dodge on your behalf explaining your rights, citing the relevant statutes, and your preparedness to exercise your legal recourse. This approach is inexpensive and highly effective in cases where there is little to no doubt as to each parties’ legal obligations—no one risks going to court already knowing they are in the wrong.
Legal Option 4b: Assuming your attorney agrees you have a compelling case, sue Dodge and the dealership. This is probably not worth the effort compared to just going somewhere else, but if you can afford it, and want to stand on principle, this is a very common course of action in the United States.
The point here is not to tell you what you should or should not do. It is merely to help you by listing possible courses of action.