Caught: Dealer trashes Camaro

2012-10-08 11:57

GREENVILLE, South Carolina - A Chevrolet Camaro SS owner, sick of being given the runaround by his local dealer, decided to put a listening device in his vehicle - with a shocking result.

Watch the video - it's enough to make any car-lover's blood boil!

We've all heard horror stories about cheating dealers but it's not often that unprofessionalism is captured on camera. So, when Chevrolet Camaro SS owner William Clark,noticed problems with his ride at 25 000km, he took it to a dealer in Greenville, South Corolina.

He reports: "They gave it back to me damaged, I left, and 10 minutes later it had to be towed back to that dealer. Accusations flew but nobody was man enough to admit it."


Clark called a Chevrolet customer assistance centre and explained what had happened. The centre sent him to a dealer in Easley, South Carolina. An appointment was scheduled when the problem re-appeared... only this time the mechanics were caught red-handed abusing his Chevy.

Clark reports that he noticed his gears were grinding at low speed and that he struggled to shift. Thinking that his car might have been tampered with he hid a recording device in the vehicle. What followed was a shocking audio clip of at least two passengers commenting about how they were thrashing Clark's Camaro during a 20-minute test drive.

"The service manager and his crew took the car for a 20-minute, tyre squealing, 'drive it like you stole it' joy ride," Clark said.

In the video you can hear a mechanic stating: "I didn’t use the clutch and I went through to sixth," to which the passenger commented "I don't think they warranty if you beat the shit out of your car."

The worst part was how the service personnel planned not only to bill Clark but also charge General Motors for warranty work. "If it was me, I'd write this f**ker up at him buying a clutch for it... him buying a clutch disc, let them warranty the pressure plate, bill them in on two days later so I'll get paid to put a clutch in it, and then get paid to put a pressure plate in it."


Clark confronted the fixed operations director with his "evidence" but the automaker refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing. "The director offered his personal reassessment and if he found things not in order then he may repair it for free. Or maybe, perhaps they would let me trade it in for another car on their lot. Can you believe this guy? He is trying to sell me a car because mine is broken now!

"I suggested the dealer buy it, repair it, CPO it, sell it, and then take the difference out ot the offending parties' pay."

The customer service centre refused to assist, even though it recommended the dealership, claiming "it's a dealership issue".

Share your thoughts in our Readers' Comments section below, but first listen to the video.

Watch the video below:

  • bdanney - 2012-10-08 13:00

    It would not surprise me if this happened here is SA too. I won't name the dealer or the brand but I had a car that had the engine replaced with 2500km on the clock. By 50000km it was onto clutch number 3. The warranty on this car covered nothing, the maintenance plan was a joke and I had to pay for it all. I was quoted R4k for brake pads, they lasted 9000km. I replaced them myself the set I put in cost R1500 and lasted 25000km. I looked up the old set that had been installed by the dealer on the web. They cost 40 US$, cheap crap would be better than these things. Complaints to head office fell on deaf ears. I will never, ever buy a Subaru again. Nice product, let down by Subaru SA and the dealers.

      graeme.sears.7 - 2012-10-08 16:07

      Which dealer carried out the work? I've just bought my dad's 2000 model Subaru, it's got a full service history with them and the car is immaculate. In fact, it feels better than my new car. I inspected the underside of the vehicle and I have to say that it's in fantastic condition.

      peter.tony.14 - 2012-10-08 18:38

      "I won't name the dealer or the brand"....but you won't ever buy a Subaru again! But when a clutch, brakes and an engine all prematurely pack-up I would bet my house that the driver abused the car....

  • harry.boesman - 2012-10-08 21:49

    I can't believe no-one else realises the recording is a fake. Just think: Listen to the dialogue, it sounds like a cheap-skate radio drama. Why would anyone mention a previous crime just like this one, and then conveniently refer to the customer as the "other guy"? Don't you see, it's all just a ruse to universalise the whole thing? And then there's those perfectly-recorded sound effects. (Yawn!) You've all been had by a couple of amateur radio drama actors!

  • bart.mitchell.393 - 2012-10-09 09:59

    Subaru being slammed but if my Jeep was abused like this I would scream blue murder.GM has been out of touch with it's clients for years now and should revoke the dealers franchise with immediate effect.They are probably too soft cocked to do so though.

  • shaunisaac.malambo - 2012-10-10 07:16

    I'm sure many other manufacturers is guilty of this practice! I'm glad Chevrolet was caught out. Nice story Wheels24!

  • TomCat - 2012-10-10 12:32

    Peter Tony I did not abuse the car. It has hill assist FFS, you can't even ride the clutch if you wanted too. I have owned a total of 14 cars, I have never replaced a clutch or engine on any of them. I look after my vehicles, I always have. I have only ever had to replace standard things, tyres, brake pads and oil. Subaru were 100% at fault. There were a ton of other issues I did not mention.

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