Debriefing from Volvo (Part 1)

My car has now been inspected by Volvo’s field engineer. He spent the entire day yesterday investigating pretty much the entire car from top to bottom, as least the mechanical parts (the scratch on my bumper was probably ignored). The engineer issued a report that he has sent to and discussed with Bill in customer care at Volvo Cars, North America (VCNA). According to Bill, “all my concerns have been validated” — they confirmed the transmission problem, problems in the “engine area” and possibly a leaking radiator that may be the cause of the coolant leak. They also found a few other issues with the car. Bill is now compiling a complete dossier of the 10 year history of my car. He is getting notes, service records and repair orders from the extended warranty company, from the field engineer, and of course from Rusnak Volvo, and I am also sending him the receipts of the two repairs that was performed at Independent, to complete the picture. Bill will then send this complete dossier to the Engineers in Sweden for review. After this dossier has been reviewed Bill will get back to me and get me up to speed on all their findings. I will be getting a copy of the report as well. Bill informed me I am his top priority, and that his company’s mission is to “do the right thing”. (Sounds good to me.) We are scheduled to speak again on Tuesday, when he will give me a complete picture of the issues with my car.

Although Ernie Murillo, the Service Manager at Rusnak Volvo, Pasadena, left me a message stating short and sweet that my car was “ready for pickup”, Volvo made the recommendation that the car stays at Rusnak and that I stay in my rental car until further notice. So, here I am sailing my KIA warrior ship for now, at least until Tuesday.

P.S. Worth noting:
Despite confirmation from Volvo, that I was going to get a rental car as a replacement upon drop-off at Rusnak Volvo on Dec 9, I had to wait for about an hour before Rusnak agreed to cover the cost. They stated they “knew nothing about it”.

11 Responses to “Debriefing from Volvo (Part 1)”

  1. 1 ih8rusnak2 December 12, 2009 at 12:29 am

    maybe rusnak is your problem…not the volvo…

  2. 2 Brian Dahl December 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    It does sound like things are going forward in your “war” with Volvo. I anxiously await the next chapter in your battle. (It did make me wonder WHY they had to send all the paperwork to Sweden for review–was there not engineers in the States that could have done the same thing?) Good luck, and hope the KIA holds up while the decisions are made concerning your Volvo!

  3. 3 MP December 12, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of Freya’s Story!
    As a marketing student, I am truly impressed with your efforts, creativity and clever thinking to get the attention you deserve with all the issues you’ve encountered with your Volvo.
    This is the type of thing all corporations should fear.
    Congratulations and hopefully the outcome will be positive! Keep us posted!

  4. 4 JPM December 13, 2009 at 5:41 am

    I have to agree with ih8rusnak2, it sounds like the dealer is the issue, had it been another one perhaps the outcome would have been completely different from the get-go. From my own experiences, my 2000 XC has 206,000 on it, and I do my own maintenance on it. There are two local dealers, one that is a 5 minute drive, another that is a 25 minute drive. I usually call the second, as the parts department is usually hassle free, and cheaper(even though its in a very well-to-do part of CT, much better than the closer dealer). On one occasion I needed just one bolt for my driveshaft. I called the closer one first, they said they didnt have it, cant look up surrounding area dealers, but I can special order it. It would take a week to get there and I have to come in to pay for it before they order. I called the farther one right after, they didnt have it either, but offered themselves to look up surrounding dealers who had the part…guess who had it-The one I just got off the phone with that said they didnt! Go figure. Its unfortunate but its all in who you talk with at the dealers. Glad to hear your fight is getting you some attention and hopefully help!

  5. 5 Joel December 13, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Great to see some movement on this!

    I’m glad to see they noted rad problems, as that has always been suspect in my mind.

    It’s impressive they’ve sent the reports to Sweden for analysis too! They’re really taking this seriously! It sounds like they’re discovering some other problems you weren’t even complaining about eh?

    I have tried to calm the waters re: the anti-volvo stuff in the comments on your site because I truly believe that a) they do make great cars and b) they would take care of you if they were given the chance. I have always maintained in those comments that your problem was with your dealer and not with your car, or the car’s manufacturer.

    As I have said before, I hope Volvo finds a way to reprimand this dealer.

  6. 6 ILikeMyS80V8 December 13, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    This is great news. Hopefully the “send the report to Sweden for review by their engineers” isn’t merely theater but allows for the engineers to “confirm” poor service & diagnostics by Rusnak, leading to reimbursement and/or punishment of Rusnak.

    The big question is what kind of reimbursement would you expect and what might they give you? An even trade of your car for a new XC70?

    Before you get too optimistic that Rusnak would get hit too hard by Volvo, consider Volvo’s current status. Ford is in talks to sell Volvo to Chinese carmaker Geely and they are considered a leading contender. If this goes through, expect the brand to get dinged hard by consumers. All the Volvo forums & news article comments I’ve read indicate nobody wants a Volvo made by the Chinese.

    Rusnak has Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche and a handful of other ultra-luxury brands. Who needs who more — a Volvo brand owned by the Chinese with image/PR problems, or a car dealer who already sells every European luxury brand willing and able to steal buyers disaffected by Chinese Volvo ownership?

    (Note: Yes, I realize that Chinese ownership of Volvo might not be bad — Geely has said they plan to keep current senior management, current business plans and cars for EU/US markets would continue to be built in Europe — but I’m referring more to people’s *perceptions* not to what reality might be).

  7. 7 Steve December 14, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    I too am starting to suspect Rusmack is at least part of the problem here.

    What year is the problem car?

  8. 9 Steve December 14, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Thanks for the info, Freya. A dealer bought and serviced vehicle shouldn’t be eating transmissions for breakfast. I have a 2004 S60 (without AWD, though) and I’ve been reading your blog closely to see if I might encounter similar problems down the road. I admire your creativity and firm resolve in this issue and I hope that Volvo North America does right by you and fixes the issue at no cost.

    The radiator issue is interesting and I’ve read elsewhere that they can cause some problems. I will be curious if that’s the cause of the issues you’ve faced.

    Good luck!

  9. 11 AltadenaXC70 December 14, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Thanks for the business card on the window. I love my 2005 XC70 and my 1998 C70 Convertible. I am also a lifetime volvo owner. I took a 760 GLE off a cliff years ago and walked away. I also drove an 850 Turbo almost 200,000 miles before upgraded to the cross country.
    I do think there are sometimes issues with certain model years. I know my 1994 850 was a great car, and I often heard that 1994 was a good year. I hope to have the same luck with my 2005.
    I’ll be following your blog now as I also use Rusnak. I have tried Galpin and they SUCK. DO not go there! They will find things wrong with the car that don’t exist and try to talk you into expensive things you don’t need. I do like Calabasas Volvo, but they are a long drive. Culver City was okay.
    Good luck

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