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Car dealership ripoff: Hidden-camera investigation

Car dealership ripoff: Hidden-camera investigation

>>David: Fasten
your seatbelts. Is your car dealership
ripping you off?>>1,200-dollar service
they were recommending. None of which was needed.>>David: We’re undercover.>>You guys are
missing everything. Tire rotation, brake inspection.>>Again, overselling.>>David: High-pressure tactics.>>I felt like he was
trying to scare me.>>David: Plus, insider secrets.>>You have to up-sell them. They come in for an oil change,
you’re up-selling somebody.>>David: I’m just trying to get
to the bottom of why you’re recommending service that
isn’t required on a vehicle.>>David: This is
your Marketplace. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: At some point,
we all do this.>>Hi, I want to
drop my car off.>>David: But when
you bring your car to the dealership for service…>>David: How do you know
what they recommend…>>David: ..is what’s
really needed? [ ♪♪ ]>>David: To find out we’re
recruiting Jessica Celsie.>>You don’t really know
who to trust when it comes to getting your car fixed.>>David: With her newly
purchased 2008 Honda Civic. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: This is our bait car. First, we ask Jessica
to bring it to this garage for a pre-inspection by licensed
mechanic Mark Whinton.>>Hi nice to meet you.
>>Nice to meet you. Have you had any
issues with it at all? Is there any lights coming on?>>Nope, nothing.>>Any rattles?>>Nope, no rattles.>>None whatsoever? So it’s completely dependable? It’s starting?
It’s running all right?>>Yes. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: After taking
it for a test drive, he begins. Once an instructor, Whinton is
now a vehicle safety advocate. The verdict?>>Change the wiper blades,
rotate the tires. Ummm, that should be it. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: Jessica’s ready
to check out what this Toronto Honda
dealership recommends.>>Well, based on my past
experience with dealerships, ummm, you know,
i have a feeling they’re going to
try and up-sell me.>>David: And Jessica’s
not alone. We’re hearing similar concerns
about up-selling at dealerships from across the country. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: Including
from Cathy Knight…>>This looks like the
road our house is on. It would be there but–>>No, that’s the
way to the park.>>David: Cathy likes to take
her grandson, Joe, around Ottawa in her 2011 Ford Fusion.>>There’s the park.
See, Joe? We just passed it.>>David: When her car
needs to be serviced, she and her husband Craig always
take it back to the dealership.>>David: Why is it important
for you to go to the dealership to do your maintenance?>>They know the car best, and
i just have confidence in them.>>You develop a relationship,
you depend on them to give you advice, when they give
you advice, you take it.>>David: Last fall, Cathy
needed her snow tires put on. So Craig makes an appointment
online with their dealership. But get this, before
even inspecting her car, he gets an email back,
telling him it’s also due for factory required maintenance.>>And it was changing the spark
plugs and the intake manifold gasket and changing
the transmission fluid, the PCV valve. And holy cow,
$1200 bucks worth of stuff? i was just going to get the snow
tires put on and an oil change.>>David: Time to
get a second opinion.>>Cars today,
absolutely, unequivocally, require less service.>>David: So, how do i know,
when i go to the dealership, what maintenance i really need?>>Oh, that’s easy. You go to your car.
>>David: Yup. Pull out your owner’s manual.>>You take out the owner’s
manual and right here is the required maintenance schedule. In it will be exactly
what needs to be changed, what exactly needs
to be inspected. These people
designed and built the car. They are the source of
information when it comes to maintaining the car.>>David: What the manufacturer
suggests in the owner’s manual for maintenance and
what the dealer suggests are two different things?>>In most cases,
yes that’s true. They’ll tell you that you
need more maintenance than your car actually needs. In some cases, some
maintenance procedures your car doesn’t require at all.>>David: So, what about that
list of what Cathy’s dealership says she needs?>>PCV valve, I wouldn’t
bother changing it. It’s a lifetime product now. The spark plugs in this car,
according to the owner’s manual, is good for 160,000 kilometers. She is nowhere near that. Change the automatic
transmission fluid, no.>>David: That’s a big list and
you just said no to a lot of it.>>Yeah, absolutely.>>David: So what’s going on?>>Well what’s going on here is
the service advisor is trying to sell this woman a lot
more work than she needs.>>David: Back in Ottawa,
Craig decides they’ll stick to what’s recommended
in the owner’s manual. But the dealership pushes
back, telling him the manual is describing “normal”
driving conditions. Here in Ottawa, we have
“special” driving conditions, due to the harsh weather.>>The owner’s manual
says nothing at all about special conditions about Ottawa
or any other particular city or geographic area or country,
and doesn’t say anything about the cold weather. it doesn’t.>>David: But it’s too
late for Cathy and Craig. Did you do the spark plugs?>>I did, eventually,
several months later.>>David: How do you
feel about that now?>>That i was dumb,
that i got taken in.>>David: ‘Cause this
says, right here, in the thing that’s in
your car, 160,000 kilometers.>>Yeah, that’s another
two or three years of driving. In spite of knowing
better, i still did it.>>David: Because?>>Because they
recommend it and they sort of plant that little seed of
doubt, and you think, well, maybe they DO know
what they’re talking about.>>David: Dealerships
in Canada can make, on average, only about $1000 to $2500
on each new car sale. So their service centres have
become important money makers. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: Back on
our undercover test, Jessica Celsie checks
in at Parkway Honda.>>Okay.>>Okay, thank you. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: A couple hours later,
Jessica gets a phone call from an Assistant Service
Manager at Parkway Honda.>>Okay.>>Wow. Is that something
that I can think about?>>Okay, thank you.>>Bye.>>Wow.>>David: 621 bucks to replace her rear brakes? They also recommend a $112
for a brake fluid flush.>>If she changes them now,
she’d be changing them a bit early. She’s got 40% left. And that might take
another six months. She might get a year out of
it, depending on her driving.>>And I didn’t notice
anything driving the car.>>I didn’t either. When I had the drums
off, everything looked perfectly normal
for that age of break.>>David: But there’s
something critical the dealer is not mentioning. The largest recall
in automotive history. Metal fragments from the
exploding ammonium nitrate capsule inside Takata airbags
have killed at least 14 people. Hurt more than 180, including
a metal shard that went through this woman’s face in 2013, while
she was driving her Honda Civic.>>I’ve taken the VIN off
your car and run it through the Honda system. Your car has a passenger side
airbag that’s made by Takata…>>Wow.
>>: ..that needs to be changed.>>Wow! So why wouldn’t they have
mentioned that to me? He basically said he would
be doing everything short of a safety on it, which, in my
mind, should include an airbag.>>That is the
number one safety problem facing your car right now.
>>Right.>>It’s not rear brakes. it’s the airbag recall.>>And so, for him
not to mention that, is unbelievable to me. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: Jessica heads
back to pick up her car. Maybe the tell her
about the recall in person. The same Assistant Service
Manager from the phone call hands her the results
of their inspection. But, under any
outstanding recalls, incredibly, it’s checked “no”. Jessica gives him
another chance to own up.>>In the first three or four
times I asked him if there was anything wrong with the
car or if it had any other safety concerns other than
the brakes, he said no.>>David: But then,
without having to look it up…>>He finally said at the end, “Oh, yeah, I think
there’s a recall,” and then he made mention that
he didn’t have the part and he’d have to book
a later date for me. That just makes me sick.
because I’m now driving a car that’s unsafe to both
me and my passengers.>>David: We contact this
Assistant Service Manager for an explanation,
but get no reply. Why would a dealership
not tell a customer about this?>>The dealership has
this business relationship that’s special, under contract,
with the manufacturing facility. In that agreement, they have to
do work at a much-reduced rate.>>David: Do you think that
ever influences dealerships telling people about recalls?>>Absolutely.>>David: So did it
influence Parkway Honda? For weeks, we’ve been asking
Parkway Honda to come on camera to explain why they’ve been
recommending Jessica get service she doesn’t need but not
telling her about the service that she DOES need. Well, they’ve told us
they’re gonna do an internal investigation
but they will not talk to us on camera. That’s what they’ve said. Let’s go chat with them. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: Service Manager
Ara Pashayan stops me at the door.>>You’re not allowed
in with a cameras. This is private property. We’d ask that you leave.>>David: Okay, but you have
an answer about why she’s not being told about the recall?>>Please, leave. You were not allowed here
but you guys are showing up.>>David: But it’s still…
it’s, you know, that’s not an answer to the
question about why she is not being told about a recall.>>Thank you.>>David: It’s still
not an answer.>>We please ask
that you leave.>>David: The up-sell continues.>>That’s just funny. That’s, like, totally made-up.>>David: This is
your Marketplace. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: The real deal on dealerships. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: We’re heading
undercover again, testing the advice you get
at dealership service centres. Bait car number two,
a 2013 Jeep Wrangler. The owner, Eric, works for us. And for months, he’s been
getting e-mails, telling him to bring the Jeep in for service. So we ask him to make
an appointment here at Toronto Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.>>Hello.
>>Good morning.>>David: What will this
service advisor recommend?>>David: But check it
Eric’s owner’s manual. It says it can be up to 16,000
kilometres or 12 months before the change oil message appears. There is no message, and it’s only been eight months
and just over 2,000 kilometres since Eric’s last oil change.>>David: Her assessment
isn’t over yet. It’ll take a couple hours
for their technician to do an inspection. In the meantime, we want to
get some inside knowledge so we track down
a former Service Advisor, willing to share trade secrets.>>When you’re
a Service Advisor, you are a salesperson. This is how you
make your living, right? So you have to up-sell them. They come in for an oil change,
you’re up-selling somebody.>>David: Lucas Leung worked at
six different dealerships.>>We present it, in a way,
and let them know that this is what you should do. If you don’t do it,
what’s gonna happen.>>David: I’m a
customer coming in. What you say to me,
right out of the gate?>>Hey, so, I see that you’re
here for an oil change today. You’re at 150,000
kilometres, actually, and you’re due for a timing belt
as well as a coolant flush. You can do it, it’s up to you. But if you don’t do it, what
happens is the belt might wear out and, when
it wears out, you know, like, this could cause
overheating of the engine or cause even more
problems down the road.>>David: So, was there ever
something in the dealership that looked different from what
the owner’s manual said in terms of a schedule?>>They would have a
little board that shows you what needs to be done what
kilometres but then, there are things on the side
that they do recommend… that’s suggested. You know,
recommended but not necessary. For example, power steering
flush, throttle body service, transmission flush. You accumulate an X-amount of
numbers each month and you get paid based on that.>>David: Meanwhile,
Toronto Chrysler’s inspection is complete.>>Not acceptable?>>David: We show the
footage to Mark Whinton.>>The truth of the matter is,
you’re gonna void your warranty if you don’t follow Chrysler’s
scheduled maintenance advice, not hers.>>This person saying, you know,
you need to change your oil every three months. No, this goes against
what Chrysler says to do with its own product.>>David: The Service
Advisor lists their other recommendations.>>David: Really? She doesn’t know we’re
also getting Mark Whinton to do his own inspection
of the Wrangler. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: So, does
he need brakes?>>I wouldn’t do that. I would wait
another year or two. Given how much this
car is being driven, it makes no noise,
the brakes have full power. Are they worn down? Yeah, they’re
about half worn down. But the owner’s gonna
get another, you know, year or two out of this. No problem.>>David: The service
advisor’s not finished.>>I just inspected this car. It does not need an alignment. The air filter doesn’t need
to be replaced once a year, according to the
maintenance schedule. Again, overselling. There’s a conflict of
interest in this business, and it’s kind of hidden. People do not know they
work on commission, but they do.>>I would say 90%
of these dealerships do work by commission.>>David: How much of
your salary could end up being on commission?>>More than 50%.>>David: More than 50%?
>>More than 50%.>>David: Really?>>At one of the dealerships
I worked for, I was at a 100% on commission.>>David: Was that an incentive
to sell something that either wasn’t necessary or wasn’t
necessary at that moment?>>Yes, I would
definitely say so. Being on 100% commission,
I was very nervous, like, every day because
you don’t know how much you’re gonna be making. Some customers may not
necessarily need it right away but they’re obligated to do it
because of how I advise it, how I put it on the table. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: Back at
the dealership…>>David: Well, we checked
the spark plugs in the owner’s manual and it says
Eric’s don’t need to be changed for another 107,000
kilometres or six more years!>>You do not
recommend flushing it. And, as far as this other stuff,
it might get tighter, the steering? That’s a great one. I mean, that’s just funny. That’s, like, totally made-up.>>Okay.>>David: We do have questions. We call and e-mail but this
Service Advisor does not reply. We also contact the dealership. But getting answers from
Toronto Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram? That’s been the tricky part. So we’re gonna pay them
a visit, ask in person. General Manager Dave Dodds. Hey, how are you?
>>Good, how are you?>>David: Good, I’m David
with CBC Marketplace.>>David, I’m sorry,
but this is private property and I’m afraid I’m gonna
have to ask you to go.>>David: I can go but I’m
trying to get to the bottom of why you’re recommending
service that isn’t required on a vehicle.
>>Please, please, please.>>David: Or why you’re
recommending service more frequently than
the manufacturer? Do you have a sense on that? Why you’re recommending
that service that often? Do your Service Advisors
work on commission? [ ♪♪ ]>>David: The dealership
is owned by Auto Canada, based here in Edmonton. With 65 franchises across
the country, it’s one of the largest auto dealer
groups in Canada. We do some digging and find
out, so far this year, they have made more on service
than they have on selling new and used cars combined! Well, we ask for some more
information, they won’t come on camera, but the
president of Auto Canada writes to us and says he “applauds the manufacturer’s
maintenance schedule,” without explaining why his
dealership isn’t using it.>>David: Will the
government crack down?>>If someone is found guilty,
the penalty can range from a fine to
jail time, potentially.>>David: This is
your Marketplace. Get more Marketplace. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at CBC.ca/marketplace. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: This is
your Marketplace. Caught on camera.>>My understanding was
I was supposed to bring it in for regular maintenance.>>David: Aggressive up-selling.>>David: Misleading
inspections.>>Had I not pressed him several
times, he wouldn’t have even mentioned the recall.>>David: If this happens, is
there anybody protecting you? To find out, I head to
Ontario’s watchdog. The Ministry Of Government
And Consumer Services. Hey, Harry, I’m David with CBC.>>Nice to meet you.>>David: Yeah, get to meet you. Spokesperson Harry Malhi. What is the law say about
a repair shop telling you you need to do something
before you need to do it or you don’t even
need to do it at all?>>Repair shops cannot offer
services that aren’t needed.>>David: Does that
mean it’s against the law?>>It could be in violation of
the Consumer Protection Act. They can’t mislead you if it’s
a service that’s not needed. They can’t be like, “This is
needed to fix your car.”>>David: What is the range
of your power to penalize?>>If someone is found guilty, the penalty can range from a
fine to jail time, potentially.>>David: It can
go all that way?>>Yes.>>David: A dealership
would say, “This is a work that
you need to do,” and then we would go to
experts and they would say, “No, it doesn’t
need to be done. “Your brakes can last for
months or maybe another year “before they
need to be changed.”>>So in those cases,
we want those consumers to reach out to us. If there was a violation,
we want to know so we can do something about it. And we can find any bad
actors that may be out there. So we need the help of
consumers to make us aware.>>David: You know, I think,
when I go and buy a car, I am aware that the
salesperson makes a commission. That’s how they
make their money. I think a lot of people would
be surprised to learn that many service advisors,
people you come and meet, they, too, are on commission
and that they are essentially incentivized to sell you more.>>We want to make
consumers aware that they have those rights. They need to know that when
they go to these technicians, whether they get a
commission or not, they can’t offer you
services you don’t need. And we can look into that. If they feel like some–
their rights were violated.>>I have worked for brands that
focuses on customer service, like 100% customer service. No, you don’t need to really
sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. I mean, like, it’s good.>>David: So there is
good guys out there?>>Yes.
Oh, absolutely. I have worked with amazing
companies out there.>>David: So what can
you do to prepare if you’re going into
the dealership?>>Before you go, look at
the mileage on your car, see how many kilometres
are on it, then have a look at the owners manual,
go to the maintenance section and see what’s
required at that mileage, or slightly before. Somewhere near that
mileage or months, and once you know what that is,
go right to that service advisor and say, “I want
these things done.”>>David: And what
if they push back?>>Well, if they push back,
you walk out the door. [ ♪♪ ]>>David: Advice
Jessica Celsie could use. Since our first bait car test,
she’s been getting notices in the mail from Parkway Honda.>>That I needed
spark plugs, shocks, struts, things like that. Even though my car
was just there and they just inspected it.>>David: But nothing
about the Takata airbag.>>If it wasn’t for Marketplace,
I would not have known there was a recall on my car.>>David: Today, she’s bringing
it to a totally different Honda dealership, to finally
get that airbag replaced. [ ♪♪ ]>>It’s done. Finally, what a relief! I’ve been so stressed out
about having people in my car, having passengers, like,
I didn’t realize how much it was bothering me
driving in traffic until now that it is finally done. My car is safe. Yay! [ ♪♪ ]>>We’re inside
farmers markets.>>People at the markets
don’t know what they’re buying that food and
they’re being lied to.>>Are you really buying
direct from the farm? We follow the trail. Consumers are paying a
premium for your product because they think
that you grew it. Are you ripping people off? [ ♪♪ ]

100 thoughts on “Car dealership ripoff: Hidden-camera investigation

  1. TOTALLY MISLEADING video! I work at a dealership and this DOES NOT HAPPEN. Quit trying to make everyone think dealers are trying to rip EVERYONE off! I work in parts AND service and this would NEVER happen to my MAZDA/KIA customers. I personally take pride in my community and only offering the best service we can. in fact our tire prices/services are best in town and our service advisers are well trained in every aspect of your mazda/kia vehicle to offer the best service and price at ONLY the manufacturer intervals. This all boils down to POOR management and dumb AF service advisers. THERE ARE GOOD DEALERS PEOPLE DON'T LET THIS VIDEO SELL YOU OTHERWISE!

  2. I hate to ask this, but why are all of the scummy people not white? is there something crooked about people from india?

  3. Use your head. They are trying to screw you. If you just want snow tires put on the tell them that is all you are paying for and that is all. If they try to upsell you repeat yourself to them. If they keep trying to sell you on more stuff do not take it to them.

  4. back in 1990 and 2000,there was few honda and toyota delership has been closed due to no service on service department.

  5. How incompetent are these managers? Kicking someone out and walking away is not a way of dealing with complaints lmao. Useless fucks.

  6. That’s unfortunate, I always trusted Honda but looking at this video, I’ll just buy my cars from my friends

  7. That man a savage “they didn’t want to chat with us on camera, let’s go inside and ask”😂😂😂

  8. I mean, the dealership will always offer the scheduled maintenance for the vehicles they sell. The actual manufacturer recommends them, and usually for good reason. We had a 2011 Subaru Outback that came in once a month for an oil change, every 6000 miles. He performed every single scheduled service that Subaru recommended. Last time I did an oil change, it was sitting at 360,000 miles and drove like a brand new car. The CVT transmission lasted until 300,000 miles, and Subaru actually replaced it for free since he performed every service they recommended. It's simply proactive maintenance, replacing parts before they fail. A timing belt is a good example. Replace it on time, and you'll never have to worry about issues with it. If you wait until it breaks, it usually damages vital engine components.

  9. First the last place to take your car to get fixed is a dealership esp for body work. Auto shops are usually better. This crap is one of many reasons I no longer am a auto mechanic. I never tried to rip off anyone but have been accused of that thousands of times. Funny how there is such a shortage of mechanics.

  10. No conscience. And that lady halfway trough..the advisor. she was straight up trying to intimidate. Scum. AND WEARING THE SEAL OF JESUS ON HER CHEST.

  11. Change the automatic transmission fluid: no? So it's better to spend $2500 on a new transmission every 300000 miles than $200 on transmission fluid every 75000 miles? Thank you, you really made it clear for us.

  12. It's the manufacturer's responsibility to notify owners of recalls. Its iffy to say the dealership was being negligent in that. Usually, you get notified by mail for recalls so they can be scheduled accordingly.

  13. Why don't you useless fucks learn a bit about cars. Then you won't have to worry about getting ripped off. I'm typically on the side of the mechanic because at least they are doing something useful for a living.

    I don't condone mechanics being crooks, but often you can prevent Caliper damage by changing brake pads a bit early. Also, many cars do have differing service intervals based on the type of use.

  14. I used to work at a Toyota dealership. Not checking a car for opoen recalls and service bulletins was something done as I was writing up the car. I always told the cust. If we didn't have the part in stock I would order it and set up an appointment.
    The same when I was working for Harley. I checked every motorcycle that came in for recalls.

  15. Educate yourself. Read the manuals. Know your car. Visit the forums where people own same cars as you. Then there will be less chance that you are gonna get taken for a ride.

  16. An additional note REMOVE your owners manual from your glove box and secure due to dealers removing/stealing to actually hide recommended service procedures as per the manufacturer.Its happened to myself and many others

  17. For everyone who lives in the US here's a link to the better business bureau https://www.bbb.org/local-bbb/bbb-serving-north-central-texas
    And if necessary you can always contact your local general attorney to see if the mechanic violated any laws.

  18. in my country honda would include X1R engine treatment,a kind of engine flush prior to changing the oil but my hoda car manual says to not use any flushing treatment.. greedy bastards!

  19. I change my oil every 7,000 miles and iridium sparkplugs every 14,000 miles because of my lead foot. 2001 camry 1MZFE v6

  20. I've had a dealership tell me that my cellphone is interfering with my truck's Tire Pressure Monitoring system, to avoid replacing it under warranty

  21. You people are ridulous
    Dealerships make no money on cars today-there is no gross profit when you are selling under invoice
    There has to be some profir somewhere or you would not have a ny dealerships to visit and purchase a car-wake youSELF up- YOU ARE NOT HELPING ANYONE

  22. screw working on other people's cars they will never appreciate you and they will never pay you correctly when you're 100% completely honest anyway. It's a double-edged sword. love your own family and work on your own family's cars they will more than likely appreciate you and you will more than likely do a great job on their vehicles considering the ………low quantity required…….

  23. Never go to a Dealership Service center unless it's required by the warranty for regular maintenance. Find a local mechanic whom you trust always to service your vehicle. Or learn how to do everything except major service issues yourself.

  24. Power steering flush on 2009 Acura Tsx. Found out I have electric power steering that don't need fluid to function.99 % of Dealership are crooks.And it is very hard to find that remaining 1% that is honest.Try to do it Yourself if it is just about maintenance.Don't buy any cars or truck that uses timing belt,Timing chain is better maintenance wise.

  25. I have 3 sixth generation Honda and still not getting any airbag recalls,There is a big lawsuit waiting to happen if any of my family gets hurt with that tecatae air bag.

  26. Dealerships are only able to exist due to ripping you off with your trade and selling it high and up selling you for maint and repair. FACT! Service managers are the scum of the earth and make car salesman look like saints. FACT! I do all my own work, and when I don't feel like doing it, I take to a mom and pop shop who are honest. Never Ever Trust a Stealership!

  27. yep!! Lexus and Toyota say lifetime fluid in the transmission/CVT. my 2012 Lexus CT200h had a bad CVT due to no previous maintenance. Change your fluids people!

  28. I totally confirm that. I've knowed exactly what my car needed. In that case it was a front driver side bearing change and maybe checking if the front wheels are still in line (luckily it wasn't needed). Leave the car, they ''test'' it and oh my 300$ quickly upselled to over 1-2000$, Telling me both bearing need to be change (saying he hear the other one too….. right), Both front suspensions top cap and my brake pads. Well I just told him I do my brakes myself (even told him they can easily work fine till my next oil change) and to just do the bearing I've asked. He did just that and now than I know the front bearings are not press fit, I'll do the next one myself. Never gonna return there.

  29. They are known to tell you that you need dehydrated water for your car's radiator. And a left handed wind shifter for your air filter. In total it will cost you just over TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS and they will forgive the taxes.

  30. I work on all my own cars, maintenance, modifying them and repairing them, these so called "Mechanics" and advisers should be shot, what a bunch of scammers.

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