The Oil Change from Hell, Courtesy of Wal-Mart

Sorry to interrupt our regular posts here but this issue is very important to me.  Please help by reading this and spreading the word around, if you could DIGG this as well it would be very appreciated.

It all started on the day of my wife and I’s first anniversary.   My car was due for a standard oil change, and I decided we’d get it done before we went out and spent the evening celebrating.  I decided to take it to Walmart for the oil change; as I had done the previous two changes with no issues.   So, I took it in, and my wife and I did a little shopping, and then we paid and left.  About twenty minutes later I heard a grinding sound, but since it was a windy day I dismissed it for wind and finished the trip home.  When I got home, I noticed the belly plate for my 2005 VW Passat was hanging on the ground.  I was immediately furious.  I decided to try to put it back up, hold it together with some tape, and to get it to Wal-Mart to show them what they had done.  Obviously that failed. It fell down again,dragged, and ended up tearing off and breaking; which could have easily been a very bad and dangerous thing. When I returned to Wal-Mart a few of the employees in the automotive department noticed right away, knew who did it, and also knew he was an inferior worker.  I let them pull the car in to survey the damages.   The guy who did it proceeded to try to tell me the car was broken when I brought it in, which it clearly was not.  He made the outlandish claim that it was missing screws, and then said that he documented it on his comments.  That part he did do. However, no one pointed that out, and no one had the sense or courtesy to even try to check it out or put in screws if it was missing screws; which it was not.  He later then stated, twice that I heard and twice again when I walked away, which my wife also heard, to his boss that he tried to reattach it but the screws didn’t fit.  Which meant, there were indeed screws, and he did indeed reassemble it incorrectly.    The assistant manager of the store then offered to pay 350.00 up front from the store for the damages or I could let it go to the insurance.  The damages were estimated at $520.00 by the VW dealership and I was not going to pay out of pocket, nor was I going to let them pay for the part and then touch my car again.  I let insurance handle it, spent a day driving all over to get the quote and returned it to them.  Two days later I got a call from the insurance company saying they declined my claim because “Screws were missing”; which again, they were not and I even have one of them that fell off after the fact in my driveway.  The part itself is woven together and it not replaced correctly obviously the screws will not fit, VW mechanics can verify this.

Here are some obvious facts to support it was their negligence in service.

1.)  Over 10,000 miles driven and never an issue, yet 20 minutes after I leave their store my car is broken.

2.)  I have the bill from my previous oil change which states nothing about missing screws, this was dated 30 October 2009 and I had this oil change performed 16 January 2010.  So somehow, in driving around on base my car lost screws?  Yet it held until I got to Wal-Mart and then broke after?  That is not sound logic.

3.)  Volkswagen mechanics can verify that had screws truly been missing the part would not have held in place that long – It was incorrectly put together by the servicing mechanic at Wal-Mart.

Here are some additional things to consider.

1.)  The dragging part could have done considerable damage to the car.

2.)  The dragging part could have heated up and caused a fire.

3.)  When the part detached it could have caused an accident.

Thankfully, these scenarios did not play out but they are all very real and reasonable scenarios.  The entire 10 minute drive to Wal-mart was one completely ridden in fear shared by my wife and I, on our anniversary with our 3 month old son in the back seat.  A simple oil change should never have come to this.

If my negligence damaged someone’s property it would be my responsibility by the law to pay the cost of the damages, and in fact I should be happy to only pay the cost of damages.  It’s the law.  However, apparently multi-million dollar corporations are clearly above the law and don’t feel they need to be held accountable for their actions.  I however, am going to be sure that they are held accountable

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