A Word On Isuzu Authorized Dealer Service Departments

I'm not even going to address the "Trooper Rollover Fiasco". I don't know of anyone that can back up their supposed facts either way, and I have no personal experience in driving a Trooper. That point is moot.

Concerning Isuzu North America factory authorized service departments, on the other hand, I am an expert on. In the eleven years that I have been opperating an Isuzu automobile (a 1986 Impulse Non-turbo), I have found that without exception, the dealer's service center is THE WORST PLACE TO TAKE YOUR ISUZU TO BE WORKED ON. Please read on for full details.

The car was hit on several occasions and painted by both Lou Fusz and Don Darr of St. Louis, MO. Both used Chronar single stage paint, instead of two stage (color with clear coat over the top). When they finally redid the paint to eliminate the bubbles which they felt were acceptible, they couldn't explain why the paint peeled in large pieces, and claimed that it was "only the clear coat, don't worry about it". Remember, they used single stage paint and didn't use any clear coat, and that the pieces of paint that peeled were opaque.

The transmission dropped all but fouth (the only direct drive gear, thank goodness) while under warrwnty, and Woodfin Smith in Bato Rouge, LA, rebuilt it but forgot to torque the drive shaft bolts. Soon the drive shaft came spitting out of the bottom of the car as I was entering the interstate at 60 MPH.

The manual transmission never quite shifted correctly and was taken to Courtesy Imports in Lafayette, LA, where they claimed to rebuild the transmission and in actuallity, swapped in a junk yard transmission from a turbo model. It bolted to the engine, but the drive shafts are different, so they spliced two drive shafts and neglected to balance the jerry-rigged result. The rear seal continually broke and drained the transmission of all lubricant because the shaft spun out of balance. Once the warranty ran out, the car was taken to a qualified transmission shop and the fraud that Courtesy put over upon me and the warranty company was found. The warranty company never took any interest in pursuing the matter. On one occasion, when I picked up the car from Courtesy, I found the car had been parked after it had been rolled down hill an run into a corrigated metal shack. The front bumper was still pressed firmly againstthe shack when I picked up the car.

Most recently, stuck in another one horse town, I had the head gasket and differential serviced at Briggs in Manhattan, KS. They managed to strip the bolts out of the intake manifold, left several bolts out of the front lower engine cover, slammed the hood into the fenders causing $850 in body damage, and returned the vehicle to me with first and second gears inopperable. They later charged me $296 to service the transmission which was returned again without first and second gear.

It has since been pointed out to me that ALL of the above mentioned dealerships are among the BOTTOM FIVE PERCENT of all Isuzu dealer authorized service centers, as surveyed by JD Powers in the customer service satisfaction surveys which Isuzu authorized. NO one at Isuzu ever bothered to mention this fact, and had they, I certainly would not have taken my vehicle there to have it serviced.

The moral to the story is, if you care at all about your Isuzu vehicle, never, Never, NEVER TAKE IT TO A FACTORY AUTHORIZED SERVICE CENTER, because you have no way of knowing if the dealership is among this group which represent the bottom five percent.

All of the complaints that I have read about Isuzu vehicles (even the Rodeo Lemon Page) have not been the fault of any abnormal malfunction of the Isuzu Japan product (some things break, this is normal). The problems have centered around the factory authorized service center and their neglegent handling of the warranty work.

One: They get paid less for warranty work than regular work. They are unmotivated and don't give a damn when they do warranty work, because their pay check is less.

Two: Factory authorized service centers attract the bottom of the barrel in the mechanic world. With very few exceptions, these are the people who the quality independent shops refuse to hire due to incompetence or ignorence on the part of these individuals.

Lastly: Dealerships are independent of Isuzu Motors North America and are out to make as much money as possible. Their main tactic is to lead the customer along with a wounded vehicle and keep it on the road with chewing gum, bailing wire, and a prayer, until the waranty runs out, then they can hit you for the big bill of paying to repair the damage that has accumulated all along.

Anyone who would wish to dispute these facts, claiming to be either a technician at an Isuzu authorized service center or an Isuzu official, the only way they will pursuade me is to hand me $1440 in cash to pay for the damage that Briggs did to my vehicle. Then we can discuss payment for the transmission which I had to replace out of my pocket and the paint work which I also had to have redone out of my pocket.

Until such time as Isuzu takes responsibility and control of their distribution network, and actively seeks to rectify the problems created by the poor and neglegent work done by several of their service departments, and eliminates those technicians responsible for doing damage to customers' vehicles and the managers who condone these activities by covering them up and lying under oath of law, my suggestion remains unchanged: You are better off not risking a bad experience with an Isuzu authorized service center and seek out a independent technician and shop which you feel to be trustworthy and qualified.

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