Last post on Nov 16, 2012 at 8:27 AM
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Land Rover Freelander, Car Safety, Auto Repair, Car Warranties, SUV
Nov 10, 2008 (1:38 pm)
Hi everyone. This is my first post. (I feel like we all need therapy for what we're going through.)
I bought a 2003 Freelander, 32K miles, one year ago. When I drove it off the lot, the "service engine soon" light was on. I called the dealer (Tempe Mitsubishi, which has since closed its doors) immediately and he said their service department had just done the standard pre-sale maintenance and that they probably just forgot to reset the light and that it could be done at the next oil change. The light actually went off the next day so I didn't think anything of it. It's been engaged and disengaged numerous times since. Finally, when my car overheated at about 50K miles and it was clear that my anti-freeze/coolant was disappearing, I brought it to Land Rover to investigate in August 2008. While it was there, I had them replace the recalled brake switch, fix the inoperable rear door latch, repair the inoperable sunroof and resolve the "service engine only" light and the "T/C DHS" intermittent light. Of course, with the exception of the recalled brake switch (which was also the cause of the T/C DHS light), nothing was covered by my extended warranty. And I was advised that I needed to replace the coolant resevoir and cap. In addition to that, I had to replace the intake manifold and the vacuum inserts at at cost of $2,000. I was told this was not urgent and that it would only affect performance such as pick up etc.
October rolls around and my registration is expired. I try to renew and find that I need an emissions test in the state of Arizona because my car is now 5 years old. I go to emissions and am rejected because the DLC cable behind the dash (to the Onboard Computer) is not secure enough to proceed with the test. I go to Land Rover and have the bracket tightened. They tighten it without question or charge and I return to the line at emissions. I'm in line when my temperature gauge spikes again for a brief period of time. I get off line and return to Land Rover. They advise me that the heating coil need to be replaced (in addition to the intake manifold and the vacuum inserts) and that the service engine soon light will remain on until those items are fixed. My predicament: In the State of Arizona, they will not pass you through emissions with the "Service Engine Soon" light on. It's an automatic fail. So, now I can't pass emissions and I can't register my car if I can't pass emissions.
Following this realization, I go online and discover all of this is happening to all of you. Now I just want to unload this piece of dung even though it will probably cost me $10,000 to do so.
Here's my question: Will a dealer accept this car as a trade-in if it isn't registered?
Also, if I file a complaint with NHTSB, I have to enter my VIN number. If I enter my VIN on this complaint, will it appear on the CarFax for my car? I have no intention of selling it party-to-party, just unload it as a trade-in and get SOMETHING for it. I'm just not sure if it will appear on the CarFax and affect my trade-in value.
#179 of 295 Re: From dream to nightmare [17tnt17]
Nov 10, 2008 (2:04 pm)
Get rid of the vehicle now! This is exactly what happened to me. 4 months after the coolant incident which included a new cam shaft seal, the timing belt and engine went out. The car was dead. I owe $4000 on a vehicle that had 52,000 miles on it and no longer own. I am glad to be rid of the hunk of junk. Never again will I buy a Land Rover. I love my Acura, it is dependable and has 94,000 miles on it!
#181 of 295 Re: First Posting [desertchildaz] -- Reply
Nov 10, 2008 (5:43 pm)
It's unfortunate that the dealership closed, you may want to speak to an attorney and see if there is any civil action that could be brought against the owner of the dealership, just an idea.
For your question, the trade-in value for the vehicle is already diminished due to the fact that so many of these Freelanders have the head gasket failure (which is your coolant disappearing, periodic over-heating and service engine light soon issue-- and you can quickly check you have that problem by just unscrewing your oil cap and looking underneath for coolant colored gook stuck under the oil cap-- that would be the emulsified coolant & oil mixture). So, as long as you own the vehicle and can pass clear title to the next dealership should be sufficient (as registration is required to be able to drive the vehicle but not necessarily sell the vehicle, hell you could decide to sell it to someone as the really big paper weight it actually is!). If you owe money on a loan on the vehicle, you seriously want to weigh all options, and contact the finance company on the issue. But if you just paid cash for it, then you can mix it in as part of a trade for a new vehicle, some dealers won't want it since they know it's junk/scrap metal, but others say, bring your vehicle in ANY condition and that might fetch you $1000 or so.
Absolutely report it to the NHTSA, which does ask for a VIN #. I do not know if it shows up on Car-Fax however this vehicles problems are so well know nowadays, it really wont make a difference. Most in the industry know this vehicle is crap and should never have been allowed to be sold to consumers.
This vehicle is a lose-lose proposition, weigh all your options, but dont try to fix the thing.. it just is not worth it. Better to spend the money on your next vehicle. Good luck!
#182 of 295 Re: First Posting [desertchildaz] -- Reply [sripley]
Nov 10, 2008 (8:55 pm)
Well, the money is a big problem for me. I only bought this car last year for $15,000 (+ extended warranty), taxes, etc....totally $17,000. I still owe about $15,000 on the car. Kelly Blue Book definitely reflects the devaluation. Last year it read around $14000. Now it reads $5000. So I was hoping to get at least $5000 on trade-in and eat $10,000 on the deal. (I'm sick to my stomach about that. I could stand on the corner and give away $10,000 to strangers and at least get reactions of joy in return. I get NOTHING for this.)
I've seen people on here say to tell the finance company about the issue. What does that do though? It's not like they are going to help me with my payments. I'm still obligated to them for the loan.
#183 of 295 Re: First Posting [desertchildaz] -- Reply [sripley] [desertchildaz]
Nov 11, 2008 (7:51 am)
That was what I was afraid of, that if you have that large of a loan on the vehicle, telling the finance company at least makes them aware of the situation (even if they refuse or cannot help, it's always better than having them think nothing was an issue, just in case you ever ended up suing any of the parties or whatever).
I would really suggest talking to a lawyer about any and all options. That rapid devaluation and everything else about this whole mess just screams bad business and only through the legal channel will you be able to find any relief (correct, the loan company probably wont release you of the loan). I was told by the one attorney I spoke with to get all my service paperwork from the time I bought it, but in the end he couldn't do anything for me unless I paid the $7000-$10,000 to replace the engine (and he would try to recoup that cost in court). You bought the car used, so I would hope there would be some lemon law, liability issue on the dealer's owner (even if the dealer closed, there has to be some standing to sue), some means to go after the extended warranty company, or some other way the attorney might be able to help you. One person recently posted that CarMax who provided their warranty eventually settled on the vehicle after nearly 12 months of battling over the mess, maybe that is a possibility the attorney might suggest.
The only other ways out of the mess that I know all will destroy your credit, including voluntary repossession by financing company or bankruptcy.
I do wish you luck and hope you can rid yourself of the vehicle for some value without ruining your credit or resulting in being obligated for $15,000 on something that doesn't even work. This was the worst experience of my life, and I couldn't sleep for months because of it.
#184 of 295 Re: First Posting [desertchildaz] -- Reply [sripley] [desertchildaz] [sripley]
Nov 11, 2008 (9:50 am)
There is a lemon law that covers used cars in Arizona. Unfortunately, you need to keep the car until a settlement is agreed to. I can't register the car because of the emissions issue so it's stuck in the driveway and of no use to me. I can't maintain the loan on it and purchase another car (debt:income ratio will probably prevent me from getting another loan for another car anyway). What am I to do to get back and forth to work (a 35 mile roundtrip drive) until the dispute is settled? I'm in between a rock and a hard place. I think I'm just going to try to dump the car on a trade-in. In today's car market, I think I have some advantages since dealers are desperate to sell cars. I'll insist on 5K for the car on trade.
I am going to speak with the Better Business Bureau and see if I can't at least get them to have the parent company of the dealership refund me my extended warranty cost. That will give me another $1000 or so.
I have to pick up the car from Land Rover today. I am going to talk to my service guy, tell him what I know and see if LR can work out something with me...compensate me somehow - either by agreeing to a buy-back (not likely, I know, since they didn't sell me the car, even though they did manufacture it.) I might have to agree not to pursue the class action suit but I do plan to threaten them with it to see if I can get something back. If they refuse, I will proceed with the class action suit. I do know one thing: I will not agree, under any circumstances, to a new engine replacement. I'm done with this car and don't need these problems to renew themselves once the new engine starts acting up.
#185 of 295 Federal Emission Warranty
Nov 12, 2008 (7:28 pm)
I think I found something that might help me and others, initially. As I mentioned, I am unable to pass emission in Arizona because my Service Engine Soon light is engaged, which is an automatic fail in Arizona. My Land Rover service team tells me that the only way to clear that light is to repair (for $2,000) by replacing my intake manifold and vacuum inserts. My extended warranty will not cover it.
When I picked up my car today, the cashier asked me to sign a group of documents that didn't match the document that I received as a receipt. I asked her to make me a copy of what I was signing and brought it home. It contains all the history on my car....back to the original owner in Oregon. Included is the following details:
Policy: Expires: Distance:
Corrosion Warranty 14 Nov - 2009 999999
Federal Emission Warranty 14 Nov - 2011 80000
Paint Warranty 14 Nov - 2007 50000
Standard Factor Warranty 14 Nov - 2007 50000
I looked up the Federal Emission Warranty here:
It states that my intake manifold should be replaced at the manufacturers expense.
Can someone else read over this and confirm that I am not reading it incorrectly??
I have 53,000 miles on my car.
Anyone know what a P002K code is? It appears as a Field Service Action at Land Rover Scottsdale 3 months before I bought the car.
I also now have the name of the original owner as well as phone number. Would it be inappropriate to contact that owner and find out if there was a particular mechanical reason he got rid of it only 1 year after buying it?
I still plan to get rid of the car, but I'd LOVE to see Land Rover have to pay the expense to fix those things before getting rid of it!
#186 of 295 Re: Federal Emission Warranty [desertchildaz]
Nov 13, 2008 (8:52 am)
I guess the most important question is: Does the Federal Emission Warranty cover the intake manifold for the vehicle's first 24,000 miles/24 months of life or first 24K/24 Mo of ownership? I bought it used one year ago and haven't gone 24K miles yet.
#187 of 295 Advice for new 03 owner?
Nov 14, 2008 (12:41 pm)
After lots of research on a sturdy vehicle for my high school senior's first car, we purchased a used 03 with 64K on it. Stupid me, the ONLY thing I didn't research was repair record. It's got 70K on it now and we honestly haven't had any problems (except rear window just died) but I know it needs a new serpentine belt...
Problem is, I'm in Bakersfield CA and there are no dealers here. Could anyone recommend a dealer in Valencia or Pasadena CA?
From everything I've read, we should consider trading this in and buying something else..but in the meantime, I know I need to do the required maintenance.
Any advice is welcomed. thank you! My son's car (my checkbook)