Peterbilt of Fort Smith Mellette South Dakota

Complaint: On Oct 18 we contacted Peterbilt of Fort Smith about our truck that was broke down on I40, about 25 miles from their shop. The transmission was not working. The truck motor would run, but it would not move. They told us they could send out a wrecker, pull it into their shop, and take a look at it. They called later saying that the transmission gears were damaged and suggested that we purchase a remanufactured transmission. Jeff from Peterbilt said it would cost around $4300 with about $900 being labor to replace the transmission. I told him to go ahead and put it in. This was Monday, they said the transmission would be in on Wednesday and there was a good chance they would have it completed by that evening. We also had an exhaust leak that we asked them to repair for us. There was excess oil under the motor, so we asked them to also look and see if they could identify any oil leaks. Our air conditioner was not operating correctly, so we asked them to look at it as well. They claimed the oil leak was coming from the oil pan seal, and also the cam followers. They charged us one hour labor for this and did not offer to fix any of the leaks. They did repair the exhaust leak and charged us two hours labor for this. They charged us $249.58 for the part, which in any other shop sells for less that $150. They charged us $60 for a misc item. I can produce receipts to prove this. They said the air conditioner compressor was locked up and did not offer to fix it. They charged us one hour labor for this and for freon. Wednesday came and the transmission arrived. They did not complete the install until Thursday. They claimed to have test driven the truck and said that evening it was completed and working fine. Our driver then took the truck to go and pick up his load. He drove approximately 5 miles and the transmission failed, locking up in 10th gear causing the engine to die. The driver immediately called Peterbilt and spoke with Breck who stated we do not handle service calls, sorry I cant help you. The driver called me and I informed Breck that obviously they had not fixed the truck properly and needed to take it back to there shop and take care of whatever they had missed. He dispatched a wrecker and took it back to their shop. Breck then called stating that the problem was from bad batteries in the truck. I told him this did not make sense as being the truck was running the alternator was providing the electricity to run the truck, not the batteries. He insisted this was the problem and after disagreeing back and forth for some time I told him that if he was right I would pay for the batteries, if he was wrong he would have to pay for them. I asked him what the charge would be for installing batteries and he said they were on sale for $98 a battery (we needed 4) and it would cost an hours labor ($90) I told him that my driver would install the batteries and to go ahead and get us the batteries. Breck then against my wishes had his mechanic, not my driver, install the batteries and he proceeded to charge us for 3 hours labor for the installation instead of the one hour he stated it would take. He offered no explanation for the extra 2 hours. Once the batteries were installed they attempted to start the truck and it would not start. This obviously proves that the batteries were not the cause of the transmission failing. After further examination they discovered there were 2 fuses that were blown. The driver was there to witness this and also informed me that they also cleaned the battery cables. Once they replaced these and had the cables clean the truck would run and move, but the red warning light on the transmission continued to indicate there was a problem. The driver asked them why this was if everything was fixed and they told him not to worry about the light indicating there was a problem. He reported this to me and I told him that they must fix ALL the problems with the transmission to avoid a breakdown in the future, but they refused saying there were no issues, even though the red light indicated otherwise. They also claimed that the fuses were blown due to low voltage. I have contacted several professional mechanics as well as people with a strong electrical background and asked them if this is possible and they stated it is NOT. They stated that fuses blow due to an overload of current not a low current, proving once again that the batteries were not the issue. This is common knowledge any mechanic should know. My driver paid for the replacement of the batteries, which ended up costing $1059.60. We informed Breck this was out of line. He demanded we pay him right away because they were closing and he would hold our truck hostage over the weekend if payment was not received. He did not provide our office with a copy of the invoice so we could review it before payment was made. These charges are due to the fact we are a small company not from the area and they had a trapped customer that they could charge whatever they wanted. I am not willing to pay for the mistakes they made causing the truck to break down right after it left their shop. The truck was running fine with the exception of the broken gears in the transmission and it is foolish to think that it needed additional parts such as batteries to run again. I am willing to pay the fair value for the work they performed, but not for their mistakes and over charges.

Tags: Truck Dealer Repair

Address: 6915 Alma Highway Van Buren, Arkansas United States of America


Phone: 800-808-7383

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