Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Second blown clutch on 2004 Mazda3: do not buy from Dufferin Mazda!

I just received word that Dan's relatively new vehicle has blown the clutch again. He was calling from Palmerston Blvd while awaiting the tow truck. The car had zero km on it when he drove it off the lot on September 19, 2004. It is less than 3 years old, and this is the second time that the clutch has broken. Is this really normal?

Now you might think that he doesn't know how to drive a stick? (I'm sure you'd expect that if he was female.) But, he does. With his 1991 Integra, the original clutch lasted more than a decade. As did the Honda that he drove before that. And the brakes on the 2004 Mazda3 needed to be replaced after just one year, whereas the Integra held out for over 5.5 years. Sure, city driving is hard on a car, but do the parts really expire in a year? Or is this a problem with Mazda?

Dan's phone calls to the Dufferin Mazda dealership were often not returned. He also wrote letters. And in the end, they said that it was normal wear and tear, and they would not pay for it. Nor did they pay for the tow truck up to the dealership, or for the rental car that he had to rent for five days while they fixed the clutch the first time. The level of service and customer support at both Dufferin Mazda and Mazda Canada are deplorable.

Look out Mazda. Look out Dufferin Mazda. You have a new enemy.

Now you may be interested to know that Conservative MP Wajid Kahn (who crossed the floor in January 2007 from the Liberal party) is the former owner of Dufferin Mazda. And as this clever writer says: Mississauga MP (and former Dufferin Mazda dealership owner) Wajid Khan further weakened the reputation of used car salesmen by betraying Liberal voters and defecting to the Conservative party. Switching parties mid-season? How can we trust this guy? When he retires from politics, will he be back full time at the dealership, doing television ads in a jailbird suit, a la Mel Lastman?

At Dufferin Mazda's website, they have the nerve to write: We do it better, we do it for less. Do they really???

Have you had a problem with the clutch on your Mazda? Do you have service horror stories with Dufferin Mazda? If so, comment and let me know. It is time that they learn that word-of-mouth can be negative as they witness the power of online communications.


Dan said...

I have just returned from Dufferin Mazda with a repaired car and a huge bill. It wasn't the clutch itself, but a seal around the clutch that leaked out all the fluids, requiring a major and costly repair.

I work in sales and make calls to all my customers in that car. When I phoned today to cancel my appointments, the first thing they ask is "is it your car again?", because that is the only reason that I've ever missed an appointment. Not very good word of mouth advertising.

And at my weekly sales meetings, what do you think my reaction is when asked "how do you like your Mazda 3". The message to them is bad product and terrible after sales service. And then all those colleagues tell their family, friends and customers.

You know, a little goodwill from either Mazda or the dealership could have gone a
loooong way.

Tony Shoemaker said...

I have a Mazda6 here in the States, and while I have not had any major mechanical problems with it so far (knock on wood) I did have one of my external parts fly off the car on the highway. Then both my dealer here (Don Allen Auto Group) and Mazda USA told me "tough noogies" and made me pay for it. So Mazda is developing a history of not taking care of their customers. I switched to another dealership and they are taking better care of me.

Its really a shame because, other than the issues that you are having, they are great alternatives to VW and Honda for driving fun, and reliability, respectively. But this kind of customer service is really going to kill their brand.

By the way- my blog is called "The Money Pitt" too- we should link our sites! www.the-money-pitt.blogspot.com