To: Gary Mathews Motors Inc. Service Manager and District Manager, Sisk Automotive Service Manager and District Manager
Re: 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon repairs – VIN XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
Current Milage: 17054
On May 30, 2008, my 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon was originally brought to the Gary Mathews Service Department with the following problem:
• Vehicle would not start
• All other power systems in vehicle were operable
A couple things were diagnosed as causing the problem and repaired/replaced:
• ABS Controller replaced
• PCM Replaced
• The problems with these two modules were blamed on aftermarket modifications to the battery tray
• I was also told that the swaybar disconnect motor was inoperable because of corrosion in the plug and that it was not a warrantable repair
because it had “been underwater for a period of time.”
• Upon delivery of the vehicle back to me, I was told that plugging the swaybar disconnect motor back in would “fry or cause damage to the ABS Controller and the PCM, requiring them to be replaced again.”
o Swaybar motor was left unplugged
The vehicle was then taken to Sisk Automotive in Hopkinsville, KY to get a second opinion about the swaybar disconnect motor plug corrosion
• Sisk Automotive plugged the swaybar disconnect motor back in
• Immediately, the vehicle would not start, but all electrical systems seemed to work (the original problem that the vehicle was taken to Gary Mathews Motors Inc. Service Department for)
• DTC’s indicated:
o Loss of communication with CAN BUS
o Loss of communication with ABS Module
o Loss of communication with PCM
• When the swaybar disconnect motor was unplugged again, the vehicle was able to start and function properly, fixing the original problem that the vehicle was taken to Gary Mathews Motors Inc. for:
o Indicating no damage
to the CAN BUS, PCM, or ABS Module had occurred.
o There was simply a loss of communication
with above modules
o That if the tech at Gary Mathews Motors Inc. had unplugged the swaybar disconnect motor first, he would have seen that there was no damage to the PCM and the ABS Module that he later replaced. There was simply a loss of communication to the modules
This is evidence that the tech at Gary Matthews misdiagnosed and replaced modules that were not defective.
• The modules that were replaced simply had a loss of communication to them
• Had the tech unplugged the swaybar motor in the first place, the vehicle would have started immediately, just like it did at Sisk Automotive
• The original problem that the vehicle was brought to Gary Mathews Motors Inc. for could be completely
reproduce by plugging the swaybar motor back in
• The original problem that the vehicle was brought to Gary Mathews Motors Inc. for could have been fixed by simply unplugging the swaybar motor
• The tech at Gary Mathews Motors Inc. jumped to the unwarranted and incorrect
conclusion that modifications to the vehicle’s battery tray had caused the problem
• The original problem is obviously caused by the corrosion in the swaybar disconnect motor
o There was obviously a factory defect that allowed water to enter this connector
o This connector should be water-proof
, evidenced below by advertising on the Jeep website and the 2007 Jeep Wrangler owner’s manual
Gary Mathews Motors Inc. told me that the swaybar disconnect motor could not be fixed under warranty because it had “been under water for a period of time.”
• Do they think I parked it in a lake overnight?
• A Quote from the Jeep website at this link: http://www.jeep.com/en/4x4/trail_rated/
o “Hit that riverbed with confidence. Trail Rated Jeep 4x4’s feature additional electrical and body sealing, along with a high air intake location for optimum water fording capability. Note: Do not attempt water fording unless depth is known to be less than 19 inches.”
• A Quote from the 2007 Jeep Wrangler owner’s manual
o “Avoid driving in standing water deeper than 20 inches, and reduce speed….”
Suggesting that the vehicle is capable of driving in water up to 20 inches in depth.
• The 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon in question has a 3.5” lift and 35” tires. This equates to the swaybar disconnect motor plug in question being five inches higher off the ground than a completely stock 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with no lift and 32” tires
o When measuring the distance from the ground to the swaybar disconnect motor plug on my vehicle, that is five inches higher off the ground than stock, it is exactly 19 inches from the ground.
o This means that a stock 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon would have the same plug on the swaybar disconnect motor at 14 inches from the ground
o This is well within the 19 inches
of water that the vehicle is advertised as being able to ford.
o This is, along with the Jeep website advertising, and the information in the owner’s manual suggests that this specific plug SHOULD be water-proof with “additional electrical sealing,” as advertised on the Jeep website.
1. For the above reasons, the swaybar disconnect motor corrosion problem on my vehicle is obviously a factory defect and should be repaired under warranty
, which Gary Mathews Motors Inc. refused to do. Failure to produce repairs under warranty will be considered a breach of contract because of failure to honor the warranty on the vehicle.
2. As evidenced above, the tech at Gary Mathews Motors Inc. mis-diagnosed the cause of the original problem, and erroneously blamed aftermarket modifications
in order to avoid fixing the problems under warranty (or maybe he is just incompetent and/or made a mistake). One can only assume that this is a pattern with other customers as well and that Gary Mathews Motors Inc. would have a history of trying to refuse warrantable repairs to other vehicles. Whether it was done purposely, out of incompetence, or a simple mistake, doesn’t change the result of the mis-diagnosis and superfluous replacement of modules that were not damaged.
3. The result of this mis-diagnosis of the problem resulted in $1473.23
of unneeded repairs. The results of plugging in the defective swaybar disconnect motor show that the PCM was NOT
shorted and the ABS module was NOT
damaged. There was merely a loss of communication to them.
should be immediately refunded for these unnecessary repairs.
5. The vehicle history that that is available for all Jeep service department’s to see should be cleared of incorrect statements made in it, as evidenced in this letter. These false vehicle history statements are preventing Sisk Automotive from repairing the electric swaybar disconnect motor under warranty for fear that Chrysler will deny it and Sisk will be stuck with the money out of their pockets.
Michael J. McNaught DDS
CPT, US Army Dental Corp
Fort Campbell, KY
Opinions? What do you think?
Are there any specific Jeep Customer Service e-mail addresses I should send this to?