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Wednesday, March 10th 2010

2:26 PM

Timeline of Events: A Car Fire

SUMMARY TIME-LINE

On January 15, 2010, I took my 2000 Volkswagen New Beetle to Concours Motors' Service Department for repair work on the car's electrical system that was malfunctioning. The ignition switch, blower motor, right and left headlights, and headlight lock were replaced, including fuses for the back up lights, door locks, cooling fan, headlights, and windshield wipers.  The radio wire was pulled too.

I paid $489.08 for the repair work, but a week later, the car's electrical system continued to malfunction. I complained to the Service Department, and demanded they re-inspect the repair work they did on my car.  They agreed to for a fee of $125.00.  I couldn't afford it, so that never happened.  Instead, Concours Motors pulled a fuse at no cost to me. 

A week later, my VW Bug that had only 130,000 miles burst into flames. The Milwaukee Fire Department 's report indicates the cause of the fire was due to an electrical malfunction.  Concours Motor's Inc. refuses to take responsibility and refund me $489.08.

DETAILED

January 15, 2010 – I took my 2000 VW New Beetle at Concours Motors Inc. at 1400 West Silver Spring Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53209 for repairs because I had problems with the electrical system:  car radio worked, but smoked; loss of headlights, hatchback and gas cap power failure, odometer and speedometer stopped working, and  heat / fan motor  failed too.

January 15, 2010 - I paid Concours Motors Inc. $ 489.08 for repairs:  Ignition switch, blower motor, right and left headlights, and headlight lock were replaced, including fuses for the back up lights, door locks, cooling fan, headlights, and windshield wipers.  The radio wire was pulled too, but the powered hatchback still didn’t work.  Th Service Advisor said, “the trunk release will need further diagnosis." Frankly, this is unacceptable because that was part of the problem. 

January 25, 2010 – Running /Day/Fog and interior lights would not power off.

January 25, 2010 - I called,  the Service Advisor and complained that the electrical system in the car continued to malfunction.  I demanded they re-inspect the work they did on my car.  Concours Motors agreed to but only at a price of $125.00, but I refused to pay this amount because I had already paid them $489.08 for the same repair. 

January 25, 2010 - I called the Service Advisor a second time.  I asked if it would be ok to disconnect the battery, so that it wouldn’t drain while the lights remained on.  She said it would be an option. 

January 25, 2010 – I returned to my vehicle and tried to disconnect the battery, but I was afraid to because the battery was almost underneath a voltage system, so I left it alone.

January 25, 2010 – I called the Service Advisor, a third time and explained the battery assembly was too complicated for me to disconnect.  I asked the location of the fuse for the interior lights and running/day/fog lights, so it could be pulled and not drain my battery.  The Service Advisor told me to bring in my car and Concours Motors will locate the fuse, mark it and show me how to remove it, so that the lights would power off and not drain the battery.

January 25, 2010 – I drove my car to Concours Motors Inc. The Service Advisor, showed me the location of the fuse (fuse No. 20) to be pulled; labeled it so I could easily identify it, and removed it.  The interior lights, running/day/fog lights finally powered off without the fuse. 

 January 25, 2010 - 8:00 PM - The interior and running / daylights powered back on, which didn’t make sense because the fuse was removed.

January 26, - January 27, 2010 - With the fuse still out, I continued to experience problems with the electrical system, which became more severe in that on the driver’s side below the instrument panel and steering column the vehicle began to smoke, which eventually stopped after I turned off the motor.

January 28, 2010 – February 3, 2010 – Drove vehicle w/out Fuse No. 20; sometimes the lights would turn off; and sometimes, they wouldn’t, and it would also begin to smoke, and the smoke would start and stop.

January 29, 2010 - I called Service Manager, Steve Halverson.  I complained and demanded they re-inspect the ignition switch and everything else they repaired because the vehicle continued to have problems with the electrical system.  He said they would look at my car, but only at a fee of $125.00, which I refused to pay.

February 3, 2010 – 7:00 PM:  With the symptoms detailed above, I turned the car on to see what would happen and smoke began to come out, so I turned it off, but the smoke continued and it burst into flames.

February 4, 2010 – Left message for Concours Motors Assistant General Manager, Jim Clark and Owner, Carl Reesoff.

February 4, 2010 – Called Concours Motors Assistant General Manager, Jim Clark a second time and was able to reach him.  I complained about the repair on my vehicle, told him my vehicle was destroyed in a fire due to an “electrical malfunction” and demanded a refunded of  $489.08. The conversation produced no results. 

February 5, 2010 – Concours Motors owner, Carl Reesoff returned my call.  I had two conversations with him on this day.  The outcome of these conversations was upsetting.  Mr. Reesoff refused to take responsibility for the loss of my vehicle and denied my request for a refund.  Instead, he offered to sell me a new car.

February 5, 2010 – Salvaged vehicle for $25.00.

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