We are an average hard working American family. We take responsibility for ourselves and never complain, take a stand or see ourselves as victims, until now!
I went to the Discount Tire store located at 1230 South Milton Road, Flagstaff, Arizona. November 9th, 2009 to have the tires rotated on our 2005 Kia Sorrento. I clearly informed the salesperson that the vehicle was 4-wheel drive and with the possibility of winter storms in the forecast "I want to ensure that my wife had safe transportation while I was out town on business".
The manager, "Kurt" informed me that he would not rotate the tires and instead wanted me to purchase new tires right then. I informed him that was not possible today and I was leaving on a business trip.
The front tires did have an uneven wear pattern and needed to be rotated. There was still plenty of tread on the tires and would have been fine on the rear of the car until after the first of the year and we were past the holidays. The rear tires had plenty of tread and looked almost new. The set of four were replaced in 2007 and I was driving less then 20 miles a day during this time frame.
Kurt insisted that this was unsafe and offered to install a pair of loaner tires to get us through until we could replace the tires. His offer seemed reasonable and I trusted his "professional opinion".
After about a 45 minute wait one of the young men announced that my car was ready. He thanked me and said the documents were in the glove box.
On December 7th, 2009 during a storm my wife called me and said she was having problems on the icy roads while in four-wheel drive. This was the beginning of a serious winter storm and the roads were pretty bad.
After about 16 miles of driving down state route 89a in snow and ice the car was smoking and shuttering. My wife pulled over and called me. I told her to call roadside assistance have it towed where we could have it looked at.
Upon inspection by the Kia dealership they determined that entire driveline of the car was destroyed and the tires were the blame. The service manager said, "you need to go after the person that put those tires on your car!" In reviewing the documents from the tire swap on November 9th it was clear and known to them, they put a taller pair of tires on front of the car than what was installed on the rear of the car.
Here is what Discount determined in their "investigation":
Dear Ms. XXXXXX:
A review of the above referenced claim has been completed. According to a statement taken by the tow truck driver that transported your vehicle to Oxendale Kia you drove your vehicle in 4_wheel drive for over 30 miles on flat freeway. When the tires were installed as a temporary replacement in November 2009 it was not brought to the salespersons attention that your vehicle was a 4_wheel drive vehicle. Had your vehicle not been placed in 4-wheel drive the temporary tires would have performed without causing damage. Based on this information, Discount Tire will not be issuing any voluntary payments to indemnify you at this time.
If you have any additional information that you think may be relevant in our liability investigation, please submit it to my attention for. In the absence of any new information, our file will remain closed. Please be advised that the statute of limitations for property damage claims in the state of Arizona is 2 years from the date of loss.
Claims Mgmt Dept.
Discount Tire Company
I have removed the name and phone number here in all fairness. Now, the statements in this denial letter are totally false. The tow truck driver that delivered the car to the Dealership claims to have never made such a statement.
It was 16 miles until the vehicle failed on an icy, snowy canyon road. the Kia dealerships service department agrees with the owners' manual (with the correct tires installed) even if this were driven on a Flat freeway it would not cause any damage to the driveline.
Obviously the person who wrote this letter has never been to Northern Arizona, for there is nothing "Flat" about where we live or the drive to my wife's office which is not via a freeway.
I was clear with Kurt that this was a 4x4 vehicle and to add insult to injury, they have put tires on this car recently and all the information about our car in their system.
We are a simple, happy, working class family. We trusted the "˜experts' at Discount Tire with our needs. As a result, our vehicle is sitting at the Kia dealership with $12,000 damage and we are still making the monthly payments on it. We have 2-car loans out- we simply can't qualify for another vehicle loan.
Bottom line; we are stuck paying for a mistake made by Discount Tire.
I paid for a one-hour consultation with an attorney. He informed us that we would have to foot the entire bill to take this to court and could not be reimbursed for our expenses since nobody was physically injured. I am grateful my wife or some else on the road was not injured. I would not trade the welfare of others in order to force Discount tire to do the right thing and repair our Sorrento that their mistake and negligence damaged.
Do not purchase tires from any of their stores. Clearly they are not just incompetent, they are sorry people of poor character with no morals and don't care who they hurt!
Product or Service Mentioned: Discount Tire Replacement.
Location: Mesa, Arizona