jeep compass: sneaky paperwork by dealer makes me want to sell my suv

So far it seems like a brand-dealer nexus & some kind of attrition tactic. Wear the customer down so that he accepts his fate & car.

BHPian deevilslair recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

TLDR Summary

North of 3 million rupees, the Jeep Compass is the most expensive car I have acquired yet in April 2022. I ended up with some sneaky paperwork by the dealer and FCA was silent and unresponsive. And some intermittent rattling noises on the doors top it up. Need your help and advice on resolving this.

Full Disclosure, Almost

After owning a Ford Figo, Honda City & Suzuki S-Cross – was looking for a sturdy no-nonsense car for a family of four that would be safe, a pleasure to drive, soak in the bad roads & stretch its legs on the highway. After weeks of Sedan vs SUV debates, test drives and calculations finally zeroed on the Jeep Compass.

This being above my initial budget, I was looking for a good deal and trying to squeeze the best I could on each element of the on-road price. This is where the snare was set. The glib salesman from KHT Agencies, Domlur (Bangalore) offered me what seemed a reasonable deal on a 2021 manufactured car. The catch – apparently this had been in the showroom a little too long and after the turn of the year, just left remained unsold.

Since this was one for the kids to “grow up with”, I did a thorough check and PDI before accepting the car and signing the dotted line. After loan approval and clearing the paperwork happily drove the beast back home. Little was I aware of what was about to unfold.

Niggles, Wiggles & Sneaky Paperwork

It started with a minor niggle. The rattling noise from the door, roof & dash is now well documented and almost endemic. These rattles begin small but steadily grew to a point where they had a deleterious effect on my BP and well-being. I promptly took them to the service centre and discovered that it was endemic to the vehicle. Warning to all who are considering this car.

It is at the service centre, that the racket reared its head. The service manager suggested doing the first service along with the door noise check as the car was already overdue and if I delayed further, I would lose my warranty.

The car had done <3000 Kms and was barely 4 months old. So the first service was still a month away. But then as per their "system", the car was already sold in Nov 2021 and the service was due in May. They also said that I would have to do the second and detailed service by November because they need to follow the recommended interval irrespective of when I claimed to have bought the car. Or else lose the warranty.

So, there I was standing with a car invoiced 5 months before I was re-sold it. Somehow, the trail was wiped out of the RTO system (I had done a VIN number check prior to PDI), but wasn’t done in the internal system. Just to double check, I also registered for the “JEEP APP” and to my consternation, even that mentioned that the car was sold in Nov’21 and not Apr’22.

To Err is Human. To NOT accept is a Disgrace

To be fair, I reckon, these mistakes happen. Sales people can come up with extraordinary resourcefulness to make incentives and probably this is just a dummy invoiced car which found its way back to the yard after pretending to be sold. But what gets my goat is that the dealers first refused that anything wrong was done and simply denied any issue. They said that this was some “data entry error” and I could simply ignore it. “We are there no sir, don’t worry”, “This is a data entry mistake from FCA”. Not a word on how this could be fixed. And when I insisted, they suddenly became “busy” and “unavailable”. Now calls go unanswered or are returned late with the same empty statements.

I am now sitting in a car which I am not sure I am the first owner of AND the manufacturer warranty expires 5 months sooner. The extended warranty, however (which also I had purchased), comes into play only after a gap of 5 months. And the only response from the dealer is “Sir, yeh koi problem nahin hai. Hum dekh lenge.”

This is where I lost their trust and reached out to the FCA folks via email. I hoped involving the FCA / Stellantis folks might help resolve the issue. How naive…

The customer is probably just a statistic

If the dealer was irresponsive, the less said the better about FCA. I got the impression that I am just a statistic and probably not even human. Despite reaching out to senior executives over email – all I have got so far is automated emails or some dumb answers like “We have referred the problem to the dealer”. Somebody, please explain – how can they send me back to the same dealer that I am complaining about, to resolve the problem that they have created in the first place!

I was finally assigned a “FCA manager” after about a week of emails and follow-ups. This person called me once in a tearing hurry to mention that he was busy with some training program. He hasn’t spoken since then. He also refuses to pick up my calls and only replies by text that he will be referring the problem to the dealership.

In a fix, what is the way out?

So far it seems like a brand-dealer nexus and some kind of attrition tactic. Wear the customer down so that he accepts his fate & car. Oh yeah, the noise isn’t fixed entirely yet and does come up intermittently. The impact on BP & mental well-being is the same – the anticipation of the rattle is as bad as the rattles themselves.

I don’t know what is the way out. It is quite frustrating. Sometimes it is difficult to explain as this seems like a “small problem” compared to other horror stories that come from the FCA stable.

I deeply regret going for this car now and the key moments of the decision keep playing back again and again with an “Alas, if only…”

To be or not to be

In peaceful moments I feel am making much ado about nothing. But the cavalier attitude and unresponsiveness make me imagine the worst of the brand and dealership.

I am considering cutting losses and selling this car and going back to a sedan from a more trusted brand. The invoice and warranty issue though is causing a significant drop in the resale value. Suddenly feel that the car is stuck like a bone in my throat.

IMO, would like to fix the paperwork and exit the brand.

With FCA folks also not coming through – looking forward to your suggestions and counsel.

Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:

You have undoubtedly been wronged, but in my honest opinion, the issues aren’t large enough to make it a “nightmare”. You’ve bought a 30-lakh car; go out and enjoy it. That is a far bigger development than the two main issues, namely:

  • Rattles. A common problem with the Compass.
  • Early invoicing & as a result, the warranty got cut short by 5 months. It is likely that the dealer registered the car as “sold” to meet his targets and get some bonus from FCA.

Point 2 is not cool, but again, go ahead and take the extended warranty. The odds of something failing in the 60th month versus the 55th are rather slim and I can assure you, the odds are in your favour. The time difference isn’t enough to be a deal-breaker or make you sell the car.

Not to forget, you did get a deal sweetener by buying an older stock car.

Get in touch with Jeep India and put everything on record (email, registered letter). For what it’s worth, I will also send a link of your thread to some people at Jeep who I know.

Again, I accept that you have been wronged, but it’s not that big a deal to take the pleasure of owning a 30-lakh car away. Go out on the highway, enjoy the car’s engine + handling + stability. It’ll wipe away your tears.

Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say about the matter:

Jeep India seems to have zero control over its dealers, who are seemingly taking advantage of this. Even here up north, Landmark Jeep has a sole monopoly over the entire Delhi NCR market and all kinds of shenanigans happen, big and small. The only thing that scares the life out of these people is the rating. Use it. Rate them a 4 and see how your calls start getting picked and how files start to move.

The date of sale being different in their system CAN BE a simple data entry issue or it can be something more sinister. Let’s not jump to conclusions and make rash decisions. It is well established now that the interiors of the facelifted Compass are prone to rattling. That is something you’ll have to make your peace with. Otherwise, your car seems to be running fine. The billing date issue, if true, makes a difference of 6 months in the warranty. If I were you, I would not lose my sleep over this when the car itself is OK.

Enjoy your Compass. There is no better highway machine in that price range.

Here’s what BHPian Mustang_Boss had to say about the matter:

Your story is heartbreaking. Sad to see someone who is precise in everything going through such an ordeal.

Remember, you always have the legal option and all the provided paperwork does support you. But, it’s going to be a long uphill Battle. It’s your choice whether you wish to proceed with this route or not. I personally wouldn’t recommend it. There is no point fighting with someone who intentionally misrepresented things and deceived you. He is going to do it again and again.

Fixing the paperwork and Exiting the brand looks like a very good option to me. Considering the amount of heartburn the vehicle has bought, you will feel disgusted & regret every time you see her. There is no point in continuing with your kind of mindset. You seem like someone who cannot accept flaws when you are flawless. Apologies, if I misjudged you from your writing style!

With your thread, I learned a lot and what to look for during purchase.

Keyword: Jeep Compass: Sneaky paperwork by dealer makes me want to sell my SUV

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