Review of Marlin Motors, Norfolk VA

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On Saturday, July 14, 2018 we went to view a 1998 VW Cabrio  the dealer had numerous positive reviews and the condition of the car was very good considering its age.  The owner of the dealership, Jeff, also agreed to include a 6 month/6,000 mile Platinum Drivetrain Warranty that covered up to $5,000 of repairs at no cost to us.

There were several items we discussed prior to purchase that we were told would be done/checked by their mechanic.On the test drive the brakes felt a little soft.

The owner, Jeff, agreed that when he had driven the car only a day or so earlier, he also thought they felt soft.  He stated he would have their mechanic check them.

They are still soft.

The floor of the car on the passenger side was saturated and water was pooled under the front seat and in the floor boards in front of the back seat on the passenger side. The representative we were dealing with, Bryan, stated he would vacuum the carpets to get the excess water out, clean them, and spray with an anti-microbial agent.  He would also have the drainage tube blown out as it was most likely blocked and the water overflowed during a storm a few days prior.  At this time the owner, stated the flooding was due to his forgetting to roll the window up when he finished driving it on the day of the storm.

After delivery of the vehicle it was immediately apparent that the AC was leaking into the passenger compartment from under the carpet as you could see the water seeping through. Photos were sent.

I drove the vehicle through a car wash, and water began pouring in to the passenger compartment. I sent additional photo as well as a video taken while still in the car wash.  Video taken in car wash of leaking

On Saturday, the convertible top was not working. We stipulated that we would only purchase the car if the roof was working correctly.  We had them write it onto the deposit receipt and the contract that the roof must be functioning correctly.  They indicated they could only get a replacement hydraulic hose from VW and they were closed on the weekend.

The repair was to take place on Monday.  Due to the distance we traveled (2 hours/100 miles one way), this was not satisfactory as we did not want to make the trip again.  We agreed to split the cost of transport and they would ship the car on Tuesday.

They did not get the hose until Tuesday. Delivery of the Cabrio was scheduled for 1:00 on Wednesday. They “forgot” to leave the keys with the vehicle for the transport company that morning.  As such delivery was delayed until after 8:00 pm, it was already getting dark.  The transporter left without providing any paperwork or having me sign anything.  We immediately noticed that since Saturday, it had been involved in an accident that left scratches and residue of white paint on the front, bumper and panel around the wheel well.  The car is black so it stood out. Video of damage taken immediately after delivery

Jeff did offer to pay for it to be repaired and professionally painted in three weeks when his painter returned from vacation. He stated his painter would do the job for $200 and we could split the cost. This would entail 2 additional 5 hour round trip drives which is inconvenient and not safe (see last item).

On Thursday, I put the top down leaving work. Upon arrival home, the top would not go up. I went immediately drove to our mechanic, Allen Tire.  The mechanic stated that the top wouldn’t go up because there was no wiring connecting the motor to the switch. When I asked him what that meant, he stated that and the wiring must have been “rigged” somehow, because now there were no wires leading to the switch on the console to control the top.  He also stated there was no way they could not have known about the electrical issues.

I immediately left a message for Bryan stating the problem and we needed to arrange to return the car as the terms were not met. Several phone calls went back and forth but eventually culminated in the owner, Jeff, calling me to say he spoke to his “partner” and they could not give me my money back.

Bryan stated that we should bring the car back for them to fix and if they couldn’t they would in fact, refund our money. I told him I don’t have the ability to take another 5 hours for the round-trip drive, not to mention that I would have to do it twice; once to drop off then to pick up.  I would also have to take time off work to do this or be without a vehicle for a week while I spent two Saturdays going back and forth with my husband in a second car to bring me back home and back to them again.

I noticed the car is not shifting when on the highway (automatic transmission, stuck in 3rd gear) I took to a transmission shop. There were in fact 7 error codes being given when hooked up to the computer that were all solenoid electrical related. When they go under the dash, they discover that the wires to the “Check Engine” light had been cut.  This was preventing the warning light from coming on giving the false impression that there were no issues.

When the warranty company was contacted, they stated that none of these issues were covered and they covered only $2,000, not $5,000.

All we wanted was a refund and for them to take the car back.  Now we have to go the attorney route for auto fraud

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