East Coast Auto Mall

Englewood Cliffs, NJ

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

Satisfaction Rating

The car is leased from this dealer. I came in for service on 8/29/2015 because my car's ac was making noise. First off the service writer told me that he will not be able to take care of it that day and I would have to make an appointment. I said ok, and that I could only come in on weekend only. He told me that it is not possible because they don't do this kind of work on weekends. This is a leased car under warranty. Obviously this is not my fault that the a/c unit is making noise. I was willing to work with the guy, and told him that I need a car, and was willing to drop the car off if I got a loaner.

Long story short, the service writer asked me for my name to see if I was there before. He punched up my name and told me - "Oh yeah, you gave me a bad review last time you were here." I told him - "Yes I did because you were rude and didn't take care of my car." After which he told me that I should go to a different dealer if I want my car service. This guy was not interested in fixing his last mistake and maybe get my bad experience and opinion of this dealership reversed and get me as a loyal customer of Nissan.

Obviously, this guy could care less about me as a customer and my satisfaction. I didn't think that Nissan as a company could care less about their customers. I really like the car, and was thinking about getting another one when my lease was up. But after this experience with the service department at East Coast Nissan in Englewood Cliffs, NJ I will not get another Nissan ever again, neither for me, nor for anyone of my family members.

Satisfaction Rating

Fred ** was unprofessional and completely lacked any customer service skills. Under no circumstances will I be returning to this horrific service center. East Coast Auto Mall should be ashamed of the free for life scam.


My girlfriend bought a 2010 Nissan Altima coupe. After putting $10,000 down and driving away, they called 2 weeks later saying that they needed her father, who co-signed, to sign some different papers. They also said they would not be able to renew her temporary plate since she needed these papers signed beforehand. When she brought the car in on January 14, they gave her a rental car which had terrible brakes.

She signed what they needed, brought the papers to her father, who express mailed them back to east coast. On Thursday, January 21, we went to the dealer to find out why they had her car for a week. Nobody called us, and after 15 minutes they told us to bring the rental car to the service department for drop off. Then they would give us her car, and we should bring the car up to the finance office for the plates.

When we returned the rental, the man in the service department told us, when we went up front, that they are going to send us back to service again for the plates to be put on. So we walked over to the finance desk and asked for the plates, where the financial officer, Onir, I believe his name is, gave us the runaround again. I don't see the big deal on giving us our plates, but it seemed as if they wanted to stare at young women all day, and not do their job.

After I lost my temper, I was asked to wait outside, and the plates suddenly appeared. We went back to service to have the plates put on and left. The service department was the only department we felt who knew what they were doing, and were friendly enough to help out. As for the finance department and the Sales rep, Tony, they call and don't leave messages. Also, Onir told me that my girlfriend doesn't return their calls. A little professionalism would be to leave an appropriate message on her voice mail.

As far as customer service goes, I never heard of a car dealer telling their customer to drive the rental car to service, and bring back their own car. I thought that is what the service was for. We had to do everything. We also have free service for life, but will never use it there. The customer service was the worst I have ever seen, again with the exception of the service department. The telephone calls are more harassing than a telemarketer. I question whether or not they were calling for anything relevant to her car.


On last month Nov,4 I trade in two vehicle. First is my 01 audi S4 that i just paid off 0 balance and a lease vehicle 08 VW rabbit that i been paying and have 13 months left before the lease contract is up. Now i was told from the sale person Wendy when we were making a deal, I was told by her that her company East coast willing to pay 6 months of my lease (279x6mos+350 disposition fees total of 2024) and i have the document on that,

so i asked her i will be only responsible for the 6-7 remaining payment, so she gave me 8000.00 on my trade (S4) and on the buyer order It show that they deducted 2000 from the trade off my 8000 i suppose to get, which i understand is to pay my net trade in 279x7mos. if you do the math that is 1953 Which make sense 8000-2000.

Now is been exactly 1 months and i got a call from VW saying I still owed 1400 balance. The only payment they received from East coast is the 2024.00. Now i been trying to call the dealer and the sale person. they seem to be playing game with me, throwing me around like a ball, acting like they dont remember my other vehicle.

I really need help in this case and i have report that to VWOA about their behavior. I m just want to make my purchase experience pleasure but the whole scam thing about this ppl is just a shame. I hope for those who is going to deal with them in the future be very careful .

BTW i do have both paper handy and i m going there monday to see the manager and F&I hope they will honor it or else i will take further legal action about this. Hope you guy can help me out with it.


RAV4 Base 4x4 4Cyl with (QV)ExtraValuePackage + (TH)3rd Row Sears + (CF)Carpet Floor

Referred by a friend who was shopping EastCoast at the time, EC gave us an internet quote of 23, 900$ & insisted TWICE that if we came in, we'd get a better quote. So with a good starting quote and the incentive of a better one on top of friendly referal, we rented a car, and drove the family from NY to NJ: Mommy Daddy w/ a 3yr old & 4yr old.

Sure enough, when we get there, everyone seems very friendly. In fact for the most part throughout the entire experience, nobody we dealt w. got nasty, which is a pretty big thumbs up for them on that part. But that certainly doesn't mean they didn't try your usual tricks of the trade, they just do it in a calmer tone and a smile on their face. Their attitude and tone DEFINITELY dimmed considerably after we signed the Buyers Order WorkSheet. So I informed them of our internet quote, & Rolando (salesguy) comes back & agrees we can have it at 23.9K. But we reminded them that we were told we'd get a BETTER quote if we came in, so he went away, came back & again.. 23.9K & says it's a REALLY good price already, stating the internet quote is usually just a teaser to get ppl in, they usually don't honor eQuotes.

So we insisted we're here today for a BETTER one & he "jokingly" said "so if I drop 5$ off, will that be a better quote?" & I chuckle along and remind him I'm looking for something reasonable here. He leaves & comes back dropping only 50$. So I asked for something closer to 23.5$. He says he'll throw in 1yr free maintenance @ every 5000/mi. I asked him to show me his invoice price on the car & he replies that knowing the invoice price doesn't matter (& never showed it either). I'm frustrated they're barely budging and said if they agree to 23.7$ (midrange betw MSRP & Invoice) then & I'm sold.He comes back w 28K but only 1 oil change. Yes, I'm a pretty bad bargainer, probably why I hate it and almost never do it, I usually just walk out when I'm not happy w. the 1st price I hear.

He then whips out a referal postcard that gives 100$ each to the referal & the referer asking us to tell our friends to buy from EC also. Rolando also mentions he works ONLY off CustomerSatisfactionIndex (CSI) and does NOT make commission (which is probably a lie). So I mentioned my friend actually referred me but he hasnt bought the car yet, if we can redeem the referal promo. Rolando runs off for the umpteenth time to ask. Returns with a NO, he has to have already purchased. So Rolando brings up a great idea, I could reverse referral my friend & it'd be the same. GREAT IDEA!! I'm SOLD!! 23.8K -100$ referal bonus = 23.7K ... we begin the Buyers Order Worksheet.

I casually text my friend notifying him of the bonus only to find out he already closed on the deal w Sales-Larry TWO days ago. So I backtrack while Mommy goes over the forms, asking for the referal bonus since he DID buy the car already. Rolando-Off...Rolando-Returns, NO, I MUST have his referal card. Mind you, this is a VERY simplistic postcard w/ no T&Cs nor offer codes on it, nothing, just a plain postcard with one sentence simply stating the 100$ each offer and "Rolando" scribbled in sharpie across the bottom, he has a ton of these (untagged) in his drawer.

So I pleaded, it's a simple card, just fill out my friend's name and we'll call it a day. He refuses, says "the guys" in the back won't allow it, also said 100$ comes out of Larry's pocket & he won't do it. I remind him this is a LEGITIMATE referal & the only reason I contacted EC was b/c he mentioned it, and only came in b/c they offerd better quote in person. Things start getting tense over this 100$(x2) referal promo, and while Mommy is on the phone w Insurance, I'm still back & forth w/ Rolando. At the same time, he's trying to keep the paperwork moving w/ mommy while he argues w me. Rolando insist I STILL have my 100$ as long as I still give it to someone, and ofcourse I said NO, I don't kno anybody else whos anywhere near the market for a car..and to convince them to come to EC (especially after they BARELY budged on the quote)??..

i get on the phone w my friend about the referal and turns out he NEVER even got a referal card!! I bring this up and he calls my friend a LIER insisting EVERYONE ALWAYS gets a referal card. NOW, I'm being questioned about the legitimacy of the referal, saying EC MUST have the referal card to kno it's a real referal. So obviously, I remind them I have no idea who Larry is, yet I was able to mention him..and ofcrouse they respond "theres a lot of Larrys". He comes back & forth talking w/ "his guys" and I'm on the phone w. my friend about the referal. Rolando then asks me what car was bought and what name, so I gave it and they looked him up. Rolando comes back "He didn't even pick up his car yet!! THAT's why he didn't get his referal card!" (now mind you, they are now ADMITTING he didn't get a referal card...ALSO, mind you, I'm not even in the F&I office yet, but I have a referal card in hand).

They're all aggrivated that I won't budge, accusing me of renegotiating, while I remind them that the 100$ was factored in to my decision to buy. At some point they agreed to honor the referal bonus saying my friend will get his 100$ when he comes in to pick up his car (on their word).. and I got 100$ off 23.9K so it's settled. Can you imagine that? they justified my bargain price with NOW substituting it with the referal promo. so I had to REPEAT ..AGAIN (probably at LEAST the 5th time by now) that my decision to buy was INCLUSIVE of this 100$ referal bonus. Much of this is probably out of order because they just kept coming back with SOOOO many excuses just for $100 that they would have otherwise given out easily if they had simply given the postcard to my friend who wouldve have SURELY given it to me.

He goes on to tell me I can give him MY card, and we'll both redeem when he picks up his car. Ofcourse with nothing officially in writing, they can conveniently forget or deny us with some other nonsense made up "rule" AFTER I drive off the LOT. So I work it out w my friend that I'd leave today empty handed and come back with him when he picks up his car to ensure he gets his referal bonus, and I get my 100$ also. This gets them all nervous so "the guys" behind the desk calls me over and lectures me on bickering over so little and being unfair to them (which in perspective, while it's 100$ to me, it's probably less than 15$ in commission to them), and how they'v given me such a great deal and saying I'm accusing them of making empty promises (which I didn't, merely stating that with no official documented promise of $100, anything goes.). So after his little lecture (i guess this is what you have to put up with being in your mid 20s, everyone thinking you're an idiot pushover punk), he said he'll do me another "favor" and he'll put it down in writing that upon pickup of my friend's car, he will be honored 100$ referal bonus and me my 100$ bonus as well and this will be noted at the end of the Paperwork that will be signed in the F&I office. Funny how this "favor" of his is exactly what I've been asking for over the past hour. But ofcourse I don't get my written promise right away, it'll be noted later on which allows them the flexibility of conveniently "forgetting" or have more time to come up w. another excuse while they keep me moving closer to buying this car.

OFF into the F&I room:

we signed a few blank forms (which were pretty harmless, for now), and we get to the arbitration contract. I refused to sign in favor of Arbitration and tossing my rights to sue (as recommended by many carbuying guides) and was told I HAVE to, it's required by Toyota. I insist it's not necessary so the F&I accuses me of being "difficult" and went to talk to someone about the arbitration. He comes back and tells me again, I HAVE TO sign it otherwise we can't go thru with the purchase. so I reluctantly agreed so we can move on. then we stumble upon signature for VIN Windows Etching and I refused knowing it's a notorious optional addon. He casually tells us it's already included in the price of our car, I don't have to pay any extra for it. what he REALLY meant was they had already charged the added 175$ on TOP on my 23.8K$ on my Buyers Worksheet carefully labelled as "THEFT DETERRENT" for 175$ and I couldn't believe I had overlooked that.

But it was so carefully hidden, even the 175$charge was typed in under another value that was "XXXXX" out so my eyes musTV thought whatever charge was originally there was waived. I had to reword my question 4 times before I could get him to specifically say I was charged for it. YET STILL, he insisted it's required, and everyone gets charged for it and he can't charge everyone else for it and not me. I asked him to point out to me where the charge was and he directed my attention to the Buyers Worksheet where I clearly point out to HIM that it DOES indeed indicate "(OPTIONAL)". He goes back out saying he needs to talk to someone about it again and finally comes back with Rolando my original Salesguy and this time both of them confronted me and said windows etching is a must and if I don't want to pay for windows etching, then there's nothing they can do, and I can't buy the car. At this point, this is the third time they have told me I MUST or I CANT buy the car, and I'm tired of it. Either they think they're calling my bluff or they're genuinely tired of dealing with me (which I kno was quite some frustration for such little things, but however, they were all little things that they tried to force me into and refused to back off when I said no).. so after 6+hrs with my girlfriend and 2 toddlers, I called it quits in the F&I room. If I'm already having in F&I over windows etching, I don't want to kno what else they'll try once we get down to financing and warranty and everything else. Seems they were trying to take advantage of knowing we're 1st time buyers, young couple w kids, expecting us to be ignorant.

seriously, with a 22.7 invoice on the car, they would only budge 100$ below their opening quote of 23.9K.

THEN, they'll hassle me to deny me a legitimate 100$ bonus on a loosely constructed referal program with countless excuses, some contradicting the others.

And Finally, on top of that, they'll force feed me added services that I don't want and call me difficult for refusing it. and then outright REFUSING to sell me the car if I don't agree to buy their extra services!!

What's Next??!! I HAVE to take their "Paint Protection"?? I HAVE to take the extended warranty?? I HAVE to spend 1000$ worth of Maintenance care per year?!?!

They didn't get nasty, Offensively Loud, or curse me out.. but that didn't stop them from being insulting, condescending, and outright LIED about many things to try and cheat me.

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back in january 10th of this year i purchased a Nissan vehicle from the above mentioned dealership and put $1,500 as a downpayment and about 13 days later Mr. Favian told me to return the vehicle because i was not approved so I went to my lawyer and he said it doesn't make any sense that if I was not approved for the financing then why did this dealership release this vehicle to me? According to my lawyer he sent out the mail to the owner of the dealership and I was waiting for the registration for the vehicle but one day they(dealership) sent me a tow truck and it was towed and I was shocked!

so i stopped by the dealership the next day and Mr. F told me that they will send a check after dedcution of the towing cost and whatever mileage that i used for the vehicle. but as of today they didn't send me a check and I complained to the dealership that what had happened to my check? then they said the towing company who towed my vehicle still didn't bring it to the dealership so they are reporting it to the police??? I totally don't understand what they are saying and I don't know how I can resolve this matter????????????????????

pls advise.



Last year, I was shopping for a newer car. I decided to turn my vehicle prior to the lease end. However, upon learning from Volkswagen credit that I would be responsible for the remainder of the balance on the car if I turned it in prior to the lease end, I called East Coast Auto Mall salesman Manny ** and advised him that I would not lease the new 2007 Passat.

My other vehicle was a 2004 Passat with no body damage and in good working order. In fact, my lease was paid in full and I had one year left until the lease end period. I had not signed anything at that time and they were holding my deposit. I requested my deposit back and I was contacted by a Manager, I believe his name was Mr. **. Mr. ** advised that they would take my 2004 Passat and sell it for me on their lot. I asked for something in writing to confirm that the car had been sold. They advised that they would send me something once the car was sold. With their assurance that the car would be sold on their lot, I signed on to lease the 2007 vehicle from them. My husband went to the dealership and spoke with the Manager and turned in the car.

One year later, I receive a notice from Volkswagen advising me that the dealership never sold the car. In fact, they returned the car to Volkswagen who sold it at auction this summer. Now I'm faced with a bill for over $1,600 from Volkswagen for a car that I was told would be sold on their lot. Moreover, Volkswagen is charging me for gauges to tires and hood damage that was not on the car when it was turned in.


I bought a new VW Jetta Wolfsburg Dec. 18th 2006. Beginning on Jan 1, 2007 they started the free for life promotion. No one told me prior that this would be starting in 2 weeks, or naturally I would have waited to buy the car!!!! They will not honor it which I believe is extremely poor customer service. Also, after 18 thousand miles, I was told I needed new pads and rotors. This is INSANE. I have a friend with a 6 year old car that STILL has not needed even pads, let alone rotors.


This Nissan dealership is the most terrible to work with in hope of getting a decent or honest deal. Salesman and managers will give you a competitive price and finalized deal including taxes, incentives, DMV fees, registrations fees, rebates, and etc. However, once there is any sign of agreement or commitment made for closing a deal, all of the sudden the finalized price turns into an invoice price and taxes are added onto that in hope of making extra money from hardworking people.

Stay away from this dealership because anyone who is interested into buying a car at this particular dealership will have their bank account suffer with overcharges and an overpriced car. Also, the managers at this dealership are EXTREMELY disrespectful and do not show any consideration for anyone who feels uncomfortable in wanting to do business. DO NOT PURCHASE A CAR HERE!

I was utterly embarrassed in front of my own mother, salesmen, and other prospective buyers at East Coast Auto Mall in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. by a manager who threatened me in not refunding $500 from a deposit for a car that I've never seen or was given the opportunity to purchase. The same car that was supposed to be purchased on my behalf was sold to another customer that I allowed to have a $500 deposit if the car was available.

There was no car available and the sales manager threatened me with vulgar language in an extremely disrespectful manner and not only embarrassed me with yelling or throwing my personal set of keys around for my hopeful trade-in, but embarrassed himself for his behavior to customers including myself. I don't know what kind of business this dealership does with other customers, but my experience was a complete disaster where it led me upset and highly stressed.

As I quote from one of the sales managers directed his voice in high intonation to me in front of many other customers, salesmen, and sadly my own mother, I don't need your money, leave and don't come back... we don't need your business here (then throws my personal set of car keys after being appraised across their desk) - not only was I shocked based on this particular salesman behavior, but I felt completely offended and humiliated for his tone and choice of words. If any damage was to be recorded from this incident, this has led me to feeling emotional and mental distress where my very first experience in buying my FIRST own car became a tragedy.


I purchased a new 2006 Jetta in December. About 2 months ago I noticed that the keys on my radio were beginning to chip. I took the car to the dealer and they replaced the radio free of charge. About a month ago, I noticed that the keys were beginning to chip again. At this time I called the dealer and they informed me that they wouldn't replace the radio because the chipping was due to an outside source such as the lotion or oils that I use. To date, they refuse to replace the radio, telling me that they shouldn't have even done the first replacement.

Hours of aggrevation calling the dealership and Volkswagon Corporate offices


The radio keys in my new 2006 Jetta began chipping 6 months after (June 07) I purchased the car. When I spoke to the dealership regarding this matter I was told to bring in the car. The radio was then replaced free of charge. Towards the end of July I noticed that two radio keys began chipping again. I called the dealership and made an appointment for my car to be looked at. When I picked up the car I was told by Paul Bonilla that the chipping was due to the lotion or oil that I use and that the radio would not be replaced.

That was the most ridiculous reasoning I had ever heard! I asked him why I wasn't told of this the first time the keys began to chip? He couldn't provide me with an answer. If I had been told about this when I purchased the car, I wouldn't have bought the vehicle. After the first defective radio was replaced I wouldn't taken preventive measures to ensure this wouldnt occur. I feel it was the responsibility of the dealership to let me know that chipped keys could possibly occur due to the lotion that I use.

Chipped keys that are turning white (the interior of the car is charcoal)


I purchase 2004 Pacifica AWD on jan-27th-2007, Dennis did all the paper work & he sold,me some extended warranty's , Even I told him that my budget is LOW & I can afford those warranty's, He said it will cover 100% yr car problems. The same day of purchase after driving 40/50 miles, the car Transmission broke down. I took it to the Chrysler Dealer & they said my warranty will not cover anything, luckily repair was done under Chrysler warranty.

When I contact Dennis (the dealer who sold the car) he said I can't return those warranty's (even I contact him right 4 days after purchase). well after arguing he refund me 2 warranty's after 3 mnths but one warranty he refuse to take it back ($1000.00 worth) he said its a state LAW that i can't return a replacement warranty. Dennis who ownes 3 dealership in NJ (& might more outside of NJ) is a CON. He is a lier & want to take every single penny from the person who enter his showroom.. Please think twice when you go his showroom


In late Nov. 2005 My 2004 VW Passat GLS 1.8 Litre engine with 23,795 miles on it was towed from Manhattan to the dealership . The reason for this was the STOP ENGINE light came on and the car was immediately pulled over. I called East Coast service and told them I was coming in. Two days later I was informed that I had sludge in my engine. I asked what is that and was told somewhat smugly that, that is what you get if you do not change your oil. I asked what would cause this if one had changed their oil as recommended and was told that if my oil had been changed each 5K miles this could never happen. I produced all my receipts and still my warranty was not honored.

I then did some research and found out that this sludge issue was a big problem for VW's with the 1.8 litre engine. They had extended the warranty for this problem from 5 years to 8 years and have since stop making this engine. East Coast Vw never mentioned this to me and said it only happens when the oil is not changed. There are over 400,000 passat owners who never changed their oil, I asked. They had my car for over a week to 'desludge' my engine and Charged me $2804.00. I am still fighting with VW of America trying to have my $2,804.00 reversed on my Amex card. On April 18,2004 the engine light came on again and I took the car to my mechanic Eastside Automotive in NYC and was told that my oil line was leaking and my spark plugs where wet with oil and needed to be replaced $300.00 and they told me that East Coast VW DID NOT do the work they claim to have done. No way 5,000 miles later could this have happened, plus the parts in my car not 5,000 mile old and basically they told me I had been defrauded.


In late Nov. 2005 My 2004 VW Passat with 23,795 miles on it was towed from Manhattan to the dealership . The reason for this was the STOP ENGINE light came on and the car was immediately pulled over. I called East Coast service and told them I was coming in. Two days later I was informed that I had sludge in my engine. I asked what is that and was told somewhat smugly that, that is what you get if you do not change your oil. I asked what would cause this if one had changed their oil as recommended


We purchased a 2002 Mazda MPV in Sept., 2002. About 9 months later, we started to hear clunking noise from the front end of the vehicle. We took it to East Coast Auto Mall, where we purchased the vehicle from. There mechanics worked on it and everything were fixed. Well, at least for the moment.

About a year later, we started to hear the noise again. We took the car to the dealership for repair. The car had reached 18,000miles so they offered us a 15,000mile check up, which we accepted. When we went to pick up the car, not only the noise was still there, the idling was unstable and even had check engine light flashing. Also, we had a plastic vis sticking out of the carpet and had it removed, but they left the carpet up lifted.

I had my wife to take the car back to have it serviced. They never apologized and said okay, we'll fix everything. No problem. When we went to the dealership to pick up the car, the noise was still there. My wife asked one of their mechanics to ride with her so he can hear the noise. This mechanic said You can hear this noise from ALL Mazdas!! We can't fix the problem. I told my wife to leave the dealership immediately.

We had to call Mazda customer service but all they could say was change the dealership. So we looked for other dealerships in the area but all we could find was their affiliate East Coast Toyota/Mazda. We took our car to this dealership for service and their mechanic said yeah, this has been a problem of some of MPVs. Mazda sent us a repair kit las November. Don't worry, we'll fix the problem. And they were able to fix the problem.

Having my car sitting at the dealership not being fixed for 10 days in past 20 months. We don't have any luxury to own two cars and everytime we had to ask someone to come pick us up at the dealership. Mechanics took the advantage of my wife, not fluent in English, to hide their lack of knowledge and capability to fix the problem.


I purchased a new vehicle...a Nissan Murano...from the East Coast Auto Mall this past March (2004). During the course of the purchase process, presumably as an additional incentive, the salesman stated that I would receive one year of routine scheduled maintenance at no cost. While I didn't buy the vehicle for that specific reason, it was an attractive offer.

Again, after I had purchased the vehicle and as I was taking delivery, the salesman repeated the free maintenance offer. Finally, in a follow-up phone call to remind me to complete the post-purchase survey, the salesman once more specifically told me to bring in the survey and receive my one-year free maintenance validation.

Well, I did just that on June 10th. The salesman wasn't in and I was directed to the Sales Manager. After I explained to him the offer I had received, he responded that he never heard of it. I was surprised, somewhat miffed...and he was brusque to put it mildly. He did say he would check with the salesman and call me. Needless to say, I did not get a call from him or anyone else at the dealership.

On Monday, June 14, I spoke with the salesman who made the offer...telling him of experience with his Sales Manager. He did not deny promising me the free maintenance. However, he told me that there was a change in dealership management and that management decided not to continue the one-year free maintenance offer. When I noted that I had been promised the maintenance before the 'program' was canceled, he offered me a free oil change or a free tank of gas instead. I expressed my disappointment with him and the dealership and refused the oil and gas.

I want to make clear, I have no problem with the vehicle or with the manufacturer.

My problem is with this dealership. My advice to anyone considering doing business with them is...DON'T.

I don't know the value of the free maintenance offered by the salesman. Whatever it is ...I have lost it.


I am writing due to problems I have in getting my daughter's car repaired. She has a 1999 Volkswagen Passat, which is a certified Pre-Owned vehicle. My car has (2) major problems that have not been corrected.

First the transmission seems to slip, happening mostly on cold mornings. When the car is shifted into drive and I am accelerating, the engine revs, but it is not moving. After rolling a couple hundred feet the gears seem to engage and the car finally will move. The second major problem pertains to the braking system, specifically the distance the brake pedal travels in order to stop the car. In stop and go traffic the pedal goes to the same spot in order to stop the car. The problem is evident on highway driving. Traveling on a highway after driving a minimum of 5 or 6 miles and then having to apply the brakes, the brake pedal sinks much farther than normal, to the point of almost reaching the floorboard. Believe me, traveling at highway speeds this is a very nerve wracking experience.

More importantly, are the brakes eventually going to fail, causing a serious accident with injuries or possibly a fatality?

East Coast Auto Mall had my car a total of 4 weeks on three different occasions. In December it was there a week and a half. January they had it for two weeks, and in February they had it for another three days. As I write this letter they have not fixed my car and both problems remain. Back in December they charged me $169.00 to reset codes on my transmission. I paid this, but I feel this should be covered under my warranty. Fred Gates, the service manager refuses to reimburse me, stating that whenever they reset codes this is not covered by the warranty. If my transmission was fixed I would not have complained about this charge, but the problem still persists.

Another time they replaced a brake light switch which they claim was a possible problem with the transmission. Each time they called me and said the car is ready. Obviously it is not!

Back in December 2002 they said they didn't notice a problem with the distance the brake pedal traveled, and told me to pick up the car after having it 1 1/2 weeks. Still not happy with the brake pedal, I brought the car back to them in mid January and asked them to please re-check the car. After the car was there for a week a service advisor called me and said they still can't find any problems. At that point I got furious and asked to speak with their service manager. I spoke to Fred Gates and he agreed to drive my car. He determined there was air in the brake line and decided to change the brake fluid. A few days later when I picked up my car upon driving home I noticed the car was not repaired. I called Fred as soon as I got home that night and asked him a second time to take a ride with me so he knows what I am talking about. Again he refused to go with me and claims he knows what I am talking about. He commented to me that solving this problem is "like finding a needle in a haystack."

I took the car back for a third time on February 3rd. I was told that they replaced the master cylinder, and that three different people drove it, and they all believe that would solve the problem. When I drove the car home that evening and the next day, the brake pedal did seem fine. Thinking the problem was corrected, I drove the car to Boston on Saturday February 8th. Prior to reaching the N.Y. Thurway I was driving a short distance and applying the brake, and the pedal distance was good. I drove across the Tappan Zee Bridge and nearing the toll plaza I applied the brake and to my dismay (and near panic) the brake pedal didn't stop at the higher point, but rather sank down to again almost reaching the floorboard. I drove to Boston and back with this condition, always worrying that the brakes will fail.

East Coast Auto Mall Company Profile

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East Coast Auto Mall