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Regional Reports from British Columbia


Some BC Dealers Will Bid
We finally did get an email bid from Surrey, which was too good to be true. The salesman sent us an email (on his home account, not the dealer's) and quoted us dealer cost on the vehicle and on the options we had selected. We had this verified by checking with several other dealers, and they all said the same thing. Apparently the dealerships are now not responding to email or fax bids (at least here, we had this confirmed by several dealers. Guess too many people are reading your books and using this technique!) except for one or two who are using this against the customers. They send you an email quote for dealer cost (most often not on the dealership's email account and nothing with a sales manager's signature), and then when you get to the dealership with your email in hand they turn the screws on you and tell you a much higher price.."but you're here now, why don't you just buy this one here". Sounds a bit like the ole' "bait and switch". We took the "too good to be true" quote to a dealership up Island, armed as well with the Victoria dealership's bottom line (which was $1500 higher than the Surrey quote) in our heads. After a couple of hours of grinding, we walked out of the dealership with our vehicle of choice, plus all the extra options we requested installed for about $2000 less than MSRP, so we did okay. I believe your book helped my husband and I tremendously with not only our selection of vehicle, but with sound advice on how to negotiate the best deal and navigate the showroom jungle. Thank you!
K. H., Surrey, B. C.

Faulty Audi/VW Locks
There is a faulty lock mechanism on both VWs and Audis, something they are aware of, as is the dealership in Toronto and the ones here in Vancouver. Basically, it is a factory installed flaw in the design that if you pop the silver cylinder off the only keyed door, you can remove the lock mechanism, which allows anyone to get into the vehicle. Further to that, you are also able to de-activate the alarm so the VW/Audi consumer would not hear anyone gaining entry. This is a problem not only in Vancouver and Toronto but in other pockets across the country according to Volkswagen’s head office spokesperson.
There is a temporary solution that VW pointed out and quickly also pointed out is not sanctioned by them. The solution is to put a cover plate over the lock, in essence having all the doors resemble each other. The only way of entry then is with the fob. In an emergency the station wagon hatch may be opened without activating the alarm. This is not the case for the sedans unfortunately.
These are not such isolated incidences as they would like us to think. Many go unreported to the police, and the consumer just pays the $300 for a new lock and hopes it doesn't happen again, or goes for the above option at $500 and hopes their fob battery never dies while out and about. The more people I know who have had their VW/Audi cars broken into either in Toronto or here have identified the means of break in as the same, popping off the casing and removing the cylinder. Something is definitely wrong, yet VW doesn't see it the same way. My last letter from them dated August 10th says they have reviewed the Customer Service files and do not see cause for repair at their expense. Personally, I think it should be a total re-call. It doesn't matter the year or model. I am feeling a little bit like Ralph Nader here, but this dismissal of their culpability is surprising. In this day and age of consumer confidence, mirrored with choices available to the consumer, they are not leaving me with a very warm and fuzzy feeling, let alone taking any responsibility for the security of their consumers when they drive away from the lot.
Thanks for any help you may have. If nothing else, please alert all VW/Audi owners to the risk.
Susan, Vancouver

Honda Accord Red Paint Flawed
there is something seriously wrong with the paint on the deep red Accords. I have talked to 5 owners of the above cars, all have the same problem: no matter what aftermarket protection they have scratch marks. After the first "free" wash at the dealership I told them to stop as I found 4 relatively deep scratches just from the washer hose being in contact with the surface. They power polished the car, and two washes later, the scratches were back.
T. R., Victoria


Copyright 2006