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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Appealing to this group for advice...

So I've been hit with the engine misfire issue. Dealer diagnosed it as failed spark plug on cylinder 3, loss of compression and potentially engine damage. Dealer is saying that they need to do further teardown which would cost $3500 (?!). Carmax MaxCare left me out to dry, saying that spark plugs and damages resulting from bad spark plugs aren't covered.

I'm currently at ~52200 miles. The service advisor said they will talk to Volvo and see what they're willing to do to help. I already emailed VCNA requesting that they extend coverage since the issue is due to a bad spark plug that has a known TSB on it. I get that I should have done my research first but how can a such a TSB not turn into a recall?

Do I have an argument with VCNA or should I get an lawyer on this?

thanks in advance.
 

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Personally, I think contacting a lawyer at this time will only help the lawyer make his yacht payment. Give Volvo a chance to look into this. My limited experience with Volvo Customer Service is that they are fair and will rise to the occasion. If you start from an antagonist position, you probably will kill the goose. If you are the original owner you even have a stronger position. If you are no but have had the car serviced at the required intervals then you are probably ok. Something like this is not a normal wear issue. I am kind of surprised that the Dealer would have quoted you $3500 for investigating the issue. That sounds like more of a complete repair estimate without any assistance from Volvo. Spark plugs normally do not break. As you mentioned there is a Bulletin out there for spark plugs. I suspect Volvo will stand by you. Keep us advised.
 

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For the spark plug issue on early cars, as we all know, Volvo should have better done with a recall, instead of "service campaign" that will surely miss some cars in the wild. Now this is one example of those missed cars. Yeh, send the request to Volvo and see how they will respond.
 

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Appealing to this group for advice...

So I've been hit with the engine misfire issue. Dealer diagnosed it as failed spark plug on cylinder 3, loss of compression and potentially engine damage. Dealer is saying that they need to do further teardown which would cost $3500 (?!). Carmax MaxCare left me out to dry, saying that spark plugs and damages resulting from bad spark plugs aren't covered.

I'm currently at ~52200 miles. The service advisor said they will talk to Volvo and see what they're willing to do to help. I already emailed VCNA requesting that they extend coverage since the issue is due to a bad spark plug that has a known TSB on it. I get that I should have done my research first but how can a such a TSB not turn into a recall?

Do I have an argument with VCNA or should I get an lawyer on this?

thanks in advance.
Do you have the service history to the car? Was all maintenance performed by a Volvo Dealer?

Volvo might be willing to do a Good Will if you can show the service history without interruption. Let me know the answer.

What you would do if you can show service history:

1. Go to Volvo Dealer where the car was last serviced (if possible) and speak to general manager. Politely explain issue and ask if he could intervene on your behalf for a Volvo Good Will.

2. Reach out to Corporate and Email Executives.

LAWYER

How long have you owned vehicle? When did the issue occur (how long after ownership)? And what does MaxCare about covering the issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses!

Some more info:

- Issue occurred last Friday. I had around 52K miles

- I got the car at CarMax with 17K miles on it so I'm the 2nd owner. I even paid the San Jose Volvo dealer do a pre-purchase inspection.

- I had all of my services from 20K up to 50K at the San Jose Volvo dealer so they have complete records, including some warranty repairs like a ripped dashboard and a couple of non-trivial repairs like replaced rear rotors.

- the $3500 is for the teardown to understand the root cause. The advisor said that it could be a compromised cylinder head and the rest could be machined back to useable and the $3500 would be it. Or worst case, engine replacement which is 16K

- I learned from the service advisor that the spark plugs were replaced at the 30K service which makes the situation even more galling. Based on their maintenance schedule, plugs are meant to go 60K. Failing at 52K meant that it didn't even go half of it's expected service life. That's why I feel like there's an argument for warranty coverage.

- Link to TSB: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2017/MC-10146104-9999.pdf - what is surprising is that they explicitly stated that they won't contact customers on this. That's pretty shocking considering that Volvo MUST know that a bad spark plug could very well lead to engine replacement. In my case, while they did replace the plugs, how did they still fail?? Unless they replaced it with the old plugs??

- I did email VCNA customer care and someone did call me back to understand the situation. I did appeal to them to help extend warranty coverage and they said they're reviewing the details with the dealer now.

- CarMax MaxCare said spark plugs are consumables so not covered and any resulting damage is not covered. I can see how legally, that's an out for them and they wouldn't budge. So much for buying this warranty.

The San Jose dealer advisor seems to be working with me. The lady is helping me to reach out to Volvo as well and asking for some goodwill support because she also believes this is pretty extraordinary situation.

I'm definitely willing to give Volvo the chance to make me whole. I'm willing to take the hit on resale value if they just make the car whole again.

I have not made any mention of legal action, just an appeal for help. I'm just starting to plan the worst cast where I'm left high/dry.
 

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Take it to another shop for a second opinion. They should be able to scope it and do a compression test. I realize that some of this may have been done already, but get a second opinion.


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- I learned from the service advisor that the spark plugs were replaced at the 30K service which makes the situation even more galling. Based on their maintenance schedule, plugs are meant to go 60K. Failing at 52K meant that it didn't even go half of it's expected service life. That's why I feel like there's an argument for warranty coverage.

- CarMax MaxCare said spark plugs are consumables so not covered and any resulting damage is not covered. I can see how legally, that's an out for them and they wouldn't budge. So much for buying this warranty.
I don't get your CarMax issue. The plugs were replaced by Volvo, I don't see how this is on CarMax in any way now. Hopefully Volvo makes you whole though, or close.
 

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Thanks for the responses!

Some more info:

- Issue occurred last Friday. I had around 52K miles

- I got the car at CarMax with 17K miles on it so I'm the 2nd owner. I even paid the San Jose Volvo dealer do a pre-purchase inspection.

- I had all of my services from 20K up to 50K at the San Jose Volvo dealer so they have complete records, including some warranty repairs like a ripped dashboard and a couple of non-trivial repairs like replaced rear rotors.

- the $3500 is for the teardown to understand the root cause. The advisor said that it could be a compromised cylinder head and the rest could be machined back to useable and the $3500 would be it. Or worst case, engine replacement which is 16K

- I learned from the service advisor that the spark plugs were replaced at the 30K service which makes the situation even more galling. Based on their maintenance schedule, plugs are meant to go 60K. Failing at 52K meant that it didn't even go half of it's expected service life. That's why I feel like there's an argument for warranty coverage.

- Link to TSB: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2017/MC-10146104-9999.pdf - what is surprising is that they explicitly stated that they won't contact customers on this. That's pretty shocking considering that Volvo MUST know that a bad spark plug could very well lead to engine replacement. In my case, while they did replace the plugs, how did they still fail?? Unless they replaced it with the old plugs??

- I did email VCNA customer care and someone did call me back to understand the situation. I did appeal to them to help extend warranty coverage and they said they're reviewing the details with the dealer now.

- CarMax MaxCare said spark plugs are consumables so not covered and any resulting damage is not covered. I can see how legally, that's an out for them and they wouldn't budge. So much for buying this warranty.

The San Jose dealer advisor seems to be working with me. The lady is helping me to reach out to Volvo as well and asking for some goodwill support because she also believes this is pretty extraordinary situation.

I'm definitely willing to give Volvo the chance to make me whole. I'm willing to take the hit on resale value if they just make the car whole again.

I have not made any mention of legal action, just an appeal for help. I'm just starting to plan the worst cast where I'm left high/dry.
Ok so this is all very good news.

1. There was a technical journey out about spark plugs. Yours were replaced. Make sure you have a copy of record from Volvo of San Jose. If you don't get a copy.

2. Get a second opinion on the engine from another Volvo. Submit that opinion, the 10-50K service records, along with the replacement of Spark Plugs to the CarMax warranty company. With the intent to show that the plugs did NOT damage engine. And also that the vehicle now has a mechanical failure that should be covered under warranty. Unrelated to the spark plugs

3. Wait for their response. If denied, go down and talk to General Manager at San Jose. Let him know that the vehicle was exclusively serviced at Volvo from 10-50K. Could he reach out to Volvo on your behalf and advocate for a good will repair. The vehicle is not at 52,000 miles.

4. If the General Manager can't help. We can email the executives. But go ahead try all this first. The executives will have more clout than a rep at VCNA.

FYI, there's another thread on here about someone going through exact issue with CarMax Warranty and Volvo!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok so this is all very good news.

1. There was a technical journey out about spark plugs. Yours were replaced. Make sure you have a copy of record from Volvo of San Jose. If you don't get a copy.

2. Get a second opinion on the engine from another Volvo. Submit that opinion, the 10-50K service records, along with the replacement of Spark Plugs to the CarMax warranty company. With the intent to show that the plugs did NOT damage engine. And also that the vehicle now has a mechanical failure that should be covered under warranty. Unrelated to the spark plugs

3. Wait for their response. If denied, go down and talk to General Manager at San Jose. Let him know that the vehicle was exclusively serviced at Volvo from 10-50K. Could he reach out to Volvo on your behalf and advocate for a good will repair. The vehicle is not at 52,000 miles.

4. If the General Manager can't help. We can email the executives. But go ahead try all this first. The executives will have more clout than a rep at VCNA.

FYI, there's another thread on here about someone going through exact issue with CarMax Warranty and Volvo!
Thanks for the help!

1 - I'll get a copy.

2 - I didn't think about it that way. Right now, my car is sitting at the dealer while the dealer waits on a response from Volvo NA. I guess should it get to point where I'm really left out in the cold, I could try this but I suspect there's going to be a record that the dealer called earlier for a similar issue that MaxCare may get suspicious.

3. Waiting on their response. Will try to work the dealer as much as I can.

4. I'll try that as a last ditch effort.

I'm thinking I should inquire about how much my XC90 will be worth with a dead engine...AT worst case, If I'm really screwed and lawyer doesn't help, I want to just sell it as is, take the loss and be done with Volvo.
 

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Thanks for the help!

1 - I'll get a copy.
Good


2 - I didn't think about it that way. Right now, my car is sitting at the dealer while the dealer waits on a response from Volvo NA. I guess should it get to point where I'm really left out in the cold, I could try this but I suspect there's going to be a record that the dealer called earlier for a similar issue that MaxCare may get suspicious.
So what if another Volvo sees you had the issue inspected? I've taken my car to different dealers when dealer 1 had no clue...But dealer #2 was able to solve. I would ABSOLUTELY not pay the $3500 diagnostic fee. That's for MaxCare to cover. Get another opinion if Volvo of San Jose cannot give you one that's conclusive enough. You're trying to back MaxCare into the wall so they can't weasel out of paying. I.E. Spark Plugs new + Replaced. All Services Done at Volvo. Only thing it could be is Engine and that now is bad UNDER their warranty!

3. Waiting on their response. Will try to work the dealer as much as I can.
Work specifically with General Manager as much as possible or make sure Service Manager + General Manager are communicating. I'd make an effort to sit down with General Manager face to face and explain that situation. Getting him on board could make this a much quicker process.

4. I'll try that as a last ditch effort.
Executives are always a means of last resort. Try #3 first.

I'm thinking I should inquire about how much my XC90 will be worth with a dead engine...AT worst case, If I'm really screwed and lawyer doesn't help, I want to just sell it as is, take the loss and be done with Volvo.
Dont think of the worst.. you've got a long way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Got the receipt for the spark plugs being changed out at 25K miles when I took my car in for a wiper issue. This is even more galling to me, plugs didn't make it past 1/3 of its service life!



So what if another Volvo sees you had the issue inspected? I've taken my car to different dealers when dealer 1 had no clue...But dealer #2 was able to solve. I would ABSOLUTELY not pay the $3500 diagnostic fee. That's for MaxCare to cover. Get another opinion if Volvo of San Jose cannot give you one that's conclusive enough. You're trying to back MaxCare into the wall so they can't weasel out of paying. I.E. Spark Plugs new + Replaced. All Services Done at Volvo. Only thing it could be is Engine and that now is bad UNDER their warranty!
I meant to say that if I take it to another Volvo dealer, MaxCare would already have a record of the 1st call and if it gets another call about the same car and similar problem, they may get suspicious. but I agree with the point, need to find a way to pin them to the corner.

Work specifically with General Manager as much as possible or make sure Service Manager + General Manager are communicating. I'd make an effort to sit down with General Manager face to face and explain that situation. Getting him on board could make this a much quicker process.
gonna stop by today to pick up some belongings from the car. Will ask to speak with either the service mgr or GM, whoever will talk to me.


Emailed Volvo a couple of times, no response yet.
 

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Got the receipt for the spark plugs being changed out at 25K miles when I took my car in for a wiper issue. This is even more galling to me, plugs didn't make it past 1/3 of its service life!




I meant to say that if I take it to another Volvo dealer, MaxCare would already have a record of the 1st call and if it gets another call about the same car and similar problem, they may get suspicious. but I agree with the point, need to find a way to pin them to the corner.


gonna stop by today to pick up some belongings from the car. Will ask to speak with either the service mgr or GM, whoever will talk to me.


Emailed Volvo a couple of times, no response yet.
Spark plugs (not sure all models affected) were replaced for a known issue. They would break off and foul engine if I recall correctly. So it has nothing to do with them being unable to hit 60K. It was a design flaw that Volvo wanted to rectify before facing far more costly repairs.

What became of your visit to the Service / General Manager?

Emailing Volvo is ok... but let's wait to email the big wigs (CEO). This step is one of last resort if people on the food chain won't assist. It works about 50/50 so if you exhaust this option before taking the appropriate steps, you may be out of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Spark plugs (not sure all models affected) were replaced for a known issue. They would break off and foul engine if I recall correctly. So it has nothing to do with them being unable to hit 60K. It was a design flaw that Volvo wanted to rectify before facing far more costly repairs.

What became of your visit to the Service / General Manager?

Emailing Volvo is ok... but let's wait to email the big wigs (CEO). This step is one of last resort if people on the food chain won't assist. It works about 50/50 so if you exhaust this option before taking the appropriate steps, you may be out of luck.
Things kind of turned for the worse....

I spoke with the service mgr this morning and he was very sympathetic to my plight. He fully agrees that a spark plug just should not break, let alone have the porcelain piece shatter and wreck havoc in the engine. Said that we shouldn't even be having this conversation at 52K miles. He agrees that given the circumstances of my case, he says I should have a strong case for good will support because he's seen Volvo do it for much less egregious. He explained the technicality that Volvo will try to stick to but believes Volvo will "do the right thing" here. He said he'll update the case file with his findings but he recommended that I "raise hell" with Customer Care in NJ and he can try to help it along.

Fast forward 15 mins, I get off the phone with Volvo customer care in NJ and the rep said the goodwill claim was DENIED but did not specify why. I explained my reasoning to have the case reassessed and that it just straight up looks like a part just failed when it shouldn't have. I also ask that Volvo, in my view, do the right thing here. I also asked why there wasn't even meeting half way discussion, like I pay something and Volvo covers the rest and said I'm open that solution but I'm pushing for full warranty coverage given the circumstances.

I walked back to my service mgr and he looked up my case and confirmed that it was open now and just added his comments from our earlier discussion. He did mention he would know a couple of ways to escalate it. I don't normally trust dealers when they say stuff but at this point, I'm taking all the help that I can.

No emailing big wigs, I'm fine going through the process if it will help matters. My heart literally sank when rep said the claim was denied. I will consult with an attorney just to understand if there is legal recourse here and if I have a case, keep that in my back pocket. If Volvo is going to make me pay, I rather pay an attorney instead because I feel wronged here.
 

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Things kind of turned for the worse....

I spoke with the service mgr this morning and he was very sympathetic to my plight. He fully agrees that a spark plug just should not break, let alone have the porcelain piece shatter and wreck havoc in the engine. Said that we shouldn't even be having this conversation at 52K miles. He agrees that given the circumstances of my case, he says I should have a strong case for good will support because he's seen Volvo do it for much less egregious. He explained the technicality that Volvo will try to stick to but believes Volvo will "do the right thing" here. He said he'll update the case file with his findings but he recommended that I "raise hell" with Customer Care in NJ and he can try to help it along.

Fast forward 15 mins, I get off the phone with Volvo customer care in NJ and the rep said the goodwill claim was DENIED but did not specify why. I explained my reasoning to have the case reassessed and that it just straight up looks like a part just failed when it shouldn't have. I also ask that Volvo, in my view, do the right thing here. I also asked why there wasn't even meeting half way discussion, like I pay something and Volvo covers the rest and said I'm open that solution but I'm pushing for full warranty coverage given the circumstances.

I walked back to my service mgr and he looked up my case and confirmed that it was open now and just added his comments from our earlier discussion. He did mention he would know a couple of ways to escalate it. I don't normally trust dealers when they say stuff but at this point, I'm taking all the help that I can.

No emailing big wigs, I'm fine going through the process if it will help matters. My heart literally sank when rep said the claim was denied. I will consult with an attorney just to understand if there is legal recourse here and if I have a case, keep that in my back pocket. If Volvo is going to make me pay, I rather pay an attorney instead because I feel wronged here.
1. I would talk directly to the Dealership General Manager at this point Get him involved to try and "change Volvo's outlook". I'd do this as soon as possible!

2. I'm not a lawyer, but your car was purchased use, so protections are limited. Your only recourse will probably be against WarranTech, if I were to venture a guess. It can't hurt to talk to a few lawyers for a free consultation.

However, I wouldn't make legal action my first choice. Try talking to General Manager ASAP. If that falls flat, we'll email executives.

Did you ever get 2nd opinion from another Volvo or Mechanic to back WarranTech into a wall and tie their hands?
 

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1. I would talk directly to the Dealership General Manager at this point Get him involved to try and "change Volvo's outlook". I'd do this as soon as possible!

2. I'm not a lawyer, but your car was purchased use, so protections are limited. Your only recourse will probably be against WarranTech, if I were to venture a guess. It can't hurt to talk to a few lawyers for a free consultation.

However, I wouldn't make legal action my first choice. Try talking to General Manager ASAP. If that falls flat, we'll email executives.

Did you ever get 2nd opinion from another Volvo or Mechanic to back WarranTech into a wall and tie their hands?
This is simple. Get a lawyer as your last resort.
This is an issue of Strict Liability. Was Volvo Aware of this? Did Volvo service the car? (Your records show that they did) Were the Spark Plugs (defective) replaced? (Your records show that they were) Did the Spark Plugs have a known history of breaking down? In Strict Liability, you can not only go after Volvo but the entire chain of manufacturers and suppliers. It DOESN'T MATTER if you are the first or the 50th owner.

That is the good news. The bad news is hiring the right legal firm to represent you. They are not cheap. An ambulance chaser won't work here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
good grief....i hope VIP warranty covers for stuff like this especially when you do all the servicing at a dealer.....
The dealer said VIP would have covered this so if you got it, you should be ok. I didn't have VIP because I bought my car used from CarMax and this apparently was a loop hole in their MaxCare warranty (IMO).

My net takeaway, buy CPO and if you want, extended warranty endorsed by Volvo/car maker.
 

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The dealer said VIP would have covered this so if you got it, you should be ok. I didn't have VIP because I bought my car used from CarMax and this apparently was a loop hole in their MaxCare warranty (IMO).

My net takeaway, buy CPO and if you want, extended warranty endorsed by Volvo/car maker.
3rd party warranties are junk. And even extended warranties may have their caveats. Though a CPO is quite nice through Volvo (backed by Fidelity).
 

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The spark plug change was required because the original parts from factory on early 2016 cars were defective....

Never mind, dup reply.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The spark plug change was required because the original parts from factory on early 2016 cars were defective....

Never mind, dup reply.

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I don't believe the spark plug change was considered required otherwise, it would have been a recall (which is what it should have been).
 
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