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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sadly, there is exactly one Volvo dealer in the San Fernado Valley. Sales experience there was great, but the dealer has a history of "mothballing" my car when I take it in. I'll make an appointment, bring it in at the right time, and then it will sit on the lot for multiple days before they even look at it. Most recently, I took my XC60 in and it sat there with no work being done for three days. I could tell, from Volvo on call, that the car was not even started up during that time. Just parked and left where it was.

After multiple calls, if became apparent that they were not even going to look at it until sometime the following week, so I went and took it home.

Have others had similar experiences?

This is with Galpin Motors in Van Nuys CA (LA region).
 

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I used to use them when I lived in SYlmar and found their service to be very good. Appointments were easily made and the car was ready when they said it would be. The only extended wait I had was after a major engine problem and that required dealing with VCNA for a goodwill gesture for an engine replacement at 80k miles due to piston failure.
 

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Sad situation. I’m sorry to hear it.

Hate to say, but it’s perhaps a challenge that some of us who elect to purchase vehicles where the service infrastructure has not caught up to the realities of volume sold in the area we live.

I’m not dismissing your problem or trying at all to explain it away — rather, your recent problem is a similar negative service experience I had with my first Tesla Model S annual service back in 2016, where a process that took 2.25 hours to recently complete in it’s 4th year, had my MS sit outside in their lot for 6 WEEKS. It was easy for me to tell it never moved in all that time until the last day and a half, because Tesla provides a very accurate locator on a map in their app of the vehicles you own — I can even see when the doors, windows, sunroof, trunks, etc are opened. As frustrated as I was not having my own car all that time, I tried hard to dismiss it at the time that things would get better as Tesla was going through start-up issues and growing. I acknowledged to myself before ordering my MS, that I was going to purchase from a lower sales-volume company that was far from having the broad dealer/service network that a Lexus, MBZ or BMW had. From more than 20 years of over-the-top stellar service from Lexus, on 5 different vehicles, in 4 different States including little ol’ remote Hawaii, I knew what good automobile service could be. I was thankful having multiple fairly close dealer service options when my BMW had it’s challenges and I became overly frustrated. Sadly, Tesla didn’t build a 2nd service center in San Diego County until 2018 — when Model 3 volumes probably took service turn-around problems even further over the top... but in-between, I know for a fact Tesla was running 3-shifts of service techs to eat away at the backlog for a number of months — even when the center was closed to customers.​

Given my Tesla service experiences, I went through similar thought processes considering my first upcoming Volvo, before deciding to even take a test drive. As part of my research, I found there are 3 dealers within 40 mins of my home (“my” 27+ YO family-owned dealer is 10 mins away), and others if I am willing to travel an hour-plus north to LA — so, if my future Volvo service experience becomes an issue where I purchase, I have some options — even if I don’t like going that far. I also looked at total Volvo volume sold in the US, which is a far cry from what say Lexus does in a year, so I’m trying to have my future Volvo service expectations not quite as good as what I used to know with Lexus, but far better than Tesla (who publicly says they will not make money off of service and do not provide complete 3rd party after-warranty service options except where they are legally required to.) I also may well move myself back to Hawaii one day, so I researched Volvo in the islands, and there is only a single dealership on Oahu which is where I’d likely return to, but if I should decide to live on Maui, repairs requiring an authorized dealer will require me to literally barge my Volvo to the other island for service (take it to the docks, removing gas, doing the paperwork, letting it get there in a couple days, flying to the other island myself, then get it to the dealer), then reversing all that back to Maui again. It would be my choice, and honestly I’d probably sell my Volvo if I chose to live on Maui, just why I wouldn’t have a Porsche or even Tesla on Maui — too much stuff to deal with being I’m not a zillion-aire. AH HA. Yes, it’s a weird outlier situation well beyond yours in San Fernando Valley. ...but then again, my parents moved from Riverside up to Bishop for the last 15+ years of my dad’s life — they had one supermarket and had to take their vehicles more than 2 hours one-way for warranty service at an authorized dealer — I purposely helped them buy vehicles that when warranty expired, there were good local repair shops that could help keep them going for the longer term.​

I know none of that helps you. What I do suggest though is exactly what I ended-up doing with Tesla after that first elongated service experience I had, and my preferring not to drive clear up to another service center in Costa Mesa where the schedule appeared to be as long or longer than down here. I now always make an appointment, tell them I will wait if it’s less than 4 hours, or I will need a loaner. When I check-in, I ask when I should expect my vehicle back. If it’s more than “tomorrow”, I tell them I want to reschedule. If they say they need to determine if parts are required, I say, I’m fine with that — please do the diagnostics while I wait, and then I will return with my vehicle when the parts come in.

Being a guy that was involved in customer service for all of my professional life, it pains me to essentially have to manage my service provider — but doing so with Tesla has reduced my stress level. One thing you may want to additionally consider (I can’t do this with Tesla, as there is no “sales” at a service center), is next time you’re at the dealership and waiting for your vehicle, strike up a business-like discussion with your sales person, and mention in passing your service experience, how it impacts your view of the brand and that it will impact your decision to purchase your next Volvo. My experience is sales can sometimes help pressure change service practices within a dealership — not always, but perhaps worth a try.

Good luck with your improved service experience in the future!!! Truly!
 

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Sadly, there is exactly one Volvo dealer in the San Fernado Valley. Sales experience there was great, but the dealer has a history of "mothballing" my car when I take it in. I'll make an appointment, bring it in at the right time, and then it will sit on the lot for multiple days before they even look at it. Most recently, I took my XC60 in and it sat there with no work being done for three days. I could tell, from Volvo on call, that the car was not even started up during that time. Just parked and left where it was.

After multiple calls, if became apparent that they were not even going to look at it until sometime the following week, so I went and took it home.

Have others had similar experiences?

This is with Galpin Motors in Van Nuys CA (LA region).
Do they give you a loaner at least?
 

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I used to use them when I lived in SYlmar and found their service to be very good. Appointments were easily made and the car was ready when they said it would be. The only extended wait I had was after a major engine problem and that required dealing with VCNA for a goodwill gesture for an engine replacement at 80k miles due to piston failure.
I was also happy with Galpin when I lived around there a long time ago. Sad to see that they have gone so far downhill on service. That's just unacceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I was also happy with Galpin when I lived around there a long time ago. Sad to see that they have gone so far downhill on service. That's just unacceptable.
The epilogue it's that the general manager called me last night after I sent them an angry letter. He said he's going to personally intervene.

Honestly, I think the problem is that Galpin is also a Lincoln dealer and that brand had a real culture of crap customer service.

In answer to the above question, they gave me a Lincoln mkz hybrid as a loaner. It had only 10 miles on it and hadn't been fully cleaned. There was some kind of greasy film all over the windows and I had to clean the interior just so I could see out to drive.

Here is the problem with Volvo: there just isn't a dealer base in the US. LA is the car capital but we have one dealer in the San Fernando valley. So, they can get away with this kind of customer abuse.
 

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Very happy to hear the GM actually called you. Good luck with an improved long-term service experience!
 

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Sadly, there is exactly one Volvo dealer in the San Fernado Valley. Sales experience there was great, but the dealer has a history of "mothballing" my car when I take it in. I'll make an appointment, bring it in at the right time, and then it will sit on the lot for multiple days before they even look at it. Most recently, I took my XC60 in and it sat there with no work being done for three days. I could tell, from Volvo on call, that the car was not even started up during that time. Just parked and left where it was.

After multiple calls, if became apparent that they were not even going to look at it until sometime the following week, so I went and took it home.

Have others had similar experiences?

This is with Galpin Motors in Van Nuys CA (LA region).

I go to Galpin Volvo myself. They told me that they will and have updated my system software after I had air suspension failure. I pretty sure they didnt update my software because i still see the auto start/stop icon at the old position. I hope they start getting better Volvo mech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I go to Galpin Volvo myself. They told me that they will and have updated my system software after I had air suspension failure. I pretty sure they didnt update my software because i still see the auto start/stop icon at the old position. I hope they start getting better Volvo mech.
This is very worrisome. There is a exactly one choice for a Volvo dealer in the valley. So, if it doesn't work out at Galpin, no other options.
 

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I leased my S60 in May from the new Volvo South Bay (a McKenna group dealer) and was happy with the sales experience. The good news is that I've been very happy with the service dept. as well. The bad news is that I know that because I've been back there a few times for small items: window regulator, dead battery, software update. They've been great to work with. They are on the same footprint of the McKenna BMW and Mini dealers so they get loaners from that pool as well as on site Enterprise. Hopefully these problems are behind me and I won't see them until the oil change is due!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
bigtree, your car sounds like it is beautiful. You have one of my favorite color combos. I'm sorry you had problems.

Galpin did fix my car. The 12V in the passenger area had a blown fuse and the car needed a software update. In other words, a few hours of work. For that, my car got taken off the road for a week and it needed to separate trip to repair.

The general manager went out of his way to make sure it was all taken care of but all this worries me. This was a minor issue - what happens when the inevitable serious problems occur.
 
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