By on May 11, 2016

Welded-together Land Rover transmission

The “Just Rolled Into The Shop” subreddit usually shows an array of some of the worst maintained vehicles that customers bring into shops — but a post today showed negligence isn’t solely limited to those bringing in vehicles for service or repair.

User Valkyrier posted a picture of a welded transmission and explained the circumstances: that a dealership technician dropped and damaged it during an engine replacement and was planning to reinstall it … after welding it back together … without telling the vehicle’s owner.

According to Valkyrier, the vehicle is a Land Rover, which came in for an in-warranty engine replacement. The tech removed the engine and transmission from the car and accidentally dropped them both, causing the transmission case to crack.

Management was involved at some point and drug tested the technician in question because of the incident. Instead of replacing the transmission, they instructed the mechanic in question to weld it back together and not tell the customer.

The exact vehicle was not specified, but I was able to match the picture to a transmission of a 2010-2012 Land Rover LR2.

If the report is accurate, management of this service department may be engaging in fraud or, at the very least, violating its agreement with Jaguar Land Rover corporate. Thankfully, the whistle blower appears to have already notified JLR’s corporate office and is currently awaiting an answer. He also believes he won’t have a job at the dealership once this is all said and done.

transmission

Even if this wasn’t a complete failure of providing appropriate service and standing behind its mistakes, the repaired transmission is likely toast.

The welded piece appears to be tilted. The surface where the transmission pan seals is no longer straight and will likely leak upon being filled with transmission fluid. The valve body, which is shown on the left, contains solenoids and other small components that are sensitive and likely damaged.

Welding a transmission case is usually not recommended since the aluminum will be coated in potentially flammable fluid that needs to be baked out in order to weld. The heat can also make the surface susceptible to warping, which can lead to leaks or issues with clearances for components inside the transmission. In this case, the transmission is still fully assembled with electronics that may have not survived the drop, and are even less likely to survive the heat from welding.

dealermanagement

Most of the technicians and other visitors replying to the thread are urging Valkyrier to report the parties responsible for the hack job repair, and giving him praise and support for taking action.

I am a bit skeptical of some of the claims since it appears that the case was TIG welded and I do not believe that a TIG welder is a common dealership service tool. I contacted Valkyrier to confirm some details and verify the claims, but have yet to receive a response.

TTAC has reached out to Jaguar Land Rover and we’ll post an update as soon as we hear back.

h/t to Logan Attwood

[Image: Valkyrier/Reddit]

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115 Comments on “Dealer Technician Drops, Cracks, Welds and Attempts to Stuff Transmission Back in Land Rover Without Telling Customer...”


  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “Crime & Punishment” – lol.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Pretty much all LR2 models blow their engine at <60,000 miles. I am zero surprise.

    "Land Rover, where you have to pay a lot more for us to treat you like sh!t."

    "Land Rover, where engine replacement comes standard at every three-year service."

    "Land Rover, where our motto is 'That'll do.'"

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Actually, I think their slogan is, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Do Land Rover owners just not know that Toyota exists?

      I mean, I theoretically understand some BMW M-Sport buyer not wanting a “boring” Toyota/Lexus/Acura. However, the Land Cruiser, 4Runner, or Prado/GX460 are awesome off-roaders with tons of heritage.

      Even a Jeep would be better I think. At least FCA only puts 3 bullets in its quality revolver, JLR goes with 6.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “At least FCA only puts 3 bullets in its quality revolver…”

        Yeah, but it’s only a 5-shot!

      • 0 avatar
        laserwizard

        Why would a LR owner lower themselves to get a dead common Toyoduh relabeled as a Lexus with some extra dents in the sheetmetal and even tackier details added on? Land Rovers are understated and tasteful. You can’t say that about anything Toyoduh makes since 2008.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Not to say the rest of the LR2 isn’t due to fall apart like the Bluesmobile in Daley Plaza, but the engine is a naturally aspirated Volvo I6. Arent those reliable by European standards?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        They switched the engine a few times, using a Rover engine and a BMW diesel. I have never heard anything good about any LR2 engine.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          2006 to 2012, the LR2 used the Volvo inline 6. 2013 to 2015, they used a Ford-sourced Ecoboost 4.

          Neither engine is particularly troublesome.

          Corey, you are almost certainly thinking of the first generation Freelander, which used a Rover-sourced V6 in the US. And practically nowhere else, because better engines were available in other markets. That engine was known for blowing head gaskets.

          Thing is, you are extrapolating your data from a car that was introduced 20 years ago.

          Let it go. It was a long time ago, the old Rover Group doesn’t exist anymore. Land Rover have gone through 3 owners since then (BMW, Ford, Tata). Nothing is left of that company now that Defender production has stopped.

          Incidentally, late LR2’s have amazing resale. I know because I almost bought one in 2013, and those 2013s are selling used at roughly the same price I could have bought one new ($40k in Canada). Most cars depreciate 50% in that time, and even the best cars depreciate at least 30%.
          I hardly think that would be the case if they all had blown engines.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You’re the guy who believes autonomous cars won’t change the methodology behind car insurance, so I’m not sure I can give credit to many of your claims – if any at all.

            Thanks though.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            re: “You’re the guy who believes autonomous cars won’t change the methodology behind car insurance”

            You are either misunderstanding something I wrote, or you are confusing me with someone else.

            Nevertheless, everything I wrote above is easily verifiable. Anything specific that you disagree with?

            In this case, I don’t see how JLR is to blame, unless we find-out that they authorized the fix. Most dealership groups are multi-brand, so it’s dumb luck that this happened at a JLR hoist and not some other hoist.

            The fact that they had the engine out isn’t a big deal. You’ll see a lot more of that at Audi, BMW, Honda, Mazda, Subaru.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s possible, I get you and 30-mile-fetch mixed in my mind.

            Are we sure they just popped the Volvo engine in there and didn’t do something to it?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “The fact that they had the engine out isn’t a big deal.”

            We will have to agree to disagree on that. Having the engine replaced at low mileage would be a pretty major deal for me. The day after I got it back, I’d be trading it in and the brand would likely go on my permanent blacklist.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yeah, my car is under warranty and pretty new, and you have to replace the entire component which makes it move? I think not – I can do better. This isn’t 1925.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Having the engine out sure beats the alternative.

            If you live in the Northeast or in Colorado, you probably know someone who’s had a Subaru short block replaced under warranty. In most cases, they were fine after that.

            Obviously, I would consider my options if it happened to me. At the very least, I would expect the dealer or manufacturer to comp me the longest extended warranty they offer.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        A quick search of the forums suggests no endemic problems with the SI6 engine in the Volvo application*.

        (* Well, no reliability problems. “It’s gutless as hell compared with the T6 and the transmission programming doesn’t help”, yes.

        But “it breaks like a British Leyland product”, no.)

        Of course, Rover can presumably make anything bad if they try hard enough…

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      My first exposure to Land Rover was from Murphy Brown: “”Why not just buy a Ford Explorer and tape $15,000 to the hood?”

      I’ve found nothing to alter that conception of Land Rover, and I still live by its injunction.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Hmm, if these Land Rovers are such terrible cars, how is it that they didn’t wind up on the 10 worst list?

    • 0 avatar
      thattruthguy

      Land Rover dealership: A business that specializes in apologizing to angry rich people.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I…

    all I see is a normal Land Rover transmission. isn’t that how they’re made?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    “Welding a transmission case is usually not recommended since the aluminum will be coated in potentially flammable fluid that needs to be baked out in order to weld. The heat can also make the surface susceptible to warping, which can lead to leaks or issues with clearances for components inside the transmission. In this case, the transmission is still fully assembled with electronics that may have not survived the drop, and are even less likely to survive the heat from welding.”

    Yeah, they could’ve just epoxied it. GM’s factory service manuals used to specify using epoxy to fix case leaks related to case porosity issues – high pressure aluminum casting processes they used in high volume production sometimes led to voids in the aluminum, and leaks through the case.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      I’m guessing you’re being sarcastic here?

      • 0 avatar
        dukeisduke

        Nope, I kid you not. I’ve seen it in a couple of Chevrolet and Pontiac FSMs from the ’70s. I think the first place was the ’74 Vega shop manual, in the section on the THM350. I owned a ’76 GT, and I had the ’74 manual, along with the ’76 supplement (they might be in a box in the attic), that covers all the ’76 specific stuff like the hydraulic lifter engine, the THM250, the B-W 77mm 5-speed, the bigger brakes, the torque arm rear suspension, etc.

        I’m sure case porosity was a very rare occurrence, but not unknown.

        • 0 avatar

          I have seen that in some THM manuals. I believe there was an official part number for the epoxy also. I wonder how well it held up if the case was already contaminated with fluid.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            You’d have to get that case awfully clean to get the epoxy to stick for any length of time.

          • 0 avatar
            dukeisduke

            I’d have to see the manual again, but I think the transmission had to be warmed to a certain temperature, the case cleaned off with a solvent, and then the epoxy smeared on.

            One of the weirdest things in the manual, along with the procedure for emptying and refilling the original GM catalytic converters that were filled with beads. Involving a canister with a shaker, pulling a vacuum, installing a service plug, etc.

            Back when you actually took a lot of things, like starters, alternators, a/c compressors, etc., apart, repaired them, and put them back together.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            If some stealership ever tried to frickin’ weld my cracked transmission case back together due to their incompetence, especially without telling me, and pass it off as serviced without telling me, there’d be a for crime scene complete with chalk outlines in the aftermath.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          I have no issues with epoxying up the exterior of a casting to deal with porosity, but you can’t epoxy a structural piece of a transmission housing, it would probably fail while you were assembling it.

        • 0 avatar
          olddavid

          Duke – I am guessing that even GM has made giant strides in metallurgy in the ensuing 40 years. I recall the resistance to aluminum in the early ’60’s in automotive usage. Hell, every new tech decision was sales-proof at intro. I recall the Nikasil fiascoes from late 1990’s to early 2000’s which seem to have been remedied also. However, the point that this was foisted onto an innocent customer while trying to save a few bucks is very short-sighted. My memory has a thing from a guy named Joe Girard who had a “rule of 250’s”. Every unhappy customer would influence 250 others that his experience was poor. Now Joe was a product of the system sales ethic, but on this one thing I believe he was right.

          • 0 avatar
            tubacity

            JB Weld? to stop leaks YES; or at least yes with Honda.
            Not a transmission case. leak. Honda did have porosity problems with engine blocks. One recommended repair in the linked service bulletin is JB Weld.

            http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/TSb/DownloadPdf?id=124736

            V6 Engine Oil Leaks
            (Supersedes 01-009, dated September 10, 2002)
            SYMPTOM
            An oil leak from the front, middle, or rear of the engine.
            PROBABLE CAUSE
            The cast aluminum engine block may be porous in
            spots.
            CORRECTIVE ACTION
            Depending on the location of the leak, seal it with JB
            Weld or 3-Bond-coated sealing bolts.

            Might be funny if not your vehicle

        • 0 avatar
          CarnotCycle

          If I recall, GM’s Northstar engines had problems with engine oil ‘weeps’ due to similar porosity issues with aluminum.

        • 0 avatar
          CobraJet

          I remember as a kid we were traveling in our new 64 Impala on a trip from Houston, TX to Memphis when the Powerglide transmission began to leak badly. Stopping at a dealer somewhere in Mississippi they put the car on a lift and said the aluminum case was porous. The dealer recommned we keep driving home to Memphis and take the car to the selling dealer for warranty repairs. The dealer loaded a case of transmission fluid in the trunk and away we went. Every 50 miles or so my Dad would stop and add a quart. We made it home with the rear of the car coated in oil and road grime. Not sure how they fixed it, but I don’t think they replaced it. Maybe epoxy.

        • 0 avatar
          islander800

          Here’re some interesting stories about cast aluminum porosity and GM. As a kid, we used to visit by Dad’s cousin who worked as a manager in the Flint Buick foundry. In the early 1960s, they were building their new small-block aluminum V8 and overhearing conversations between my Dad and his cousin, Buick was having terrible times with porosity with their aluminum blocks. According to Dad’s cousin, Buick decided to throw in the towel as they couldn’t sort out the issue, and others with the engine, and sold the rights to the engine to…..drum roll…..Rover. That same V8 engine, developed further by the new owners, was later installed in Land Rovers.

          Fast forward to the late 1970s, and my new 1978 Buick Regal turbo. That engine, while cast iron, had an aluminum timing chain cover, and I had porosity issues with coolant oozing through the aluminum casting. The engine was also rebuilt, weeks after taking delivery, due to wrong size pistons (!). I sold the car as soon as the warranty expired. That was the last GM car I ever bought.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        There are some very serious industrial adhesives available. back around the time of the GM service bulletins, I was working for a New England speaker company. We were using a Loctite anaerobic adhesive to glue the woofer magnet assembly together. We never had a failure. I wouldn’t write this idea off so quickly. Aluminum has a coarse grain structure which results in a lot of surface area when it breaks like this. That is the key to adhesive effectiveness, as it spreads the load out and reduces the PSI strength required. I doubt that the adhesive would be epoxy, but a thin film type adhesive.

    • 0 avatar
      Hogie roll

      SOP is to have aluminum castings that need to hold fluid dipped in what is essentially loctite. Cast aluminum typically has bad porosity.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      Our 2003 Honda Accord had a porous transmission case problem from day 1. The tech tried the JB-Weld trick first (per factory instructions). When that didn’t hold, they eventually replaced the entire transmission under warranty.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’ll get this post out of the way, since it’s coming eventually.

    Dude’s, you guys dont even know what yor talking about. My moms’ cousin has got like a Discovery from 2004, an it has like 400 k mi an he drives it all over Africa and then he won the paris-Drakkar, and then he drove it all the way back to Dallas an took a boat. ZERO problems and he get’s abou t 29mpg on the town road, he told me.

    So SFUTU, idiot their reliabe.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Oh a colleague of mine has an LR2. I hope this didn’t happen at a dealer in Albuquerque.

    Traded her Chrysler 300 SRT8 for an LR2. That was the biggest head-scratcher trade I’ve seen in a long time.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    That’s not a bad looking weld, and cast aluminum is not an easy metal to work with. Considering the skill needed and that the GTAW equipment needed to do it isn’t commonly found in a dealership, I’d guess they sent it out.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      It is very good quality (the puddling in the bead is very uniform and consistent), and hell no, it’s not easy to weld aluminum – a teacher in high school used to tell us, “you weld it at 800 degrees; at 801 degrees, it falls through.” I seriously doubt that the tech could weld aluminum like this, so he either enlisted a friend or co-worker who’s also a very good welder, or they sent it out.

      Either way, it’s a conspiracy.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      Agreed, whoever did it was a skilled welder.

      • 0 avatar

        The quality of the weld was one of the first things I noticed and figured that they had good equipment and someone who knows how to weld. Since the transmission is whole, I am guessing that they probably laid a bead to bring the contamination up and then ground it down and laid another to finish it off.

    • 0 avatar
      CarnotCycle

      It is typical dealer shady shenanigans, but still high-quality because fine British motoring.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      TIG does not produce spatter which there appears to be a good bit of in the photo. Also a couple of arc strikes visible.

      If they paid a professional to do this job, they need to find another professional.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      Personally to me it looks like a MIG job, and a poor (average at best) one at that. It’s hard to gain a sense of scale from photos but the bead seems wider than you could get with TIG and sits substantially on top of the surface indicating significant filler rod addition and limited penetration.

      Also given that major JLR dealers probably have a tech and equipment to repair aluminum-bodied vehicles I’d wager that most have a MIG setup for aluminum in the shop somewhere.

      If the transmission case was a vintage or essentially unobtanium part repairing a cracked unit with careful prep and welding could keep a unit in service. A vehicle under warranty from a manufacturer still in business should never be subject to such shenanigans whether the owner was in the loop or not.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It’s just a FWD POS anyway, so who cares?

  • avatar

    Impressive amount speculation over a welded transmission case.

    Presumably some dealer drops an engine and transmission, a photo of a welded case appears, and the speculation erupts.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    So, assume it fell from a height of not more than 6 feet or so if it slipped off a jack while under a lift. Not that I’ve ever tried this at home, but is it normal for a trans case to shatter like glass?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    The REAL problem here is THEY didn’t buy a JEEP which would SOLVE all their PROBLEMS. FCA! USA! FCA! USA! FCA! USA!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Good article relating to maintenance.

    I wouldn’t like to be the customer in this situation. Also, how much knowledge and accurate information are we given? How much knowledge does the author of this article have?

    What are the repairable and usable limits for this particular housing?

    What are the specified repair procedures?

    Was a disposition or had a disposition been given for the repair to occur? This could of been in writing (which is the best option) or even word of mouth.

    We just don’t know enough.

    I have worked in an environment where we used TIG extensively for repairs. There is more to welding than just “making sparks and fusing metals”. With TIG the backing gas is crucial for ensuring the integrity of the repair.

    This might not look pretty, as is most “things” in engineering, but it might be deemed an acceptable repair.

    We need more information other than sensationalising what might be an acceptable repair.

    Remember how long is this guys drivetrain warranty? This would be a determining factor.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      “This might not look pretty, as is most “things” in engineering, but it might be deemed an acceptable repair.”

      What about the internals and the electronics mentioned? For want of better approximations, cumulative fatigue damage is taken as the effect of the sum of all fatigue incidents. Dropping the trans may cause high enough stress and strain loads to greatly reduce the life of the units’ components, regardless of how pretty the case weld is. But the accelerated failure may still occur just far enough in the future to allow the dealer to claim its an independent event, not that they would know anything at all about fatigue damage or give a damn if they did.

      I want a brand new transmission and all parts attached or inside the unit, thanks.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Oh , jeeze ;
    ,
    I thought this thread was going to be chock full of Dealer horror stories , working in a Dealer takes the blush off the rose so damn fast….
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    In the old days, crap like this happened all the time.
    Now with cell phone cams and the internet, a million people know about this poor [email protected] (the owner and the mechanic), LOL.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Service tech said this is within tolerance, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

  • avatar
    EAF

    -It sucks that the tech dropped the transmission. Straps, chains & other rigging hardware fatigue and do fail.

    -Not informing the customer is unethical and a horrible business practice.

    -I have seen custom gearbox swaps where in order to avoid the use of a custom adapter plate, an original bell housing is cut with a band-saw and welded on to the gearbox being swapped in. Globs of horsepower pushed through and, in one case, competition drifting without any failures.

    My point is that the welds are probably stronger than the case itself, I would be more concerned with the condition of the internals over all else.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Yep. It looks almost like it landed on the corner – landing flat probably would’ve just have bent the pan (and maybe damaged the solenoid pack), but this? I’d wonder if might tweak the shape of the case a little bit, causing internal parts to bind, and the transmission to generally exhibit some weird behaviors.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    From experience, I know that aluminum is a lot more difficult to weld than carbon steel. The weld in the photo look very good. If the tranny cracked without coming completely apart, this repair may restore it to original specs. But, the customer should have been told and a very long warranty provided.
    Welding aluminum is a walk in the park compared to welding dissimilar higher nickel alloys. Don’t ask me how I know this.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Yep, very temperature sensitive and prone to dropouts. It takes a good welder to weld aluminum. I only did it a couple of times in high school, using an acetylene torch, a little flux, and some aluminum wire.

  • avatar

    So, I assume the technician told management about the accident and they decided to do a drug test?
    Obviously management were looking to weasel out with dodgy rationale:
    Eg: There was trace amounts of THC in his system from a joint he smoked two weeks ago, that’s why he was fired and also why we’re not responsible.
    Am I missing something here or is this practice a regular thing stateside?
    The attempted fraud clearly shows the wrong guy was being tested for drugs.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      This is pretty standard at dealers. Anytime there is an accident the party responsible has to go for a drug test like. It’s more and insurance requirement than anything else.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    One time I left a car at a speedy service place for a rad flush/fill. Instead, they replaced the transmission fluid. With the wrong fluid. Luckily I discovered this and required them to flush the transmission and put the correct fluid in. Upon inspecting the transmission (A604) later, I found they’d overtightened most of the transmission oil pan bolts, some of which stripped their threads out of the aluminum case casting. They then replaced the stripped bolts with larger ones. One of these broke a corner off the casting. Of course they didn’t mention any of this to me. It took 18 months to sort this out, but eventually I forced them to repay me for a transmission rebuild. Idiots.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I had some jackass use my oil pan as a jacking point when I had new front tires installed. Really pissed me off, and they claimed it was like that before they worked on it. Umm, no, it was not knocking and pouring oil when I drove up. If it was a national chain, Id have probably gotten an engine replacement out of them. Bully for me trying to support the little guy, eh? As it was, I had to eat it. In retrospect, I shouldve sued or demanded compensation. Just too much goin on at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      Never, ever go to one of those “speedy service” places.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Manager obviously a graduate of the Martin Winterkorn academy of ethics.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    As an owner, I’d leave it alone, demanding an extended warranty, say double the original warranty, honored at all LR dealers, signed off by Land Rover USA.

    Yeah the owner has a good point/claim, even though the trans will more than likely work just as it did before the damage.

    If they rebuild it (necessary when replacing the case), any worn “hard parts” will be billed to the truck’s owner. That could be hundreds or a couple thousand dollars. Except if the truck owner denies the hard parts, he loses out on any claim. The trans was going to die soon anyway.

    It’s assumed to be a perfectly fine trans before the drop, so why open up a can of worms?

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Nate, don’t worry. There are a few of us who have spent years trying to train and inculcate professionalism into the ranks. I haven’t been on the front lines for ten years, but surely things are moving in the right direction? With this being an outlier, right?

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Not sure how Land Rover is to blame for any of this. They didn’t make the engine and they didn’t do the repair…

    Also it’s not clear to me that Land Rover now make cars that are any less reliable than German cars. Check this link out which actually shows they are out performing the German brands:

    http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/news/news-warranty-figures-show-german-cars-arent-reliable/

    Sometimes I wonder if people who obsess about reliability are looking at this through 1970s glasses. The whole industry has cleaned up a lot. When Land Rover is actually a middle ranking brand it makes you realise how much the entire industry has improved.

  • avatar
    Silent Ricochet

    Aren’t whistleblowers protected under the SOX act? If this guy gets fired for this story, he could have a real case on his hands. Unless the Sarbanes-Oxley Act doesn’t cover certain types of employees.

    Either way, pretty incredible that they thought they could get away with that transmission being installed. As if it wouldn’t break almost immediately after driving away. Or at least leak all over the dude’s driveway…

    • 0 avatar
      namstrap

      Somehow I don’t think it would be a fun place for the whistle blower to work after that went down. Management would make his life hell. He’d get written up three times quicker than a falling transmission.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    I am tempted to call BS based on quality of grammar, punctuation and spelling in the thread. You just don’t see that normally in any forum, text, email etc. this site excepted of course.

  • avatar
    John

    You do not want to harass or fire a legitimate whistle blower. You really, really, really do not want to do those things. If you do, you might as well write the whistle blower a blank check. Keep in mind, punitive damages are not covered by your insurance, and they are not tax-deductible. Also, compensatory damages are limited to the loss suffered by the whistle blower, punitive damages have no limit at all.

  • avatar
    Paddan

    Did I miss this – which dealer??

  • avatar
    Testacles Megalos

    WhistleBlower SchmistleBlower—-won’t make any difference to the shiny shoe bitches at LandRover.

    A few years back when Living In The Republic of Texas I bought a low-mileage off-lease Freelander. Nice car, very inexpensive compared to anything even remotely competitive and surprisingly served well.

    Until the steering rack bolts sheered at 30k miles.

    No preceding warning. The car had been driving just fine and one day driving home from StopNShop my wife suddenly lost reliable directional control. Not too far from home so she got the car in the driveway and I had a look after work. There’s the rack, freed from its perch on the firewall, moving back and forth within the lateral limits of the inner fender wells. I found one of the sheered bolts, and on inspection it seemed pretty obvious that the bolt had been cracked right from the start (only a small part of the broken surface looked “new”….the rest was as “old” looking as the outside of the bolt). My best guess is either bad hardware or overtightening at the factory.

    Had the car flatbedded to the local LR dealership and asked to have this fixed as warranty. This car hadn’t been offroaded, it was just the typical ubiquitous City Small Ute, and had been properly maintained, records to prove it.

    Now at the least they could have sympathized and offered to check with regional office or LRNA or whatever. But no, they said, nope out of warranty, my expense. Let’s see, cost of repair was a lot less than the resale value of the truck and far less than the cost to replace the vehicle so I ponied up the money and told the dealership that they would not be seeing us anymore.

    20k miles later the JAP autobox packed it in, somebody offered me $2500 for the car, I took it and ran.

    Old LRs might rate highly on the cool scale, but the new stuff is aimed at social ladder climbers. Clearly the LR enterprise is aimed at people with far more dollars than any kind of sense. The product is probably mechanically no better or worse than anything else these days, but the dealer/service was clearly not interested in doing the right thing by the customer. So I’m not at all surprised by this story, in fact it all fits with our experience.

    We will never go back.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Chinesy steel, bolts, clamps, hoses and much everything else, driven by supplier policies and bid-letting such as GM’s “One Global” (aka you’d better match the cheapest, absolute bottom rung bid from the worst Chinese supplier in our index).

      It doesn’t matter if it’s a Range Rover, Mercedes CLA, Cadillac Escalade, Ford F Series, Cruze, or Nissan, Honda (Chinese Fits) or whatever – it’s all going this way.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    This kind of stuff probably happens more than you think. Back in the 90’s I was driving a ’95 Plymouth Voyager I bought from a dealer who was always bragging about their 4-star service rating from Chrysler. I took my vehicle in for a transmission fluid change…a couple of years later I decided to have the fluid changed again but took the vehicle to a local Chrysler dealer. While I was waiting in the lounge area, the service manager came in and informed me that the transmission pan was attached to the transmission with adhesive and tape. Someone at Mr. $-star had stripped the threads in the transmission and had reattached the pan using adhesive; Naturally I was not informed. I never went back to Mr. 4-star again.

  • avatar
    turf3

    When you weld on an aluminum casting it WILL distort. The way to make this repair correctly would have been to build up all the bearing bores, preferably by boring them out and sleeving them, then make the weld repair, then re-bore the bearing bores. If this is not done, the bearing bores will be distorted, and the shafts probably will no longer be aligned.

    Maybe, if the broken area is far from the bearing bores, the distortion would be small enough to ignore.

    The only way to know for sure whether the distortion caused by welding has caused the positional, diameter, and roundness tolerances of the bearing bores to exceed specifications would be to measure them carefully. This can be done without a coordinate measuring machine, though for the original mass production part it would probably be done on the CMM. However, setting up the measurements is likely to be somewhat complicated. Plus, of course, you would need the prints of the housing. I would guess that a surface plate with appropriate measuring gauges, plus a copy of the print, are not available to the dealership where the damage occurred, or the weld shop where the welding was done.

    So, the badness of this situation is worse than even the superficial appearance.

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    Remember the conversation at an Engineering Conference:
    1st engineer, “Why don’t the Brits make very many computers, radios, toasters, refrigerators, or TVs?”
    2nd engineer, “They have not figured out yet how to get them to leak oil.”

  • avatar
    kmoney

    Looking at how much of the case came off there when they dropped it and where the welds start, it looks like it could have easily damaged some of the value body passages when it fell. I seriously doubt that thing would have lasted long, or even worked at all, if the actually tried to fill it with fluid and give it back to the customer.

    • 0 avatar
      laserwizard

      Looking at the case of that tranny (the non bathroom kind of tranny), which would be likelier to happen first:

      a. Tranny runs for 10k without a problem.
      b. Hillary Clinton tells the truth.
      c. Bernard Sanders becomes a fiscal conservative.
      d. B and C die first.
      e. Donald Trump makes public his tax returns for the past decade.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Over at Idiots-r-us Toyoduh dealer, their mechanic is trying to weld a broken piece of pot metal.

  • avatar
    RedditUser

    And they fired the guy that reported it. https://www.reddit.com/r/Justrolledintotheshop/comments/4jzbyg/update_land_rover_repair_job/?ref=share&ref_source=link

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    This is worth about a good $20 million in negative advertising to Land Rover! Dealership must have been crazy to do this re-repair to use a weld to continue with the broken transmission installation.

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