Reporting Kurtis Ming
A Roseville mom says her car broke down minutes after getting a Walmart oil change. When she realized they put oil in the transmission, she called Kurtis.
Walmart admitted the mistake, but weeks after the incident, she was still without the money to fix it.
Elizabeth Laird recalls the moment she knew something was wrong with her car. “As I’m starting up the driveway I hear the old car noise which is ‘duh duh duh duh duh.’ And I thought, ‘That’s not right, my car doesn’t make old car noise.’”
Minutes after driving away from her Walmart oil change at the Roseville store, Laird says her 2008 Ford Edge was making terrible noises, so she returned.
“He finally turns to me and he says, ‘I put the oil in the transmission,’” said Laird, “I was borderline hysterical.”
The Ford dealership said her engine was ruined. They told her it would cost at least $7,500 to replace it. But Laird says Walmart, which admitted the mistake, initially refused to even get her a rental car.
“It was on day 12 that they finally authorized a rental vehicle for me,” said Laird.
Then at three weeks she says they told her they’d only give her $4,400 for a used engine. But that’s a big problem.
“That will kill my warranty. I will no longer have a warranty,” said Laird.
To keep an extended warranty like hers valid, Ford requires a more expensive Ford-certified used engine.
“Under no circumstances should she be forced to lose that warranty. That’s completely unacceptable,” said attorney Crystal Caldwell Virtue.
Caldwell Virtue says Walmart has a responsibility to make Laird’s car whole again.
“Walmart needs to put her in the position she would have been in, had this not occurred… as much as money is able to do so,” said Caldwell Virtue.
We contacted Walmart and reiterated Laird’s concerns.
“The lack of a sense of urgency is pretty telling about the way they feel about their customers and about the community,” said Laird.
But she says Walmart finally offered a settlement that should cover all the repairs. Walmart wouldn’t comment on its handling of this case. But Laird says it’s lost them a customer.
“It was shameful the way they treated me,” said Laird.
If you think a repair shop did something wrong to your car, you should complain to the state’s Bureau of Automotive Repair. Laird did and says they are investigating.