It is entirely possible it's a coincidence that there was a transmission problem that was about to show up on its own and it just happened to be at the dealership when it happened, but given the multiple problems all of a sudden, my guess would be mistakes were made. The typical response at the very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership I worked at would be to start with a free loaner vehicle, then they would obviously take care of anything that was their fault.
The dealer can legitimately ask you to pay for things that break on your vehicle while it's in their possession but proving it wasn't their fault is hard to do, and since they know they're in for an argument they may already have a plan to help cover the cost. Another problem is the multiple people involved. The mechanic knows he didn't cause the problem. His service adviser has to trust his mechanics to not lie and to do quality work, and the service manager has to weigh both sides of the argument and determine if the shop should cover the repairs for free. The first thought always is all three people want to save money for the business, but sharp employees, especially managers, understand that keeping customers happy is the best advertising. They can't automatically fix things without an argument because it will look like they're admitting fault.
Many shops will take care of things that pop up that weren't their fault but they'll almost always contact you first. They're hoping to hear, "oh, it was doing that off and on before". Even if they still fix it for free, the service manager is going to be relieved to know his mechanic wasn't at fault.
Those are just some observations. I've had things occur while I was test driving a customer's car, and I've been blamed for things that weren't working as soon as I got in the car. Some people think if they complain loud enough they'll get something fixed for free. That's the other thing service managers have to think about.
I know this doesn't help with your truck. I can only hope the dealer makes it right. Their goal should be to keep you as a satisfied customer.
Sunday, April 15th, 2012 AT 8:26 AM