COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - Two 5-year-old car fobs stopped working a day apart. The owner guessed they just needed a battery. But the bill to figure out the problem stalled him in his tracks.
Darryl Daniel's 2008 Cadillac CTS has a keyless ignition.
When his five-year-old fob wouldn't work, followed by the failing of his wife's fob the very next day--Daniels had the car towed to the nearest Cadillac service center.
"I asked him if he thought it might be the battery. He said it might be, but they would check it out."
Cadillac of Novi gave Daniels an estimate of $230.00 to see why the vehicle will not recognize both remotes plus a check on a "service engine soon" light that was on.
"I asked him why so much? And he said don't worry because if it's just the battery it won't cost that much."
Then he had sticker shock -- $583.73.
The bill was more than twice the estimate.
It was the cost of one new fob, a battery for the other, plus the "check engine light" service.
When Daniels asked why he needed a new fob, he said a service representative told him it was because his fob had a cracked circuit board.
"I was, like, well that one's never used. It sits in a safe,” explained Daniels whose wife is the main driver of that car.
When the service center returned his fob so he could see for himself, he claims they handed him a replacement.
"It doesn't have the distinctive mark on the back. That's why I knew it wasn't mine. He told me too bad. This is what you get, and that's all I have."
Daniels asked to talk with the service manager -- who Daniels says gave him a similar response.
So he paid the bill.
"At that point, I was sitting down watching TV - which I watch Channel 7 all the time - and I just saw about the Call For Action team,” he recalled.
He e-mailed our "Call For Action" volunteers.
They contacted General Motors LLC.
A few days later, the Cadillac Customer Assistance Center called Daniels.
He got an apology and word that a reimbursement was coming.
He got the refund in mid May.
Most of the refund -- more than $287 -- came from Cadillac of Novi.
The balance was from a check from General Motors.
“The whole thing for me was not [about] the money. It was the principal behind it,” said Daniels. “You shouldn't have to pay for something you don't need."
"I seriously believe that if you guys hadn't helped me out, I wouldn't have gotten this," he added.
7 Action News contacted Cadillac of Novi's Service Manager. He said they were glad to resolve this.
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