Morristown man's Volkswagen van sits at mechanic's shop

Morristown man's Volkswagen van sits at mechanic's shop for 15 months

Posted:
"All I want is my van back running properly," van owner Derrell Frazier said. "All I want is my van back running properly," van owner Derrell Frazier said.
For the last 14 months, the old van has been at J and H Automotive in Seymour while a mechanic rebuilds it. For the last 14 months, the old van has been at J and H Automotive in Seymour while a mechanic rebuilds it.
"We're working diligently to try to rectify the situation," Jeff Haggard, owner of J and H Automotive, said. "We're working diligently to try to rectify the situation," Jeff Haggard, owner of J and H Automotive, said.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - Most car repair shops give you a good idea of when your vehicle will be ready to pick up.

With the exception of major engine repairs, most mechanical problems are fixed in a day or two.

But one Morristown man has waited 15 months for his car to be up and running again.

The car being fixed in this case is not a new one; it's a 36-year-old Volkswagen pop-up van.

The VW camper became something of an icon in American culture as a symbol of the hippy or surfing crowd

For those interested in buying old cars, this one can be purchased relatively cheaply, if it is running.   

In Morristown, Derrell Frazier can only hope of someday driving his 1977 VW van.

For the last 14 months, the old van has been at J and H Automotive in Seymour while a mechanic rebuilds it.

The first overhaul on the van's engine began in October 2011, but two months later it didn't run right.

"They're saying they need this part and that part," Frazier said. "Those parts should have been replaced in the first of the rebuild. It's an antique and a collector's item and it is in good condition."

Frazier is trying to sell the old VW; he's posted ads on several websites.

"But I can't sell it right now and I have a lot of offers, They actually went out to J and H, looked at the vehicle, saw the condition of the engine," he said.

He says he expected to wait four weeks to have the car repaired.

"No more than 4 weeks," he said. "They originally repaired it within three weeks when they got all their money up front."

In December 2011, Frazier paid $1,700 for the engine overhaul.  

He's fortunate there's a guarantee on the work. The warranty covers vehicle repairs for 12,000 miles or 12 months.

He returned the car more than a year ago and is still waiting for it to run.

"I think it's outrageous, totally outrageous," he said.

Frazier says he paid another $862 towards the repairs.

"He said it needed a new head, that I needed to supply a new head even though he had rebuilt those heads," Frazier said.

6 On Your Side talked with the owner of J and H Automotive, Jeff Haggard.

"We're working diligently to try to rectify the situation," Haggard said. "This came up with a problem with one of my employees, we had a problem with the engine. It's been here quite a while."

Repairs to the vehicle he said have gone poorly. Parts are hard to find and there's been one problem after another.

"Typically, we would have a car come in and get it right back out just as quickly as possible," he said.

"All I want is my van back running properly," Frazier said.

Derrell Frazier is running out of patience. We mentioned that to Haggard.

"We've put the motor back together again, we still have one small issue to work out," Haggard said. "We hope to have it by the end of next week, that's hopeful."

Some old car engines aren't easy to repair, but a warranty is what you should look for.  

Most new car shops and many independent garages do warranty their work, but some do not.

It's up to you to ask about the warranty policy.  


If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

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