When Mitsubishi recalls the 2010 Lancer belonging to Gill Gavin’s wife, he tries to get the repairs done quickly. So why is this Mitsubishi recall still not fixed?
Q: I have been trying to get Mitsubishi Motors to repair a safety recall on my wife’s car for many months, but so far they have not taken care of it.
Mitsubishi recalled her 2010 Lancer Sportback because of a drive belt auto tensioner defect. The company has offered to repair it at no cost.
I live in Maui, where there are no Mitsubishi dealerships. Mitsubishi has a bad reputation for not paying shops here to do the repairs (I talked to a half dozen different ones), and Mitsubishi will not reimburse me if I get the work done at a shop. I don’t know if Mitsubishi wants to ship our car to a dealer, or just refuses to honor any recall/warranty work period. They offered no solutions, and have stopped communicating with me.
I hope to have this safety recall work completed so that we can use her car without a mechanical failure (in the words of the recall notice) “increasing the risk of a crash.” Thank you for any help you can offer. — Gill Gavin, Kihei, HI
A: If Mitsubishi says it will fix this recalled component, then it should do so no matter where you live. A drive belt tensioner, which is an adjustable pivot point that keeps tension on the engine belt, is an important component of your wife’s car and should be repaired right away. I’m not sure if having the belt recalled makes the vehicle undriveable, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.
I reviewed the paperwork between you and Mitsubishi, and it looks as if you followed almost all of the steps to a successful resolution. You kept everything in writing, and you appealed this case all the way to Mitsubishi at the corporate level. (I list the names, numbers and email addresses of Mitsubishi’s customer service executives on my consumer advocacy site.) But you seem to have forgotten one step. You didn’t contact your closest Mitsubishi dealership — which is understandable since it was on another island.
This Mitsubishi recall offers an important lesson
Your story is an essential lesson for the rest of us. Always give the business an opportunity to address your problem at the local level before appealing to a regional or corporate office. Chances are, Mitsubishi saw your appeals and wondered why you hadn’t followed that critical first step. Although, like you, I’m troubled by what you say is happening in Maui about Mitsubishi allegedly not paying local mechanics. That discourages people from getting critical recall repairs done and could lead to an unsafe vehicle. If that’s true, I hope Mitsubishi will address this quickly.
It turns out there was a new certified Mitsubishi repair shop on Maui. I recommended that you reach out to the mechanic, and they fixed your belt at no charge.