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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, here is the long-promised update on my recent experience with Victory
Nissan on Clinton Highway in Knoxville, TN. This is only from my point of
view and I am not speaking for the dealership. My apologies for the length
of this post but I think it's worth the read.

A little background first - I have been going to Victory Nissan for well
over ten years. I bought my 2004 Titan from another dealership because
Victory didn't have the one I wanted, but Victory is the only dealership that has ever touched this truck. This is the first vehicle I have owned where I paid someone else to do all of the work. My previous Nissan truck, which I still own, was serviced by Victory for years before buying the Titan. They have always been fair to me in the past and took care of me. They have made a few mistakes over the years, we are all human, and took care of those without hesitation.

A week or so ago my truck came to an abrupt halt in a parking lot while
coasting to a stop. It felt like I had stepped on the e-brake, but of
course did not. Trying to move the truck by pressing the gas pedal felt
like something was in a bind. Twenty minutes, and about thirty feet later,
there was a *PING* and the truck rolled much easier but there was a ticking

The truck was towed to Victory Nissan and it was quickly and easily
determined the transfer case had a major issue. The drive shaft entering
the rear of the transfer case could be moved around easily by hand. Opening
the fluid fill plug showed no fluid. Opening the drain plug allowed about a
spoonful of fluid with lots of metal. No one at the dealership had ever
heard of a Titan transfer case going bad and no one had ever worked on one.
Further research showed they never fail and are essentially bullet-proof.
In addition, I never take the truck off-road but do engage it from time to
time to keep things moving. I baby the truck.

A brand new transfer case is $2,000.00 and labor is about $930.00 to swap it
out. I asked to see the service history on my truck and they pulled my file
for me to review. Every work order has a '100 point inspection sheet'
attached to it which specifically states checking the fluid levels in the
front and rear differential, transmission and transfer case. I found three
inspection sheets where two showed nothing checked off and one showed they
checked it. The last time my truck was at the dealership was about a month
and a half previous and less than 3K miles.

They did tell me several times that certain seals, including the transfer
case, were weeping and asked if I wanted them replaced. I refused because they were only weeping and there is no sense in spending $930.00 to remove a
transfer case to replace a $0.05 (guessing) seal. When your engine burns oil you don't rebuild it; you check the oil level and top it off. The same
goes with everything else. I had a seal replaced in the rear axle due to a
failed bearing and it is leaking again. As long as all fluid levels are
checked and maintained properly, as I was paying them for and they were
promising to do, then there will never be a problem.

Rufus at Victory Nissan is the best service writer I have ever encountered.
Not only is he professional but he is very personable. He talks to everyone
like he has known them forever and really takes care of his customers. He
keeps me, and many others, coming back to spend money. I would definitely refer to Rufus as a friend. Why he is not the manager I have no idea. Victory Nissan Knoxville has a fairly new guy for their service department manager. His name is Marty.

Marty would not budge. At all. Even after I presented him with his own
paperwork showing they failed to check the fluid levels several times. He
said he could offer maybe $20.00 off labor. Really? $20.00? The General
Manager, Frank, was standing nearby while I was arguing with the
customer-service-lacking Marty and offered to pick up 50% of the labor.
Frank didn't even know me but had the correct thought process - take care of
a long-time customer when the proof shows the dealer is at fault and keep
that customer coming back.

I found a used transfer case from a wrecked Titan with only 36K miles on it
at Knox Auto for $575.00. Great people to deal with. They offered me a one
year parts-and-labor warranty and told me they had this one is stock for
nineteen months. This further shows these things never fail. I told Marty,
the service manager, that I have built cars in the past. If this had been a
catastrophic failure there would be oil all over the underside of my truck
and there wasn't. This transfer case failed over time due to the fluid
level not being checked, which is their negligence. He still refused to
cover it.

Some web searching and a few phone calls later, Victory Nissan is owned by
Victory Automotive Group based out of Michigan but they do not list any
contact information on their corporate page. I randomly called another
dealership and in blind luck the comptroller for my region just happened to
be there. I spoke with Caroline and pleaded my case.

A few minutes later my phone rang and it was Larry, the overall manager of
all service departments in my area. Again, blind luck as he happened to be
in Knoxville and visiting Victory Nissan. I again pleaded my case and he
agreed to cover all expenses. The corporate people did in minutes what
Marty wouldn't do in days. My truck was completed and ready to be picked
up. I submitted my invoice for the used transfer case and towing and they
cut me a check.

I told Larry I fully intend to keep taking my truck to Victory Nissan
regardless of how Marty, the service manager, treated me. I expressed to
them that I was concerned about retaliation from Marty based on the way he
talked to me. I had no idea what he would do but I wanted my truck back in
my possession before he was asked about this situation. They were surprised
to hear this as apparently he had worked at several of their dealerships
with no complaints. Marty truly does need some customer service training.

In the end, Victory Nissan did the right thing and took care of me. Marty
made things much worse than they needed to be and dragged everything out for
a week, even after I told him everyone I talked to about this said I had a
clear-cut lawsuit against the dealership. He laughed at me when I said

I will be taking my truck back to them for service and requesting a copy of
the inspection sheet every time I am there. Everyone I know asked me why I pay the higher prices for the dealership service when I could go elsewhere.
This is why - I had a complete and irrefutable history with them that no one
could deny.

This post would have been completely different if it weren't for the
higher-ups at the company. I know all the guys in service, parts, repair
and they know me and I trust them. Marty, the service manager, alone was
the problem. Hopefully he learned from this situation.

3,659 Posts
Glad to see that worked out well for you due to your persistence. The threat of a lawsuit is a daily occurrence and usually an idle threat, so they will blow that off. Working the corporate ladder is usually the best approach. Don't worry about Marty, there is always somebody above him as you have seen. I'd bet he will treat you fine in the future, he has very good reason to!
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