Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

About 1 month ago, I installed a rebuilt Auto Zone alternator to replace my existing 1999 Camry unit. The alternator installed easily enough and worked for 1 month when it stopped charging. The battery connector on the top of the alternator was 'fried' and the internal wiring was discolored. Unfortunately, the battery was not being charged and the car broke down in a rainstorm - it had to be towed to a garage where the mechanic told me that it was a total alternator failure.

So, I returned the defective unit and was given a replacement which the District Manager tested in my presence. So, I took it home and installed it only to find that the 4 pin wiring plug would not fit into the housing because whoever had re-manufactured (and certified) the unit had improperly installed the rear cover. So, I had to remove this unit, return it to the store and am currently waiting for another replacement.

Now, here's the deal. Auto Zone sells these products, certifies them as working and will replace them if they are proven to be defective. However, they will not compensate the buyers for any labor UNLESS this is approved by the company who re-manufactures these parts. In short, a buyer has to ask the store to submit a claims request to the firm re-manufacturing these parts, and any labor rebates will be issued at the sole discretion of the re-manufacturer. What? This is like sending the lettuce home with the rabbit, isn't it?

I just got off the phone with one of Auto Zone's Regional Managers who (shakily) reaffirmed this Auto Zone policy. When I told him that I would ask the store folks to submit a claim for me and - if this was unsuccessful - then take the matter to the local small claims court - he abruptly clammed up on me, saying that he had to refer the matter to his legal department. I asked him to have one of their lawyers call me.

Since Auto Zone markets these products, warrants these products and will replace them should they prove defective, I think it's only reasonable that Auto Zone compensate the buyer for installation labor where a negligent, re-manufacturing defect is clearly proven.

Reputable companies stand behind their product. The problem with Auto Zone is that they stand way too far behind.

Reason of review: Damaged or defective.

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