Land Rover LR4, Lemon Nightmare

LR4 Land Rover
I have a car problem. Always have. I’ve avoided British cars since I grew up with them as a kid and they never seemed to run properly. I was recently convinced to trade the  dependable Dodge pick up for an SUV. After a long search a 2011 LR4 HSE was the pick. It was back in the shop the first week: Leaky rear washer that sprayed inside the car rather than out and random electrical gremlins. Then I caught a rock on I89 and needed a new windshield. $1400 installed was the only option. Ouch.
I’m a car Nazi. I enjoy a clean, well functioning, cocoon of steel, to listen to my Sirius Radio as I crank to work. I won’t bore your with all the details but the Land Rover LR4 was at the dealer almost as much as it was in my garage. The seat moved randomly, the window leaked onto passengers, the stereo had a mind of its own, low pressure tire alerts came and went randomly, the satellite radio got worse with each up date. It was a nightmare of repeated visits to the dealer with few successful repairs. Luckily I have a great dealer in Automaster of Shelburne, VT and I got cozy with my loaner car.
The LR4 is a very functional car when it runs. When it is in the shop it is a very expensive repair. I pulled the plug last week and traded to a BMW X5. I credit the team at the Automaster for making this as painless as possible. They have won a customer for life by turning my LR4 lemon into lemonade. I won’t buy a Land Rover ever again and I would recommend you don’t as well. The clincher for me was when the Automaster told me that they could try to get the Land Rover representative up from NJ but that they had not seen anyone from Land Rover is several years! Problems happen how you deal with them will make or break your business.

Disapointed in the Automaster BMW of Shelburne VT

Update: Pls. read my Land Rover post on the Automaster. Where the team took great care of me and made a customer for life. We all have our bad service days as you can see below but overall I can say I’m now happy Automaster customer.


I’m a car guy. I love them. Driving makes me happy. I recently made the long standing(having had 6 Audi’s in my past) move from Audi to BMW. Mostly because after 5 years of horrible service at Lewis Motors I needed a change. People had warned me that Automaster was no better but I had a great experience with both of my sales people in buying the Z4 and the 3 series wagon this year. They made it easy thought their pricing was not as competitive as two Boston dealers it was close and I thought I’d get better service buying from Automaster.

Today I called to schedule the BMW XI wagon in for this mysterious cable that has been hanging out of the seat since I bought it and the trunk that fails to latch. Plus I still had my snows on as I’ve been driving the convertible most days now since it is nice. So, I go to the site click on BMW and get taken to a page with a tiny little hidden button to dial the same number that has been on every page. Got it, Dial. Get the operator. Ask for BMW service. Get put on hold. No worries I have work to do. Operator picks up again and transfers me to a youngish sounding man who with great exasperation in his voice tells me they can’t get me in till July 7th. I say thanks but I’ll take my car some where else to be worked on.

I should have listened to the advice and know that a local monopoly like the automaster was not interested in reasonable service levels. I understand that mechanics go on vacation and work can build up but all I was looking for was for him to ask a few questions. As in how can I help you? or What can we do for you today Mr. Newcomb? Or drop it off and if a spot free’s up will get you in. For the price I paid for the two cars I expect some basic attempts at customer service. Not the tone and response of your screwed and I’m busy so lets get this over with as fast as possible as I have better things to do than talk with a new customer.