Why Kingpin ain't all that........
Here is the letter I sent Kingpin about their services. The bold is
their response. The underlined is my opinion on Kingpins response.
Hi Mike, Well now that I have had time to go over my car and
compare what you've charged me for vs. what I'm actually happy with,
I'll break it down below from your invoice along with an explanation
as to why I feel the charge was wrong.
1) Shop Labor-Interior Clean/Glass Removal-$85 I found some glass
under the front seats and when I removed the rear seat to install
the cage there was enough glass on the floor to fill half of a baby
food jar. There are several of Daves greasy hand marks all over the
interior, on the pillars on the headliner etc....
We charged you for one hour of cleaning. This full interior was
stripped from this car carpet was removed and all glass that was
visable was cleaned. This took 3-4 hours. We charged you for 1. Do not
see that as unfair to you.
IMO: It doesn’t matter if it took 5 minutes or 5 hours, bottom line is the car had lots of “visible” broken glass under the rear seat. I know the rear seat was out of the car so why wasn’t all the very obviously visible broken glass removed? Why should I have to pay for this service that did not happen?
2)STi Door Cards-shop labor-$170 The front doors are not even attached all the way across the bottom. If you press in the bottom to engage the clips they just pop back out. There is a good 1/2 inch gap.
If there is a problem with the door cards we will be happy to address it for you. All cards were correctly secured when the vehicle left. You do have a large aftermarket unit in the driver side door that was installed before the car came to us. We did not remove. This will keep that one door card from securing completely at the bottom. Inovice should read 1.5 hours for install will credit for .5 hours.
IMO: The car does have a window unit installed from the cars alarm unit.(Which, BTW, Kingpin was supposed to remove and didn’t.) But it had the extender clips that they make and the door cards were attached and not flapping around before the theft. Remember, Kingpin was doing an auto vandalism repair.
4)Shop Labor-Install AC Control/Reconnect Unit-$510
The AC does not work, nor does the rear window defogger, nor does the
lighting for the climate controls.
The cost of the AC/Hheater controls was already discounted. I can not
change the price for the unit. You did not have one in the car and we
had to install one. We did not charge the AC before you left. We can
credit you for that. Charge is $35. The wiring and hard lines to this
unit were destryed and had to be replaced and re run. The time
reflected on this is the time that was spent installing it. If there
is a problem with the wiring we will be happy to fix that at no charge
or we can refund you a partial amount, $170.
Imo: Bottom line, the A/C worked before the vandalism and Kingpin was paid to repair it. I did pay a separate charge of $200 for the A/C Heater Controls unit itself. I am disputing the $510 “AC Control/Reconnect Unit“ installation charge. The unit does not work. It is not that the AC needs charging for $35, it does not work (electrically) so if I paid to have it “reconnected” then maybe it should actually work!!!!
5)Shop Labor-Gauge Rewiring-$340
Gauge lighting works on the 2 steering column gages but gages don't function. Vent mounted gage does not function at all.
Wiring for gauges was destroyed. The wiring had to be completely rerun
for both the power and for the sensors. We are willing to have a look
at them and if the wiring is not correct we can fix it at not charge
to you or we can refund a partial amount, $170.
IMO: The wiring is obviously wrong because it does not work. Again, Kingpin was hired to repair this , it was part of the vandalism claim.
6) Greddy Gage Controllers-$130 Why did you replace these and if you
did replace them see #5
1 Greddy Gauge Controller was missing. We replaced it. This was the
cost for that unit.
IMO: You charged me for 2 control units. Neither one works. One was “jerry rigged” with a sad attempt of soldering and 5 ft of electrical tape wrapped around the unit to hold the wire clip from falling out of its socket.
7)Shop Labor Center Console/ Head Unit
install-$85/$340 After about 3 days of driving the dash rattles in the center console area bad + The head unit cannot open due to the fact that it hits the dash while trying to open then automatically closes again.
We can check for the rattle at no cost. Or refund a partial amount
$85. The head unit install incuded all the of the wiring and fitting.
The head unit opened and closed fine when the vehicle left the shop.
There were several people standing there when the car was started and
stereo was tested including you. It opend and closed fine. We can
check to see if there is a problem with the unit that has occured
since then. Will not bill to check it but will not refund any money as
it worked when the vehicle left.
IMO:Like I said, “after 3 days” it didn’t open. Does Kingpins “warranty” expire as soon as you pull out of their garage?
8)Shop Labor: Headlight-$170
Low beam never did work. Ballast was not even plugged into light
housing. Probably due to wrong connector type. So somebody took it
upon themselves to use about 25ft of electrical tape to just wrap
the **** out of the ballast wiring along with 10ft of needless
wiring going nowhere. I found the correct wiring diagram on the web
in about 5 minutes and fixed it myself in 15 minutes, $170?
The labor that was charged was for phsyically installing the light. We
did not do any wiring for this unit. It was prewired before the car
arrived here by the previous shop. we will refund .5 hours on the
IMO: Come one guys. Have you ever R& R’ed your headlight. 5 minutes max. $170 is what Kingpin wants to do this for. Wow. The car was “prewired” for the headlight that was damaged. But Kingpin installed a headlight that was not compatible with the prewired condition so instead of taking 10 minutes to do a seach for the correct wiring they jusy decided to give me the car back with the headlight physically mounted on the car but IT IS NOT WIRED, SO IT DOES NOT WORK!!! I’d be willing to pay $5 for what little work they did on the headlight. Not to mention I paid $400 for the fricken headlight!
9)OEM Steering column trim-$45 It is cracked near the
We replaced the lower trim with a brand new piece. The upper trim was
not replaced as it was what your gauges were mounted to. If this lower
peice is cracked we will replace at no cost or refund the cost, $45.
IMO: Again, part of the insurance claim. Work Kingpin was hired to repair.
10)Shop Labor-Steering Column Trim-$21.25 The screw that holds the
bottom steering column plastic housing is missing. It is missing
because the threaded clip it screws into is missing.
The treaded clip that this screw threads into was broken when the car
came in. We did not replace nor did we charge you for this. Labor
charged was to fit the peice that we replaced. 15 min was charged.
Will not refund this amount.
IMO: Again, part of the insurance claim. Work Kingpin was hired to repair.
11)Shop Labor-Center Vent Assy.-$127.50 Shop Labor for JDM center vent
This actually took 3-4 hours to properly fit. It is a custom job. We
charged only 1.5 hours. We cannot credit you for anything there.
IMO: See “stereo head unit won’t open” gripe.
So this totals $2223.75 worth of Kingpin Performances services that
basically I paid for and with valid reasons stated above, I am not
happy with. I know we had a long haul with this car but the bottom
line Mike, is that you were paid nearly $10000 in late August/early
Sept 2004. The balance in October. On top of that you still had the
car til the 1st week of Jan. 2005. Then, as is now becoming evident
you guys just rushed the car back together after my sad but true
phone message. Not to mention the fact that I sold my beefed up 5
speed with less that 2000 miles on it thinking I was getting the 6
speed I saw sitting in front of my car. Then you sold me a used
stock 5 speed with who knows how many miles on it for $950 and
charged $680 to install it (another $1630). All that was wrong with
my 5 speed was the clutch master cylinder. The whole deal just sucks
Mike. You have a show car and you should know that when you are
working on a show car maybe a little more care should be taken. I
really have no gripe about your tuning capabilities but to be honest
the rest of your operation is chaotic at best. I guess my next
question is, what does Kingpin intend to do about this. I am real
leary about bringing my car back to your shop but I also feel like
we should settle this matter somehow. Your timely response would
be greatly appreciated.
Beefed up 5 speed? This transmission was not funtional. The case was
cracked, the pin and throwout bearing were damaged, the slave cylinder
was bad, not to mention as we found out later 2nd gear did not work.
The 5 speed that we installed in your car had 6k miles on it. It is in
perfect condition. The amount you payed did not cover the additional a
$5,000 plus that it would have cost to install the 6 speed. We had no
intention of having you pick up the car while still owing us on your
bill and after the phone message you left we were left with the
impression that you wanted the car back immediately and had no
intetion of paying any more money. You paid a total of $14,325. This
is already $689.00 that was unpaid on this ticket. We did that a s a
favor to you. The total amount that we would be willing to refund is
$505. This is less than the unpaid portion on the ticket. I do not see
that we can refund you any aditional amount. If you would like to have
the problems address we would be happy to do that for you at no charge
even tho you are already beyound your balance. We would do this as a
compensation for the length of time this project took. If you would
like a 6 speed installed we would be happy to do that for you.
Obviously we cannot do that for free. Thank you for your time. All the
PS-I do have a show car and I do take the same care with
every car that I take with mine. I also have 100k+ in my car with
parts an labor included. We can certainly bring your car up to the
level of mine but we cannot do it for 15k, much less for free. Thanks.
IMO:The original 5 sp had a brand new gearset installed less than 2000 miles ago. I called the previous owner and he can confirm this as he had the work dome himself.The transmission had a small broked (cracked) part in the case where the access hole to the clutch master cylinder is. I could have had that welded for free and it would have been fine beings I have a full blown aerospace machine shop at my immediate disposal. And it is literally 4 blocks from Kingpin. The only other problem with the transmission was the Clutch Master Cylinder, tranny fork and tranny pin needed to be replaced. Which I did pay $285 for. Besides that Kingpin used the “we are still waiting on your 6sp we ordered from Japan” as an excuse to put me off for weel over 10 weeks. They finally received the 6 sp, called me and told me it was in. Said it would be about “2 more weeks” and I would have the car back. Then another 6 weeks paased before I finally could not take it anymore and called and left a message that I was picking up the car in 1 more week, regardless of weather it was finished. **** Boyd Coddington can build a compelte car from scratch in less than 5 months. Then read Mikes little sarcastic P.S note. ***??
Oh and did I mention that Kingpin needed 100% of the money, all $14, 200 and some, up front before they even touched the car. 1st garage in my 28 years of dealing with repair shops that I have ever had to prepay for services. Bottom line is Mike takes everyones money, puts his car in the shop, sinks your money into his car and then waits, at the customer inconvenience, for a great “junk yard” JDM salvaged car to come along. Strips it down just like any chop shop can do, then installs used crap from totaled cars onto your nice new ride. Real nice, ********. But on a lighter note Mike and Clark seem to be good tuners, I’ll give them credit for that. But don’t put it beyond Kingpin to slightly detune your car (as others have told me the've done to their cars) if they were not the ones who installed their plagiarized version of a Garret turbo. What you have just read are facts. I am in the process of preparing a lawsuit against Kingpin. In the words of the reputable shop that now has my car and is fixing it right “ we are appalled at the workmanship that Kingpin has done to your car, how much did you say they charged you to make this mess again?” I guess a judge will have to decide who's right but felt I had to share this story with the community. Just remeber, just because a company has a nice website, does not mean they have a nice shop. Just the fact that Mike is scowering the community for help (see "Kingpins hiring" threads) kind proves my point. They are in dire ways IMO. ..and Mike, sorry about this but you guys F'ed me bad and even though you do offer to take a look at your shortcomings, I just cannot bring my car back to you, it's beyond that now :furious: