Horrible Experience with MagnaFlow
Hey guys. I want to tell you about my recent experiences with Magnaflow Exhaust. This is not on my Mercedes, but on another one of my cars.
I am a loyal customer, and I have been buying Magnaflow products for years, as well as my family. Currently, my family has 2 trucks equipped with Magnaflow mufflers, both with compatible CARB legal Magnaflow catalytic converters.
My 4Runner specifically, has a full exhaust setup from header to tip, with 24" Magnaflow muffler and cat.
April 2010, I went to Amazon.com and bought my initial 24" muffler (Magnaflow 24" 12286 Stainless Steel 2.5" Oval Muffler) because I wanted to finish my 2.5" exhaust goal. It was cool, I had the whole catback installed with my new muffler for $150 plus muffler. This was great, until January 2011, less than one year later, when the inside of the muffler literally broke off inside of the casing, causing a "floating core." A gentleman at Magnaflow named Ron, in the technical department, described the failure to me. The 4Runner sounded like a riced out Honda, seeing that every time the pipe moved past the outlet of the muffler, it would let out a loud burp. I contacted Magnaflow and Amazon.com, after about 3 phone calls each, and got a new replacement.
We also have a 1992 Toyota Pickup, which has been running a Magnaflow 18" for 8 or so years with no problems. I figured that the one muffler I had on my 4Runner was just a fluke. I went ahead and paid the $75 to switch out the mufflers.
Inside the muffler, it was apparent that the material inside had burnt away, while the actual metal pipe separated from the inside casing. This was disappointing. Ron was correct is his diagnosis.
My new muffler sounded great for almost 3 whole months, before it became a rattling piece of junk, too. The muffler was fully supported with welded hangers, so it wasn't inadvertently shaking while driving. The muffler just began rattling. Idling at red lights became embarrassing. The muffler was loud, but in the wrong way. I didn't understand, how could a muffler company so well known produce such awful quality products? Something had to be up, I thought, but my 4Runner was in peak running condition with optimal Air/Fuel Ratio (the Catalytic Converter would have burnt up way before the muffler if it was running rich).
I then went to Magnaflow's corporate headquarters, located about 7 miles from my house in Rancho Santa Margarita. I spoke to a gentleman named Derek Acosta, who was helpful. He came outside and clearly saw the installed muffler and it's defective state, inspected the casing for damage and found it's mint condition. The muffler had clearly failed on it's own. I told Derek that I would like Magnaflow to cover the cost of install, or else I would quit wasting my time and find a quality, reliable muffler brand. I would not have asked normally, but this was the 3rd time, and I have been a loyal customer to Magnaflow. I also discussed with him that the 4Runner does not run rich, the catalytic converter (aside from the heat shield peeling off) is in perfect functioning order. On top of that, it is only a 2.7 liter engine, without any internal modification. The engine's heat should not be an issue. He asked me to provide all of my receipts and invoices for work, and I gladly made the trip home to do so. I went to their headquarters 5 times total.
Derek, who is the leader of Technical support, said that I should go ahead and order yet another Magnaflow 24" muffler, install it, and then come back to him with the invoice to take care of my claim. He also claimed to know the shop who did the install, Collin's Muffler and Hitch in Mission Viejo, rather well, so there was no installation error. The muffler shop is a good quality installer.
I did exactly as he said, I RMA'd my old muffler with Amazon, yet again, and get my new 24" muffler, shipped overnight.
So far, I have spent the initial $89 for the muffler, $150 to install with new piping (which got hacked up in the "reinstall" efforts), and $75 to remove and replace the first one with the second. I go back to Collin's Muffler, and pay another $75 to install the third muffler. That's a total of $389 on a muffler that should have cost no more than $239 installed with 2.5" piping all the way back.
I make my way back to Magnaflow's headquarters again, wait in the waiting room, and Derek comes out. He has copied every one of my receipts and given them to the Vice President of sales, Larry Norris. Mr. Norris literally denied the claim instantly, regardless of my loyalty to the company and my lost money. He simply did not care about the well being of his customer. With over $1,000 invested into Magnaflow exhaust systems between 2 trucks alone, they should cover the measly $75 to change their constantly failing muffler.
Now, after the fact, Mr. Larry Norris has denied my claims for reimbursement and will not offer anything for their poor quality. I am stuck with the extra $150 in expenses, due to this.
I will no longer purchase ANY Magnaflow items, because, obviously, my loyalty means nothing to them. My invested money, persistence in communication, go unnoticed. Derek Acosta was helpful, though it is truly Larry Norris who is the antagonist in my story.
So, the next time you think about buying a Magnaflow muffler, this is for you. I have a 1999 Toyota 4Runner, mine specifically does not get offroaded hardcore or anything. This was failure from STREET USE ONLY. Don't waste your time. Sure, they must not be all bad, but the 3 that I've gotten sure have. Useless pieces of crap mufflers with horrible customer care. Their quality of production must have changed, because their mufflers are not what they used to be.
I, myself, work for the largest Mercedes-Benz dealership in the United States. At an average, we have over 1,000 cars in inventory, 74 service bays, and the largest body shop in the United States to go along with it. If a customer came in with a problem that was clearly caused by shotty workmanship and/or quality, it would be fixed for free, with a complimentary 2011 Mercedes-Benz C300 rental, and free detail at the very least. Magnaflow is a large, multimillion dollar corporation and won't refund me, a paycheck to paycheck college student, for an installation fee.
PLEASE, DO NOT BUY THESE MUFFLERS. KEEP YOUR MONEY OR INVEST IT TOWARDS ANOTHER SYSTEM (this coming from a die-hard Magnaflow fan who hates Flowmaster and Borla, etc) THEY CLEARLY DO NOT CARE FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS AND DO NOT WISH TO SELL THEIR PRODUCTS.
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