Horrible Experience with MagnaFlow - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 12:30 PM
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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.

1987 560SEL, Anthracite Gray on Palomino: Bought in 89, regretfully sold in 2008.
05 C230K Sport - 744/040, Kenwood DNX-7100, 30% Tint, projector fogs, clear markers, Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus, hardly driven
1999 Toyota 4Runner 2.7 Supercharged, was 2WD Auto, converted to 5-speed 4x4: James' 4Runner Timeline
1989 Ford Probe GT Turbo, Beater DD
1987 Toyota 4Runner Turbo SR5 4x4
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 03:40 PM
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and what brand do you use now ??? im very intersted .
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 12:07 PM
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Customer service is often a simulated concept these days.

S.


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#4 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James560SEL View Post
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.
I've been in technical sales for over 22 years as a Sales Support Engineer and as Account Representative. I've worked for the good, the bad, and the ugly Sales Manager and taken more than my fare share of Sales courses. Sales 101 says, "It's easier to keep a good customer than to find a new one". It's obvious that Larry hasn't had a Sales 101 course for a long time. It makes you wonder how a moron like this can hold a Global VP role for 14 years. Please see Larry Norris | LinkedIn It's only my guess that he also comes from the School of Intimidation and treats his Sales Team like crap. Especially in a market where not many people are rushing out to spend a $1000.00 on after market exhaust systems.
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-06-2011, 04:57 AM
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I was seriously considering a Magnaflow set-up for my Benz, until I read this.
Simply NOT ACCEPTABLE.
I don't care about Magnaflow at this point.
All it takes is ONE story like this for me, and I'm done.
Thanks for writing James. You saved me a potential headache.
Let us know how you make out with your replacement system...I'm looking for a new one!
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 04:49 PM
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Good information, I have a Magaflow muffler on my Ford Explorer 4.6L V8. I am reluctant to give them any future business.

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#7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2012, 11:14 AM
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I see the problem in the way the OP got his muffler. He bought it from one place, have another place install it. Was it worth it to buy on amazon to dodge paying California sales tax then shopped around for a local installer just to run to Magnaflow headquarter later to voice his complaint?
If I ever need a new muffler for my car, I go to a local muffler shop. When something goes wrong, that shop will take car of the problem. I would give Magnaflow a chance if the local shop sells me that brand.
Dear California residents, the state needs your tax. We live here, we pay here.
And by the way, I'm not affiliated with Magnaflow or any local muffler shop.

Last edited by mbvis; 02-02-2012 at 11:17 AM.
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 07:14 PM
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Yes, I will typically not buy certain items via on-line sources, if I know followup service is expected (custom wheels and tires are prime example where I require expert installation/balancing/alignment services).

But Magnaflow sold it's products intentionally and directly in volume to these online retailers for signifcant incremental revenue.

And I don't think dodging sales tax makes a buying decision for a muffler (CA tax averages 9% sales tax rate), especially when shipping costs will usually exceed sales tax for a heavy muffler.

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Last edited by MB-SV; 03-06-2012 at 07:26 PM.
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#9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2012, 01:22 PM
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True $75 is cheap money to keep a customer and maybe an exception could have been made. But when you buy a product for your car, only the product is warrantable, not any subsequent expenses; ie. installation, gas, hotel, rental car, lost wages, or other expenses, etc. They are not a part of the warranty.
Just a side note...Fletcher Jones MB has a very low CSI rating among MB Dealerships.

Last edited by gsjohnson; 04-26-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-18-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsjohnson View Post
True $75 is cheap money to keep a customer and maybe an exception could have been made. But when you buy a product for your car, only the product is warrantable, not any subsequent expenses; ie. installation, gas, hotel, rental car, lost wages, or other expenses, etc. They are not a part of the warranty.
Just a side note...Fletcher Jones MB has a very low CSI rating among MB Dealerships.
Regarding side note, yes my Lexus dealer a block down the street from that MB dealer provides better service than any MB dealership in this area.

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