Elizabeth Laird was knew something was wrong after she picked up her Ford Edge SUV from an oil change at Walmart.
“Immediately upon turning on my car and putting it in gear, I noticed a faint thumping noise,” she said in an interview with the Consumerist. “I drove 50 yards on my way to exit the store before I turned the vehicle around because the thumping noise was getting louder and at that point the oil indicator light had come on.”
One of the auto technicians checked her dipstick and was surprised to find the car bone dry. “There is no oil,” he said.
A second employee climbed under the car to check for a leak. There wasn’t one.
Confused and frustrated, Elizabeth asked the first technician if he was the one who had changed her oil. The man sheepishly told her he was and he realized what happened. “I put the oil into the transmission,” he told her.
“I was borderline hysterical,” Elizabeth remembered in an interview with CBS Sacramento’s Call Kurtis. Her engine was ruined and the Ford dealership said it would cost about $7,500 to replace. To make matters worse, Walmart refused to pay a dime for their mistake. They wouldn’t even pay for a rental car.
After two weeks of fighting, Elizabeth managed to get a rental car authorization from the retail chain. Three weeks later Walmart agreed to pay just $4,400 for a cheaper engine, which would void Elizabeth’s warranty.
Elizabeth reached out to an attorney for help. After being threatened with a lawsuit, Walmart finally offered Elizabeth a settlement which would cover all of her repairs.
“It was shameful,” Elizabeth said about how she was treated after Walmart ruined her engine.