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Car Dealership Issues

Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
We recently (first of Dec) bought a certified used car from a local dealership and within 3 days were having electrical issues with one of the air bag lights returning an error message and lighting up. Over the past 2 months we've had the car a total of maybe 30 days, with no more than 4 days consecutively as repeated dashboard light malfunctions, bad spark plugs, some other sensor in the engine, and sensors in the passenger seat going wacky.

The dealership has offered to let us try to find something instead of this car, but seem to be low balling us at this point to avoid themselves taking a hit. We've told them our bank prefers approving vehicles with x mileage, x year due to our credit scores - and they first offered us an older car with high mileage and frankly I got snappy with them over this. They have a 4 day return policy - but obviously we're well beyond that, but since we started with the issues 3 days in, I'm wondering if I retain some of those rights.

I've looked into Maine's lemon laws and they don't really apply to used cars in our situation - but we're getting really annoyed with them, really frustrated with what they feel is an equivalent vehicle. Has anyone been in a similar situation with advice on dealing with the dealer to make sure my wife gets into a reliable vehicle in the end? Should I be finding a lawyer at this point?

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Posts

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Don't be afraid to write the manufacturer on this too, as they should have an interest in the certified used cars being quality.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Call corporate. See what they can do for you.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback - I'm going to the dealership in 20 minutes to talk to the manager in person. Depending on how it goes I'll call their corporate and see what they can do for us. They've taken care of us during this mess with loaners and multiple attempts to fix the car we bought - but we're at the point where even if they claim the car is fixed I can't convince the wife to get back in the vehicle. I was trying to avoid stuff like Better Business Bureau/Consumist/etc and having to find some form of lawyer-y group so corporate sounds like a good next step.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback - I'm going to the dealership in 20 minutes to talk to the manager in person. Depending on how it goes I'll call their corporate and see what they can do for us. They've taken care of us during this mess with loaners and multiple attempts to fix the car we bought - but we're at the point where even if they claim the car is fixed I can't convince the wife to get back in the vehicle. I was trying to avoid stuff like Better Business Bureau/Consumist/etc and having to find some form of lawyer-y group so corporate sounds like a good next step.

    As much as the BBB and Consumerist will make you feel better by letting you vent, there's really no recourse there. The BBB holds very little sway any more, if any.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Yeah, feel free as it won't hurt, but the BBB is pretty much useless and paid for by its members. Best bet is corporate or regional.

    Different industry, but a former company of mine managed to get an A+ rating, and a VP on their board. This is a company that routinely had reports of contractors threatening customers in their house.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    So I think that I may have come to a reasonable situation with them. We paid 10k for our car after all the tax/title/doc/etc. They are taking our car back at 9k tradein and we have found a few acceptable options that we're test driving tonight. Now - my only real bone of contention is that all the quotes we have from them on the cars we are going to test drive include tax/title and a separate admin fee of $399. We're already eating the part of the prior loan that was this $400 fee and now within 2 months they want to hit us with it again.

    Am I out of line pushing that we either way the car discounted an extra 400 or for that fee to disappear altogether? They also have a $375 stolen vehicle fee we didn't have before (because it's a Toyota dealership and the ones we're looking at now are Toyotas) - they claim that's required but again it's a fee that seems to be something they could waive doesn't it?

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  • illigillig Registered User regular
    Absolutely push for it. And honestly, I wouldn't take a financial hit at all. It was a certified car, which actually means something to the manufacturer.

    Call corporate before you go back to the dealer!

  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    I'll give corporate a call today at lunch - we're not really taking a huge hit in the end. Really what's happening is they are discounting the new car and trading in our old car for enough to make our prior loan appear to go away. The end result is essentially that we will have a loan for the sticker price of the new car which includes all those fees... Their asking price on the new one is 12900ish, we'd have a loan for that amount which includes the tax/title/etc. I wish I had the worksheet here to put exact figures in.

    Obviously, in a normal situation we'd be able to negotiate that price down a bit to 11500 or something so I do feel a bit like we're overpaying for the new vehicle just based on our inability to really negotiate on even ground due to our prior loan on the first car. However, I do feel like dropping it down to 12k even by getting rid of their fees should be doable by them.

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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Why would you agree to take a minimum $1,000 loss on a faulty vehicle? Plus, of course, all the fees and taxes that you're going to have to pay on top of that when you purchase the new vehicle from them? What's the point of buying a certified used car if you're going to take an enormous loss on repairs right out of the gate?

    I'd take the suggestions of others and involve corporate. What they're offering is ridiculous.

    Personally, I wouldn't trust them enough to buy a second vehicle from them.

    adytum on
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  • Liquid HellzLiquid Hellz Registered User regular
    Figgy wrote: »
    As much as the BBB and Consumerist will make you feel better by letting you vent, there's really no recourse there. The BBB holds very little sway any more, if any.

    Not true, my wife got sold a crappy extended mileage warranty from the dealership where she bought her car. It was supposed to include simple maintenance for an extra 50k miles or something. Well they sent her a coupon booklet with 7 free oil changes and 10%-20% off other maintenance type stuff. That wasn't what was sold to us by the salesman. She began calling the manager and after about 3 months of the runaround with no refund she went to the BBB. They had it settled within a month.

    What I do for a living:
    Home Inspection and Wind Mitigation
    http://www.FairWindInspections.com/
  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    Corporate wouldn't do much because it was a dealer certified car, not a Toyota through their certified program. They took the complaint but in the end it goes back to the local dealership. After looking at the numbers again, I'm not completely satisfied as I've realized now that the prices they put on two of the cars on my paperwork are their "retail price" and are generally $1500 - $2000 higher than their advertised online price for the vehicles.

    Ultimately if they would give me my $10k back to take somewhere else I would, but I believe without lawyering up that will likely not happen so I'm trying to work with what they have.

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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Just remember that they already have your money, and they're not working in your best interest. It's in their financial interest to bleed every dollar they can out of you. Anything less than full restitution means you're taking a loss.

    Really, the whole point of buying a "certified used" car from a dealership- and paying a premium for it- is so that this kind of situation does not happen. You are well within your rights to expect them to make the situation right. It's up to you how much of a stink you're willing to raise (threatening to contact TV stations and newspapers worked for me in a similar situation with an auto-shop that damaged my car through negligence) and/or how much of a loss you're willing to take to make the situation go away.

    adytum on
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  • darqnessdarqness Registered User regular
    Ultimately if they would give me my $10k back to take somewhere else I would, but I believe without lawyering up that will likely not happen so I'm trying to work with what they have.

    This would also be hard if you signed a mandatory arbitration clause. Usually dealers have it in the buyer's order paperwork.

  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    Not an ideal solution, but will they give you the $9k in cash? Then at least you could walk away from this dealer entirely.

  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    I think we're all set now - went in tonight and test drove a few things. Ended up with a better car, better mileage, better year and we will have a loan at 1k less than the car's initial asking price after making them get rid of the fees. Technically one of the fees is there but they lowed the price of the car to make up for it. Thanks all for the feedback and help!

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    What state are you in? Is your car covered under an explicit warranty?

    If your car is still under warranty you can go after them under Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and if it is under the manufacturers warranty you can have the manufacturer fix it or lemon law it. Your state's individual lemon law may cover used cars anyways.

    Bersheli: I approve of that method

    zepherin on
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Bersheli wrote: »


    It really isn't as easy as that, and when people brag "I got it for x below invoice," your response should be, "You'd be a complete moron not to get it below invoice."

    Most dealers won't give you a price over the phone, and if they do, they'll give you the MSRP minus a couple hundred. They're largely afraid you're going to just keep shopping around until you find the lowest price, and they'll never hear from you again. And they're right. They probably won't. It's not a bad idea to do some telephone shopping beforehand to feel out a dealership (ignore the ones that are dickholes to you on the phone when you ask for a price, for example), but don't think it's as easy as just calling up a number of dealerships and having one quote you $5000 off the sticker. It doesn't work like that, and a salesmen has absolutely no incentive to do that.

    Also, people like to wave around their savings after buying a car like that number is all thanks to their superior intelligence and hard willed tactics. Chances are, 80% of that discount is what anyone would have gotten, based on bonuses, cash back, etc. In fact, the guy in that video is buying "cash," so he's likely getting $3000 or so off the car anyway because he's doing that. He sees that $3000 savings as part of his super-duper shopping strategy, and the salesman is laughing because he just sold a car in 5 minutes for what the guy would have gotten anyway.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Personally, I wouldn't trust any price agreed to on the phone. Dealerships (new or used) will say anything to get you on the lot and start wasting time with them. The price is good, but the vehicle agreed upon suddenly doesn't exist anymore, or there are $2K in fees or whatnot that are "mandatory" that must apply to the order.

    As to LiLo's problem, well he's fucked, from a practical sense. In this case raising hell and being a gigantic pain in their asses is probably the only way to get satisfaction. It sucks being a dick, but it can work, and they often trade on your not having the resolve to follow through.

  • Lindsey LohanLindsey Lohan Registered User regular
    I think I got out of it very well last night actually - I avoided being a pain too much, my wife admittedly got emotional over the past 2 months as it was her being inconvenienced and struggling just to get the car to work when it broke down. She was more upset and crying then mad/screaming though.

    The only time I got heated was when they offered me an older car with significantly worse book value and mileage - I told the manager I expected to never be offered something as bad as that again and that I thought it was a bit insulting. His defense was that it would have been a lower monthly payment, but I told him that if I wouldn't have bought it in December, I don't want it now. In the end we managed to only increase our loan by about $1.5k and the car we're getting is worth at least $2k more than what we originally bought and has a MUCH better warranty so we are happy.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    Personally, I wouldn't trust any price agreed to on the phone. Dealerships (new or used) will say anything to get you on the lot and start wasting time with them. The price is good, but the vehicle agreed upon suddenly doesn't exist anymore, or there are $2K in fees or whatnot that are "mandatory" that must apply to the order.

    As to LiLo's problem, well he's fucked, from a practical sense. In this case raising hell and being a gigantic pain in their asses is probably the only way to get satisfaction. It sucks being a dick, but it can work, and they often trade on your not having the resolve to follow through.
    It works if you know in advance what the car cost the dealer. With new cars you can get that information online, me paying 6k under invoice as you said is irrelevant. What is relevant is that I paid the cost to the dealership. The dealership got the hold back on the car as profit and a $50 bogus fee I didn't feel like haggling, so the dealership made a about $540 on a new car. Knowing the dealership cost in advance made it really easy to price shop.

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