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Thread: Scammed by a Used Car dealer

  1. #1
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Scammed by a Used Car dealer

    This isn't a tale of woe so much as a wake up call. Man's inhumanity to man in a very real sense.

    My friend (I won't call her my partner because people seem confused by that) bought a 2004 used Ford Truck (Ranger Edge).

    She was looking for a particular color and low mileage. Because of this she looked out of town.

    We found one about 55 min from here, went out, dealer said (First clue) 'Truck has had two inspections. Clean Carfax. We didn't quite get the info it was bought at auction.

    I noticed a 'thrub-thrub' sound and said 'something's wrong in the back rear wheel'. The dealer tried to fix on the spot. I noticed a headlight without a clip to the frame. He said 'oh we discovered it was one of the rear hubs - actually it was both of them (Second Clue) - we replaced them both.'

    I thought 'oh, nice, he didn't even raise the price' (Third Clue).

    Then I noticed the brakes grabbing. I thought - 'well I don't know how trucks drive, but this seems wrong'. My friend was being impulsive.

    We drove the truck home and I learned later that there were no brake pads. I mean the dealer didn't even look at the truck and make it driveable and highway safe. I didn't know they could/would do that. This is extremely blatant and it risked our safety.

    Then we went to a store and the truck would not start upon return. We learned it was the alternator and the battery. While we were there, we asked about the extreme static coming from the radio when turn signal was in the off position. Turned out to be severe water damage. Both of those got replaced.

    On the way home from a store a few days later, I noticed the horn would not work.

    Naively, I said 'well if the airbag is on the same circuit as the horn', it may not work either. We're driving around in a death trap.

    My little buddy (I call her the "Were Werewolverine"), who was a bit of a gov't employee but a trusting person emailed the dealer and to my utter surprise, got the dealer to take the car back and write us a check for all the repairs, including new seat covers, and some accessories, minus $300 for the use of the truck for a week.

    We just came back from the dealer, where the receptionist/business manager gave us a check and we have the title to be turned over when the check clears.

    These guys tried to get us killed, essentially. I wanted to confront the guy, but we decided to remain calm. The dealer announced they were going to tow the truck back to their location. We were going to have our insurance Co do it and add the charges. (I suspect the dealer had a minion do it - they don't speak English there - forget the nationality but family owned). The truck was at the local Ford dealer.

    I'll be amazed if the check clears, but my friend said they seem truly afraid and she offered to call the State Police on them for doing a fraudulent inspection.

    I think we should have charged them for our labor - fixing stuff, hanging out at the shop, struggling putting on seat covers and spending a lot of time getting them online, and getting fobs and a spare key. Charge at my going rate of $40/hour. But she didn't want to have a win-lose situation she said that gets more cooperation.

    We had to sign a 'no further action' paper, but it wasn't notarized. I have no idea if we have further legal recourse except for small-claims court.

    My REAL beef is we are allowing another unsuspecting person to get a truck with no horn, and maybe no air-bags (it was unreparable except for a several thousand dollar output). The truck looks much cleaner than when we got it - virtually no evidence of a front end crash since light is now perfect. Signals and radio work.

    Air bag may be defective - I insisted my buddy have that verified but it got stopped in its tracks when the extensive water damage was found by the last shop (the local dealer). Sat in the river in mid-America for a week, looks like. Was a salvage auction we didn't know. Price was 'too good to be true' at $8900 75K mileage.

    Moral - listen to your instincts and your boyfriend
    Don't buy low end. Look at middle and high and always buy middle. We should have spent twice that, and gotten a later model but she wanted red.
    So, don't buy on a 'color' or any emo reason.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

  2. #2
    Regular Member Tony4310's Avatar
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    Any honest dealer will have no issue with you taking a vehicle to a shop of your choosing and having it inspected top to bottom. Never take their word for it.

  3. #3
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Wow, that sucks! At least it appears you will be getting your money back. Are you planning on filing a complaint with anyone?
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    I'm glad to hear they took the vehicle back and gave you a check!

    If it doesn't clear, keep the title, call the police and file charges against them for grand theft auto and check fraud. The police may not follow through with GTA, but they should most certainly follow through with check fraud. Regardless, file suit against them in a civil court for the full value of the check. Be sure the suit is for the "check" and not the "vehicle," else the judge is likely to order them to give you the vehicle in lieu of the check.

    If the check does clear, please file a full report (your post will do nicely) with the BBB to help others steer clear of these shysters.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

  5. #5
    Regular Member okboomer's Avatar
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    Actually, in some states (especially ones with inspections) it is a major felony to sell a vehicle with 'safety flaws' ... you might want to check with your state to see who regulates used car sales and whether the flaws you noted are covered.

    True story: a used car dealer cut two cars in half front and back and welded them together. The car came apart during owners drive to work on a busy Cincinnati roadway during morning rush hour traffic. By the grace of God, she wasn't hurt, but could have been devastating. Ohio passed a law and beefed up the lemon laws in the next session.
    cheers - okboomer
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  6. #6
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. I will consider contacting the BBB or a site like Yelp to review their scam. Oddly they didn't bother to have a 'hold harmless' document they wanted signed notarized. This makes it essentially worthless as a binding agreement. We could also withhold the title since we still have it and make us sue them, or say we changed our mind on giving them any money - essentially making them buy the title from us. We're not like that, honest people - fortunately for them. I just don't want some other nice folks getting this lemon unsuspectingly.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

  7. #7
    Centurion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    Thanks for the input. I will consider contacting the BBB or a site like Yelp to review their scam. Oddly they didn't bother to have a 'hold harmless' document they wanted signed notarized. This makes it essentially worthless as a binding agreement. We could also withhold the title since we still have it and make us sue them, or say we changed our mind on giving them any money - essentially making them buy the title from us. We're not like that, honest people - fortunately for them. I just don't want some other nice folks getting this lemon unsuspectingly.
    Maybe they are concerned that the NOTARY might talk to others about the forms they are notarizing?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    ....Oddly they didn't bother to have a 'hold harmless' document they wanted signed notarized. This makes it essentially worthless as a binding agreement.....
    This is not true. It is still binding without a notary.

    Getting it notarized is just an extra layer of protection to prove it is you who signed it. This is to avoid a scenario where you later claim that it is not your signature and you never signed it. It would not be hard for them to prove it was you who signed when you consider the fact that you have gone on a public forum and stated, you did indeed sign the form.

    Small claims court is no longer an option for you.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

  9. #9
    McX
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    had one come in one time, fresh from a local 'reputable' auction; driver complained of wheel wobble, we pulled the hub cap and found 2 loose lug nuts, at the end of their thread holding the wheel on- that's all! Caveat Emptor!

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