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View Full Version : Ca Dealership wanting Fiat back due to vehicle trade in differences.



FiatFun
06-21-2013, 08:04 PM
Basically the salesman asked if our trade in had been in a major accident. I said no. The trade in had been previously rear ended and repaired at a facility that also took the car to Manufacturer's service dept to have them double check everything. No frame damage, air bag deployment or anything I consider major.

The sales manager inspected and drove the car. The dealership has paid off the loan on the trade in, and sold our Fiat loan to a bank. It's been over 3 weeks since the sale.

I received a call from their legal person, stating that we could either pay the difference on the trade in, as it sells at an auction, or return the Fiat and pay a per mileage fee and restocking fee. I asked about my down payment, and further into the conversation the dealership said they would return my trade in and return my down payment and I could just return the Fiat.

I said I'd call them back and plan to speak to a consumer law attorney. Any advice would be helpful?

I've done a pretty thorough search, with most forum responses being the dealer is SOL. The dealer did say that I signed a trade in appraisal and stated that it had never been in an accident. Those papers are usually on the backside of the 4 square negotiation page. I don't recall this and did not receive this in my paperwork from the F & I manager. Supposedly he is going to email me a copy of this. Do they even keep these?

Andree
06-21-2013, 08:52 PM
When I took in my trade-in, I went over the car with the Fiat Specialist, showing him one nick the size of a ball point pen tip from me bashing a shopping cart into the bumper. And a dent, that did not leave any scratch, scrape, or abrasion on the vehicle's paint, but it was still a dent. The dent, I do not know it's origin. As I only go to a few places, it was easy enough to check for shopping cart height. Looked knee-cap size. Never did figure out that mystery.

This is something called "telling the truth". No semantics involved. No redefining "major accident" into "I didn't think it was major". If it was in an accident and had repairs, you simply tell the truth and deal with the consequences. If they later do a VIN check and it shows an accident (or whatever it is that they do), they'll see that you did tell the truth, if you do tell the truth.

I can't tell if anyone else is telling the truth, I expect them to do so, though, as I do.

Now, if you want to keep the car you have, you have those choices already mentioned by the dealer. If, in fact, you misrepresented the trade-in car, and it does show an accident in the history, that will affect the dealerships ability to get top dollar for what they thought was a car without accidents.

My trade-in was great, in my opinion. Just that nick. And that dent. 4 years old with only 6,600 miles on it. Except I smoke. And I wasn't even thinking about that when going to trade it in. I don't have much of a sense of smell (allergies), so I rarely smell anything. But it's definitely an odor that will be detected by anyone with a good sense of smell. And it may be difficult to remove from the vehicle. Since I can't smell it, I can't tell how bad it might have been. It's not that I chain-smoked in the car and littered the floor with spent butts. But I did smoke in the car.

So, it was a great trade-in, unless you have a nose that works. The amount for the trade-in was greatly diminished due to that fact. And I had to deal with the truth. It wasn't a big deal to me to smoke, but it would be for someone who wants to buy the car and doesn't smoke. I took the hit like a man, er, but I'm a woman, and later I cried. I was so counting on a much larger amount for the trade.

Pay up the difference of the trade valuation. Or consider your Fiat ownership a prolonged rental, and pay for that, and get your previous vehicle back. Then sell your vehicle fully disclosing the vehicle had been in an accident, and go back and buy your Fiat again. The dealership might even be able to sort of "hold" the car for you while you work towards selling the vehicle on your own (you can often get a bit more by selling yourself than trading in the vehicle). Like a layaway plan, LOL. As they already have your down, have them rework the numbers if they can, for Fiat financing, and no trade.

FiatFun
06-21-2013, 09:15 PM
Hi Andree,

Thanks for responding. I'm more concerned with the legal aspects, than the ethical. The person from the dealership was already lying
to me over the phone stating that the front had been in an accident and parts replaced. Later in the conversation it comes up that this
was based on the fact that when I bought the car, I removed the stock wheels for upgrades and put them back on when I traded it in.

They had plenty of time to look over the car, look in the spare tire area, etc. I had even repeated "a major accident? no, not a major" when I was asked by the salesman. I walked the car with the Manager and while he test drove it and was never asked about it's history. If there was a trade in appraisal form, it was never signed by me and I never received a copy.

I just had a conversation about semantics today with a friend when he compared Roman Polanski to Woody Allen. Kudos to you for using it properly. :)

500ways
06-21-2013, 09:18 PM
You must have had the old car repaired at a local shop. You state it was taken to Toyota to be "double checked". The repair facility probably didn't report the repair through the normal channels. If they did, it would definitely have shown up on a CarFax. Most, if not ALL, dealers today run the VIN when appraising a trade to check for this type of thing before making an offer for the trade.

That being said, they obviously realized the car had been repaired most likely when the Toyota was being inspected or detailed by their employees. What you or they said verbally means nothing at this point. The only thing they can hang their hat on is some type of disclaimer, which they are claiming they have and, again, MOST dealers do. It's fine print to the tune that if something "material" arises that was not previously noted (I am not even going to get into the details here because this is what good lawyers do), they have the right to lodge a claim against you.

It remains to be seen what they send you. You may also want to look through your paperwork as well so you're prepared. The fact that the deals have been consummated is in your favor. However, if their disclaimer addresses this issue (they seem confident that it does) and you signed on the dotted line, be prepared to fight and be prepared to start paying a lawyer for your defense.

Moral of they story: you can run, but you can't hide. This is going to come down to how pissed the dealer is versus how far you want to dig in your heels. Good luck!

FiatFun
06-21-2013, 09:27 PM
"This is going to come down to how pissed the dealer is versus how far you want to dig in your heels. Good luck!"

Yup, basically :)

I'm supposed to be provided with any forms that were signed. We don't have a copy of this, and looking through other car purchases, I've never received a copy of this. It's been a few hours, haven't received anything yet.

The car has a clean Auto-check report as of last month. Also, I know an Arbitration agreement was made concerning the Fiat's purchase, not sure if this transfers over to cover the trade in as well.

I've gone through my contracts and the only thing relates to the trade in's odometer reading. I spoke with a family member, that was in the car industry for many years, although not within the past 5, or California, and he's never heard of such a form that would show any liability concerning previous accidents of a trade in.

Andree
06-21-2013, 09:30 PM
Hi Andree,

Thanks for responding. I'm more concerned with the legal aspects, than the ethical. The person from the dealership was already lying
to me over the phone stating that the front had been in an accident and parts replaced. Later in the conversation it comes up that this
was based on the fact that when I bought the car, I removed the stock wheels for upgrades and put them back on when I traded it in.

They had plenty of time to look over the car, look in the spare tire area, etc. I had even repeated "a major accident? no, not a major" when I was asked by the salesman. I walked the car with the Manager and while he test drove it and was never asked about it's history. If there was a trade in appraisal form, it was never signed by me and I never received a copy.

I just had a conversation about semantics today with a friend when he compared Roman Polanski to Woody Allen. Kudos to you for using it properly. :)

Wait, did they check out your car when the upgrade wheels were on it, and later you swapped out the wheels for the original stock wheels? Otherwise, how would they know there used to be other wheels on the car?

Andree
06-21-2013, 09:36 PM
"This is going to come down to how pissed the dealer is versus how far you want to dig in your heels. Good luck!"

Yup, basically :)

I'm supposed to be provided with any forms that were signed. We don't have a copy of this, and looking through other car purchases, I've never received a copy of this. It's been a few hours, haven't received anything yet.

The car has a clean Auto-check report as of last month. Also, I know an Arbitration agreement was made concerning the Fiat's purchase, not sure if this transfers over to cover the trade in as well.

I've gone through my contracts and the only thing relates to the trade in's odometer reading. I spoke with a family member, that was in the car industry for many years, although not within the past 5, or California, and he's never heard of such a form that would show any liability concerning previous accidents of a trade in.


I'm vaguely recalling a form of some type mentioning that I wasn't knowingly trading in a "lemon" or a vehicle with hidden disasters awaiting. Unfortunately, I don't know where my paperwork is. While looking, I did find the menu for the Chinese food place though. So, that's reassuring.

Seafarer61
06-21-2013, 11:05 PM
What does the dealership consider to be a "major" accident? If there is no signed paperwork (your acknowledgment of their qualifications) it would seem from a legal standpoint, they have no legs. If you signed any form stating the car had never been in an accident, they've got you, since clearly from the above, it has. If "major" to them is frame damage, and there is no record of that...once again, no legs. Definitely call a lawyer but dealerships aren't usually prone to taking things to court. They roll the dice believing in most cases, the buyer will cave in.

Andree
06-22-2013, 12:18 AM
I think the paper is called a trade-in evaluation, as mentioned here:
http://www.mdxers.org/forums/2-general-discussions/3703-duty-disclose-defects-when-trading-used-car.html#post38084

FiatFun
06-22-2013, 12:48 AM
I put on the original wheels the morning of trading in the car, so that is all they saw. The tires had about 1200 miles on them. The dealership person said that the mechanic told him it had also been in an accident in the front, and had new wheels and tires put on. I had explained to the manager on the walk around that the tires only had about 1200 on them, as they were removed shortly after purchase for new wheels/tires which were also in my original contract for purchasing the vehicle.

As far as the trade in evaluation, I never received a copy or saw what was filled out. Supposedly I'm going to be emailed a copy, but haven't received it yet. Also, it is my understanding that it is not a legally binding piece of paper, just like the 4 square trade in and price/payment form. The legal contracts are done in F & I.

The legal person from the dealership also didn't know the Fiat Manager's name that I dealt with and did the walk around which I find interesting.

Abarth Phreak
06-22-2013, 01:01 AM
Seen this a million times...I used to sell vehicles. Here is what you do. Do NOT deviate from this or all of your legal rights will go out the window okay?

Next time they call you, tell them- "This is now a legal matter, I cannot discuss this matter with you. You need to speak with my attorney directly."
When they ask for your attorney's contact information respond only with- "Its in the disclosure documents that I provided to you during the sales transaction. I hope you find them. Good bye."






Just kidding.....
gr_grinxyxwave

You have both executed a legal document if all of the required docs are signed by both parties. There is no cooling off period for either party if all terms of the contract have been accepted and executed. They are trying to do what is called an "unwind" which occurs if an issue comes up after the sale. Usually this happens when a person with bad credit is not able to secure financing however. (Most common reason) If financing has been secured you are most likely in a good position. They are just trying to strong arm you and you are under no legal obligation to do ANYTHING unless legal action is taken for a resolve. The question for you is...what position do you want to be in? As mentioned, there is an ethical issue involved here...for both parties...one of them being a car dealer. (Uhhh hemm) An issue for consideration is what condition your trade will be in if the decision is made to take it back. I wouldn't want to know what has happened to it, as you stated you do not have a trade report correct to prove the condition? It could be returned in worse condition.

The best thing is to get legal advisement to ensure your rights...but do not rush to do this until your hand is forced. If you insist in taking a position on keeping the new car they may just sweeten the deal for you. If you have not yet received any trade docs by now, they do not exist and they are most likely searching around for what to do. Sounds out of luck for them to me at this point.

FiatFun
06-22-2013, 01:18 AM
Correct, I didn't receive a copy and the only paperwork I have regarding the trade in is the odometer statement.

500ways
06-22-2013, 09:24 AM
Abarth Phreak above makes a very good suggestion - if the dealer calls you and you answer the phone, do not offer up anything. Keep quiet and say that the case is under legal advisement. That protects you and drives them nuts. This situation is beginning to smell like an unwind. As also mentioned previously, unwinds normally occur (9 times out of 10) around financing contracts. This situation is unique. The reason is probably because they thought they could unload the trade for a lot more money than is now the case.

Andree
06-22-2013, 10:52 AM
I put on the original wheels the morning of trading in the car, so that is all they saw. The tires had about 1200 miles on them. The dealership person said that the mechanic told him it had also been in an accident in the front, and had new wheels and tires put on. I had explained to the manager on the walk around that the tires only had about 1200 on them, as they were removed shortly after purchase for new wheels/tires which were also in my original contract for purchasing the vehicle.

As far as the trade in evaluation, I never received a copy or saw what was filled out. Supposedly I'm going to be emailed a copy, but haven't received it yet. Also, it is my understanding that it is not a legally binding piece of paper, just like the 4 square trade in and price/payment form. The legal contracts are done in F & I.

The legal person from the dealership also didn't know the Fiat Manager's name that I dealt with and did the walk around which I find interesting.

The form I'm thinking of, I believe was filled out in the Finance dept, with me initialing every single point, and signing at the bottom. A form for them, not for me. I don't think I got a copy of that, but this is all on memory since I have no idea where the paper work is.

Lots of people do what you do with the wheels. They might get new ones, and keep the old ones. Or might two sets, one for summer, one for winter.

Might as well start putting stuff together, such as photos that show the original wheels on the car when you bought it and the other wheels/tires you had put on. Along with the last sales contract that shows you were getting extra wheels/tires.

Your own copy of the CarFax info. Any info regarding the rear-end and Toyota inspection.

Years back (long story alert) I sued a dealership in small claims over something. I put together a huge binder of information, photos, forms, photocopies of receipts, explanations, etc. The dealer showed up with a single piece of paper. I'd already had to go through the BAR and order parts, etc. Court went fine, and had to leave the binder for the judge.

Much later, when the case was settled, I had to pick up my binder from the court. It turns out the clerks had been using my binder as an example of what to do. Showing people, just flipping through pages, about how to get organized for small claims court.

Remember, though, that anything you say HERE can also be used against you.

And for the future, be honest. Really really honest. Even if the other party isn't honest, you can be. Anything you'd want to know about, if you were buying a car, be sure they know about, when you're the seller. Dealers have all sorts of laws they are required to follow, telling buyers about damage, like this DMV snippet:

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=367130

I do not know what the buyer of a new car who is also the SELLER of the trade-in is required to disclose legally. I know you're going at this from a legal standpoint, not the ethics of the transaction.

However, ethics matter. You need to put yourself in all positions to see if what you did was fair. It wasn't.

The statue of Lady Justice shows a blindfolded woman, with a scale to weigh evidence, and a double-edge sword. And that's what will happen in court, someone weighs the evidence, and the smackdown occurs.

Side note: what is the difference in interest rates? Fiat loan vs. bank loan?

Andree
06-22-2013, 01:30 PM
The dealership will have a lot to lose with the depreciation of the Fiat:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100608185943AATY9CC

But you could end up losing too, if the bank they sold the loan to has high rates. That SHOULD be on your contract, somewhere I believe in the upper left area of one of the pages. I think mine was over 19%. I went into panic attack mode when the dealership didn't cash my check right away and thought I was going to get killed with that interest rate in payments. Turned out there were no problems, I just didn't understand their timing. They don't race to the bank that night to cash a check. Lots of paperwork gets shuffled around and bulk carried to their main business area in another city and so on.

If it turns out your interest rate is significantly higher, you'll pay hundreds to thousands more over the life of the loan. In which case you may well be better off seeing if you can indeed get your trade back.

Found an auto loan rate calculator that only shows the monthly payment, but I can use my calculator too in conjunction with their thing, for an example:

Lets say you finance 15,000 at 2% for 3 years (36 months). With a monthly payment of 429.64. Total paid is 36x429.64= 15,467.04, meaning you paid 467.04 in interest. That's not too bad.

What happens when the rate jumps to 10%?: 484.01 a month = 17,424.36 = 2,424.36 in interest and an increase in monthly payment of 54.37

And that 19%? 549.84 per month = 19,794.24 = 4,794.24 in interest and 120.20 more per month than that original 2%.

Here's the calculator: http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/auto/auto-loan-calculator.aspx

You can compare the original rate and the new rate the same way I did.

FiatFun
06-22-2013, 11:41 PM
Thank you guys for your input, I do appreciate it!

The interest rate is at 4.9, so that isn't too bad. It was the same rate that my credit union had at the time. Plus we were quite a bit upside down and that was tacked on to the new loan.

The whole thing sounds like a hassle. Trade in already paid off, title transferred over. New car loan sold to a bank, new plates have arrived, new car depriciation. 1st new car payment just made. Plus we'd have to get another loan if we took back the trade in. I just found out the dealership person is the GM for all of their dealerships, about 9 in total. So rather interesting that she was the one calling me.

For the karma or carsma inclined, we just had a credit card theft hit us today. And... we just filed a report and it sounds like the police
might of just caught them at another store. :) I never believed in karma haha. We'll see what happens I guess.

I'm eagerly awaiting all my new stuff from autogeek to come so I can detail the car!

Small&Wicked2013
06-22-2013, 11:58 PM
What I don't understand is why everyone assumes it is the dealer that is in the wrong here. If the dealer was the one who lied and said the car you were buying wasn't In a accident and you found out later that it had been ...what would you do? I guess it's ok for customers to lie but not salespeople. This makes me want to throw up.

Seafarer61
06-23-2013, 12:36 AM
I guess it's ok for customers to lie but not salespeople.

Basically the salesman asked if our trade in had been in a major accident. I said no. The trade in had been previously rear ended and repaired at a facility that also took the car to Manufacturer's service dept to have them double check everything. No frame damage, air bag deployment or anything I consider major.

I think you need to reread his initial post. Note the question. Had the car been in a major accident? The buyer did not consider the accident major since there was no frame damage nor air bag deployment. It is incumbent on the dealer to qualify what they consider to be "major." Such a question should not be left to a salesman casually asking while they rush frantically to "de horse" the customer.

Small&Wicked2013
06-23-2013, 07:31 PM
I did read the and understand the original post and I have been selling cars for 8 yrs. currently selling Fiats. I Have never once asked a customer if there trade was in a "major accident".... I ask if it has ever been in an accident and I also pull a carfax

Seafarer61
06-23-2013, 08:48 PM
I also sold cars before (averaged 23/month) but our experience is irrelevant to the matter at hand. Especially when you respond with "I guess it's ok for customers to lie."

It doesn't matter what you ask a buyer at your dealership. It's what they asked him at theirs. In his particular case, the dealership asked a question as a precursor to the deal. However, they failed to qualify what "major" was in either a detailed form or otherwise. There is a huge difference between "has your car ever been in an accident?" and "has your car ever been in a major accident?"

Smart money is on the consumer here. Like most dealerships, they're throwing their weight around after realizing they failed to dot their i's and cross their t's, with hopes the buyer will cave in and return the Fiat. Seems unlikely at this juncture.

Small&Wicked2013
06-23-2013, 09:05 PM
I also sold cars before (averaged 23/month) but our experience is irrelevant to the matter at hand. Especially when you respond with "I guess it's ok for customers to lie."

It doesn't matter what you ask a buyer at your dealership. It's what they asked him at theirs. In his particular case, the dealership asked a question as a precursor to the deal. However, they failed to qualify what "major" was in either a detailed form or otherwise. There is a huge difference between "has your car ever been in an accident?" and "has your car ever been in a major accident?"

Smart money is on the consumer here. Like most dealerships, they're throwing their weight around after realizing they failed to dot their i's and cross their t's, with hopes the buyer will cave in and return the Fiat. Seems unlikely at this juncture.


I agree with some of your statements.. I have only worked at 2 dealerships and they both have the same GM. So i wouldnt know how most dealerships are. I believe that the dealership dropped the ball on this occasion. I think the point I was trying to make without being a jerk is that we are only hearing one side of the story and that I am not sure that I believe that the salesperson asked the question the OP said he did. Just my opinion. If I was a gambling man I would put my money on the consumer also. In this case the deal is done at least it would be if the deal happened here in SC.

FiatFun
06-24-2013, 10:47 AM
It's the internet, so I don't mind my credibility being questioned. But it doesn't matter what I was asked, it matters what is in the contracts. Still haven't received any paperwork from the dealership.

But! We just found out that the dealership called up the trade in financial company and had a refund issued to them for pay off of the trade in. They haven't cut the check yet, but sounds like it will happen in the next day or so.

Even though we received a letter saying it was paid off, liability was released and received and cashed a refund check. Plus DMV records show that the car was released out of our name. The Finance company said that they will issue refunds if a dealership requests it. Thought that was pretty interesting!

So sounds like the Fiat will get returned, plus with all the threads I've been reading about problems with Fiats, I'm ok with it.

Andree
06-24-2013, 01:54 PM
Now, don't blame the car for the big paperwork mess. I know you have to, experiencing cognitive dissonance, like a sour grapes story. But it's not fair to the car brand or your specific car.

Any car can have problems, and that can do with not only the car itself, but the conditions in which it's operated as well as the operator.

Number of problems you've had with your Fiat? None.

Number of problems you've had with the paperwork, the dealership, the miscommunication and definitions of "major accident"? A bunch.

The car sitting outside is not secretly plotting to do you in. It's a car.

FiatFun
06-24-2013, 04:32 PM
A little dramatic there Andree!

I wasn't bad mouthing the brand or the car itself, I just said that if I do return it, I am ok with it. It was a spur of the moment purchase and we have twins on the way, so it really isn't practical and I've been getting heat for buying it, so it might just be a good thing to get out of it and consider it an extended rental :)

Don't assume that I haven't had problems with my car, I actually have had a few issues with the car, but they were relatively minor, I found work arounds for or I accepted them as part of the car. Plus they weren't aired on here with this login :)

I saw picture of an Abarth auto with paddle shifters, so maybe I'll wait a few years for that one and it'll get me past the rear facing baby seats.

Andree
06-24-2013, 06:54 PM
A little dramatic there Andree!

I wasn't bad mouthing the brand or the car itself, I just said that if I do return it, I am ok with it. It was a spur of the moment purchase and we have twins on the way, so it really isn't practical and I've been getting heat for buying it, so it might just be a good thing to get out of it and consider it an extended rental :)

Don't assume that I haven't had problems with my car, I actually have had a few issues with the car, but they were relatively minor, I found work arounds for or I accepted them as part of the car. Plus they weren't aired on here with this login :)

I saw picture of an Abarth auto with paddle shifters, so maybe I'll wait a few years for that one and it'll get me past the rear facing baby seats.

oh. Okay. Thought you were bad mouthing it. LOL!

Twins. TWINS! Honey, you don't need a new car, you need a diaper service and a hazmat suit. You have seen the Fatherhood 500L video, yes?
http://www.stuff4dadz.co.uk/dad/fiat-500l-the-fatherhood-video-review/

Abarth Phreak
06-29-2013, 03:37 PM
A little dramatic there Andree!

I wasn't bad mouthing the brand or the car itself, I just said that if I do return it, I am ok with it. It was a spur of the moment purchase and we have twins on the way, so it really isn't practical and I've been getting heat for buying it, so it might just be a good thing to get out of it and consider it an extended rental :)

Don't assume that I haven't had problems with my car, I actually have had a few issues with the car, but they were relatively minor, I found work arounds for or I accepted them as part of the car. Plus they weren't aired on here with this login :)

I saw picture of an Abarth auto with paddle shifters, so maybe I'll wait a few years for that one and it'll get me past the rear facing baby seats.

So...this entire thread was started for you to come to the same realization as the dealer??? Seems like you were quite excited and pissed at the beginning, not once did your spouse tell you to just let it go back and save you the trouble of posting? :hopelessness:

FiatFun
07-02-2013, 01:23 AM
Nope, my spouse wanted to tell the dealer to go screw themselves.
And we're keeping the Fiat.

Abarth Phreak
07-05-2013, 01:11 AM
Nope, my spouse wanted to tell the dealer to go screw themselves.
And we're keeping the Fiat.

ThrashinSmiley

dan macdonald
09-17-2015, 10:33 PM
This has to be the strangest thread I have experienced in awhile...

Andree
09-17-2015, 10:49 PM
This has to be the strangest thread I have experienced in awhile...

You must have missed my salad dressing post.

aelfwyne
09-17-2015, 11:35 PM
Holy Thread Necromancy Batman!!!! Two Year Old Post... MMMMMMM.MMMMM...


Nope, my spouse wanted to tell the dealer to go screw themselves.
And we're keeping the Fiat.

I guess, since there were no more posts every by Mr. FiatFun, that they kept the car.... or they didn't, but we'll never know.


You must have missed my salad dressing post.

Whaaaa???

dan macdonald
09-18-2015, 08:28 AM
Sorry aelfwyne I was bored, and being an ex-lawyer got intrigued. And then entered the Twilight Zone. Which is where that poor Fiat is right now, having no fun at all...

Andree
09-18-2015, 04:07 PM
Holy Thread Necromancy Batman!!!! Two Year Old Post... MMMMMMM.MMMMM...
Whaaaa???

It was in the off-topic area, I think it was during the time I was under the influence of statins, which were very odd. Made me more unusual than my usual unusualness. It was an excellent salad dressing, had Parmesan cheese in it.

Someone has to be the forum weirdo. That someone is me. :Blue: