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Readers Respond: Car dealership horror stories

Responses: 94


If the key fits

A Nissan dealer in Helena, MT sold me a 2006 Xterra a week ago that I absolutely love. One of the great features of this and many other Nissans is the Vehicle Immobilizer which essentially means that your keys have programmed chips in them that allow you to start the vehicle. If the chip isn’t programmed for your vehicle, the car doesn’t start even if it can be turned in the door and the ignition. Brilliant. Thieves hate them but the insurance companies love this technology. Now I know that the car salesmen love it too. Big Dan sold me the Xterra, gave me the keys and watched me drive away with the good key. Guess what? The other key wasn’t programmed and the only place to get it programmed in town was at his service department. When I called back, he laughed and admitted that he knew the key wouldn’t start when he gave it to me and refused to have it programmed for me. The guy in the service department even got a laugh out of this sneaky deal. It only cost me $30 but I understand it c

******** Nissan, Orlando, FL

bought dealership from one dealership and this other dealership would not honor service agreement because they said since the dealership I bought it from is no longer in business, they did not have too. Well, folks if you purchase from one dealershiop and it is bought out by another, then the new on will NOT honor it. Nissan of North america just lost a repeat customer. A car is only as good as the service department.

Superior NIssan fayett bad dealership.

I bought a Nissan sentra car from ******** Nissan dealer in fayetteville on Saturday March 20. The day it was raining. So when we took the delivery, we just got inside the car and drove the car home that day. Dealer did not walk through the checklist of the car with us and had everything on the checklist already checked on it and asked us to sign, which we did. We did tell him that he is suppose to walk us through the checklist, but I was told that we can trust him on it. When I brought the car home and when I had some chance to look at the car, I realized that there was paint peel off on the car on front fender on driver side and pessenger side. Also some black dots spots on the windwhield as well. Then I contacted the dealer and emailed a picture of the car front fender showing him the spots. Then dealer asked me to bring the car to his dealdership. When he looked at it, then he hold me that i have caused this damage by allowing some chemical truck to pass close to my vehicle and let
—Guest khem chander

Ford wrecked my car

Well today at Ford waiting for my New Mustang GT to be brought around to me. The service tech. remote started it, in gear and my car took off, jumped a curb, went through a fence and into a pond. It completely sank under water. They wouldn't even get me a rental car. So I think they are gonna try and blame it on me because of the remote start added to the car. I hate Ford.
—Guest luckydawg003

Can't get it back!!

I took my car to a dealer who told mr he would roadworthy my car and get mr a buyer bearing in mind I'd have to sign the transfer papers once he'd done so. I was told the car was all in order he would take a cut for the repairs and middleman sale, and that as soon as I saw my money he would hand it over to the buyer. To no avail a year later someone else is driving my car and I havnt seen a cent! He is not returning my calls and I don't know wat to do as I'm in a completely different province!!! Please anyone with suggestions! I need to get it back
—Guest Chris

Shady Dealer

Went to a dealership to look at a used truck (1995 f-250) liked the truck so i asked to test drive it but first the salesman couldn't get the hood to open, then the truck had no battery, then the truck was out of gas. so i finally drove the truck around the block and was pleased so i put down a small amount of money to hold the truck for a couple days. i cam back the next day wanted to test drive it again a little further. I drove it to my house on a military installation where it was leaking oil very rapidly. now the dealer is threatening to contact my Commander to make me pay for the truck accusing me of cracking the transmission on the truck because i was pulling a trailer with heavy equiptment..the truck didn't even have a hitch reciever on it... shady dealership located in Fort Walton Beach Fl called 98 used car sales this guy is a fraud. V/R Eric Goble


I brought my truck to a car dealer named ******* in cold spring NY owner George Marden, to sell for me. If he sold my car he would have gotten $500 off the top. Instead George wanted more, he forged my my name on my title. then put my truck on ebay. The Putnam County Sheriffs department who's juristiction this is wont help. George told me that he has them in his pocket and theres not a dam thing I can do about it. I called the DA's office they just redirect me back to the sheriff department. In the interim George sold my truck and kept the money. I also called DMV and the Attorneys Generals office, its amazing nobody will help. Someone suggested I hire an attorney they want $5000 to go after all the people involed , justice in America, you got to Love it.


In an incredibly competitive auto industry, a loyal customer is being completely ignored by corporate customer service. My request for a 3 day rental @ $30 a day has been rejected. With $9,000 of receipts, 35 days in the shop, still a cold heater, and the only compensation I am requesting being a simple rental car while they attempt to fix my car for the 5th in 12 months. This is both a dealer problem, ineffective service, and also a corporate problem, customer service. Volkswagen has lost a incredibly loyal customer simply because they did not value me enough to fork over $90. After spending $9000, go figure! Corporate response was even more sickening then the dealership, because at least the corporation pretended like the knew what they were doing. Without Heat, Jordan H


What can I do if a car dealership added options to my factory-orderd car? I ordered a factory-ordered car from a dealership in New York. I filled out the purchase order with the exact options that I wanted. The agreement was signed by me and the manager of the dealership. The sales rep. notified me by email about adding navigation to the car. I responded to him by email tellling him No, that I did not want the navigation in the car. The sales rep. on his own, called the factory in Germany and had the navigation added at an additional cost of $3000. Since the car is in its final stage, nd will be here March 1, 2010 the navigation cannot be removed. At this point, I have a VIN # for the car and I have an e-mail telling the sales rep. no navigation and a reply from him saying that he was being proactive and had the navigation added to the car.
—Guest Robert

They had to have known.

My wife got a Volvo CX90 from a dealer in Raleigh NC. These people are crooks and every car that they have sold is a piece of crap. Within the first week of our purchased the turbo went out on the volvo and it took them a month before they agreed to fix it. Then they pretty much told us that they have screwed us and to have a nice life. I wish for their demise. The car now is broke down with a shot engine. Lucky me
—Guest Robert Grout

shame on them

during the month of july I purchase a car from a dealer who seems fairly ohnest. One week later the car stopped on the highway route 280. I called the dealer and his respone is....that is the way it goes there is no guarantee I will charged 50 percent the repair and I pay the other half. The car been trouble ever since .
—Guest dot

veterans ford car payments if job lost

Remember the come on in the spring of 09 when the US car market was so deparate, that they will make your car payments if you lose your job?Well not if you go to Veterans in Tampa fl. I specifically asked and chose a ford for that reason, as the job situration where I worked was tenuous. I discussed the offer with Veterans, they reassured me and arranged the financing and sold me the car. Well six months later and a layoff guess what? The offier is only good if made through Ford credit which they did not mention because they used another finance company. So I am out of luck. Way to go Veterans! I would like to add they also said that gap insurance was required and must be purchased from them. After leaving the dealership and checking I found that I already had it on my policy. It took some doing to get them to take it of as there was a lot of denial and runaround on their part. Is it no wonder why the American consumer has such a bad taste in their mouth with the the auto idustry?

Fiat-drove in to Dealer, had to be towed

When I was in High School, my Dad bought a Fiat 850 from a co-worker whose wife had just died. After getting the car which seemded to run all right for a 35HP car, he drove it to the Fiat dealer to have it checked out. The next day the dealer called and said that it needed a new engine and was NOT DRIVABLE. My dad had a tow truck take it to another repair center and they determined that the dealer had not put splug wires back correctly and the car run fine for many more years!
—Guest Indiana Bob

Rude salesperson

Years ago, my father (in his early 70’s at the time) was looking to buy a new car. He told me of a deal he was considering on a Pontiac 6000, a midsize sedan, and the price (including his trade-in allowance) seemed pretty good to me. Because of his advancing age, he asked me to go to the dealership with him to see the car and help him verify and close the deal. When I got there, the car the salesman pointed him to was a Pontiac 2000 (Pontiac version of the Cavalier – a smaller car than the 6000). Dad was a bit disappointed, but he still was interested in the car. Then the salesman showed me the price, and I knew immediately that Dad had transposed the trade-in price (lower) with the price he would have to pay (higher). I explained politely to the salesperson that my Dad had been confused on the details of the proposed deal, and that I was confident that, once he understood he was paying significantly more money for a smaller car, he would never agree to it. My dad left to go
—Guest George in Ohio

ill-informed sales personnel

I bought a new Hyundai Elantra last August. The young salesman was nice enough until I asked him questions about the car. He got snippy, and truthfully didn't know as much about the car as I did. Also, when he explained the CD/Aux port which attaches to an iPod and MP3 device, he asked me if I knew what these devices were! I may be a woman of a certain age, but I'm not electronically illiterate, and while I laughed inside, there are plenty of women (and perhaps older men for that matter) who want not appreciate the remark. When we got back to the dealership, the salesman started the "dance" of going between me and his sales manager. When I gave the salesman a time limit, he seemed annoyed. The salesmanager, while nice enough, acted like he was doing me a favor by knocking off a few bucks. We still have along way to go before the car buying process becomes respectful to the customer and less adversarial. I'd rather buy a car from a robot. More sensitivity training is needed.
—Guest carol

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