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Readers Respond: Car dealership horror stories

Responses: 89

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There are plenty of honest, well-intentioned car salespeople out there... but there are also plenty that aren't. Have you dealt with the less-than-scrupulous sort? Tell us your car dealer horror story, so that others can spot the scams before they get taken. And if you're a car dealer, tell us about your worst buyer experience -- so that others will know what behavior to avoid.

Catch the lie before you buy ..

The sales people at ***** Volkswagen will tell you anything to sell a car. An internet sales representative from Garnet informed me that a Passat TDI SEL would get 48 mpg. The federal government estimates that under real world driving conditions, the car maxes out at about 40 mpg on the highway. When I complained about what was either a negligent misstatement of fact or an outright lie, a sales manager accused me of insulting her sales people. Then she justified the deceit by suggesting that some Passat TDI customers actually achieved 25 percent better mileage (48 mpg) than the Energy Department claimed. After I complained to VW corporate, the manager backpedaled furiously on the bogus gas mileage claim. Bottom Line: ****** Volkswagen is a sleazy, deceitful grind shop. Avoid it like the plague,
—Guest Tim Ireland

2000 4runner bad rear end

2000 4runner bought from chevy peoria il 14 days after purchase i notice the rearend is leaking as i get a closer look there is epoxy all over the rear pumpkin it is either cracked or rusted out you cant tell me that dealer didnt catch this before they put on lot as they tell me they didnt know anything about it just what i figured as they say they wouldnt sell a car with a problem like that another dealer to chalk up as a online phony
—Guest jamie t

VW with Mangled Seat belts, Water Leaks

Bought a 2003 VW from ***** **********, Bristol, Tenn on November 7, 2011. Two seat belts had been chewed in-half by prior owners dog. Dealer stated that car was safe to drive. Found out from Highway Patrol that was a lie. Dealer promised to fix automatic door locks, electrical system problems, ripped driver's seat and extensive water leaks that started immediately after purchase. A two day attempt to fix problems was botched. During ice storm the front floor board was saturated with water. The interior windows froze-over when the heater was turned on and driver and his 14 year old son were almost killed when the pulled in front of an on-coming car. Driver had to keep air conditioner on to negate the temperature difference. The driver and son were frozen. The car was taken straight to dealership who refused to do an immediate repair or give buyer another car for a safe return home for him and his minor son. Dealer lied to the BBB and stated that he offer the buyers their money back.
—1coconut

Honda Superstore

Here is my situation; I went to **** ****** Honda dealership in Huntington Beach, CA to look at the leases and to purchase a lease. The salesman was nice and he shared his belief with me about God. Looked at some cars and went to run the credit check. I was told that I could not get the advertised offer of zero down and would have to come up with $880.00 dollars, I asked if they would take my 1997 Honda Accord in as a trade in, but that I wanted $500.00 for the car, my salesman wrote on a piece of paper with the amount of $650.00 I thought it was for the trade in, but on the final paperwork there was no trade in just the $650.00 for a down and n/a for a trade in. However the sales man told me to leave the car at the location I had it at for an estimate for repair and that I should bring him the pink slip and put it in an envelope and give to the front desk. When I called the manager and complained about this incident he had the salesman call me and give me a story that he was going to
—Guest Sammy

Can't get rid of Rogue

I bought a new Nissan Rogue from **** Nissan (new owner) in Highland Park. Didn't notice wind noise during test drive, as salesman had heat on blast and radio on, which goes louder as speed increases. When we returned, car started beeping. He said it was because he had opened the sunroof by mistake. I noticed wind noise once I turned the radio down, when I was almost home. Next day horrible wind noise. I searched on wind noise to find a number of posts about wind noise, CVT, and electrical problems. Had a thought recreate test drive...heat blasting, radio on and open sunroof. You guessed it! Noise gone. The level of dishonest is obvious. Go to dealer to express concern. Saleman says "You bought a car...You are an adult". The person he said was the mgr on Thursday is now selling cars and I meet the real manager. This is a predominantly white, affluent area. I can't imagine they treat the local patrons this way.
—Guest HP Horror

Can't get rid of Rogue

I bought a new Nissan Rogue from **** Nissan (new owner) in Highland Park. Didn't notice wind noise during test drive, as salesman had heat on blast and radio on, which goes louder as speed increases. When we returned, car started beeping. He said it was because he had opened the sunroof by mistake. I noticed wind noise once I turned the radio down, when I was almost home. Next day horrible wind noise. I searched on wind noise to find a number of posts about wind noise, CVT, and electrical problems. Had a thought recreate test drive...heat blasting, radio on and open sunroof. You guessed it! Noise gone. The level of dishonest is obvious. Go to dealer to express concern. Saleman says "You bought a car...You are an adult". The person he said was the mgr on Thursday is now selling cars and I meet the real manager. This is a predominantly white, affluent area. I can't imagine they treat the local patrons this way.
—Guest HP Horror

Nightmare used car dealer

I bought a used rx7 from a used car dealer. thought it was a great car but it was not. After seeing why it would not heat up we found that there was no thermostat. On top of that the coolant was filled with rust. changed everything that i could see. The car proceeds to overheat. I take it back to the dealer, start to ask about the maintenance paperwork that they said that they had. come to find out they don't. He calls his wife in to ask about if she said something about the paperwork. She then lies and he proceeds to yell and threaten myself and my grandmother. I then have to call the police. How wonderful people can be when you give them 6000 dollars of your hard earned money.
—Guest tom peter

Dealer Charging Me to Print Work Orders?

I noticed the last time that I took my car in for an oil change that at the bottom of the invoice it says "$1.99 for printing of office materials". I asked and was informed that they charge for printing invoices for work orders. Leave it to a dealership in Highlands County to pull that stupid trick!
—Guest Frank

Nissan

I bought a car had it for 23 days now nissan wants to discuss things and wants us to take car why do they let us drive car off lot then want it back . can any one help please.
—Guest Stressed

VW nightmare!

VW in lake park Fl, leased me a brand new 2011 Tiguan SE with moonroof and navi. The car is a lemon and the dealership refuses to do anything about it. The general manager felt that yelling at me over the phone that it wasn't his problem and then hanging up was some how customer service. VW America says they can't do anything until the dealer finds a problem. The "diagnostic" shows no-fault codes but the accelerator doesn't work, abs grab, EPC light comes on = engine malfunction, windows roll down when car engine turned off, auto windows don't always work, remote keys don't always work, iPhone doesnt connect to radio but shows on screen..though no sound comes out.
—Guest Ann Schwarz

***** Infinity in Escondido lies!

I purchased a car from **** Infinity Escondido Their representative didn't explained properly the 48 return policy. There was misunderstanding. Car suppose to be certified pre owned. Minute after I purchased the car it found out that navigation, homelink, heated seats, blue tooth is not working. I requested to return the car ( even mentioned I will purchase and choose other vehicle on lot) General Manager exact words were: Ha Ha , we sell cars here, we do not take them back. That car is yours. Bad Bad choice to trust ***** Infinity dealership in Escondido I guess.
—Kateznitry

No MSO for my new truck!!

I purchased a 50,000 truck from ******** ford in Clebume TX from ******** and was not notified until after I wired the money that they wanted to title the vehicle in my state of Missouri instead of sending the original MSO that dealers assign to the purchaser. I was assured 2 weeks ago by the salesman ******* that the MSO would be fed-x out and would be expedited through the state of MO. and returned to me in just a few days. I received a call from the dealership that the paperwork has not yet been mailed out so for the past two weeks it has laid in a pile, then he hung up on me! My problem is my bank wants the title to secure a dealer lien.
—Guest chris courtney

******* Mazda Baton Rouge,La are liars

They tell you that you are approved for a car and you get there to sign papers and look at the vehicle and there is chips in the paint, rust forming under the hood, and a loose front bumper that is also painted a different color. When questioned about the flaws they say oooo thats just how it is and that the bumper is just a broken rivit( commonly assiociated with frontend damage) and was also told that the color differance was just because it was a plastic bumper and that the other was metal even though the back bumper was also polastic and matched perfectly. I also then went and walked the lot and looked at ALLLLLLLL the other white mazdas and ALLLLLLLLL of there front bumpers were plastic and the colors matched. Then ot top it all off once questions starting being asked the Finance manager starting being very rude and acting like he just didn't care! DO NOT BUY FROM THEM. THEY LIE, and they try to hide stuff!
—Guest TJ

BEWARE

Nissan: June 2010 I ordered a new Navara Tekna Connect in electric blue, it arrived November 2010 complete with faded stripy paintwork on both sides and was rejected. The sales manager said “once the vehicle had weathered no one would notice the strips”. A replacement was ordered which arrived in March 2011, again in electric blue, again complete with strips, and again rejected. The Sales Manager then told me that other people would not notice the problem and that it would soon sell, he also told me that I should order one in another colour, which I did, a silver one. This one arrived in April 2011 and I was told it had been diverted form another destination “just for me”, it had brown rust on the bodywork over the windscreen (paintwork bubbled), and rust on the bottom of the tailgate which had been touched up with silver paint. When I reported my findings to the sales executive his reply was that it might be best to cancel the order and look at re-ordering in a few months as
—Navara

Bob Smith BMW - Fraud Scam!!!

I recently purchased a CPO BMW from ****** BMW in Calabasas, CA. Less than an hour after I drove the car off the lot, the fuel pump died and I had to take it in the shop. I did not take it back to Bob Smith BMW since I live 40 miles away and I have a local BMW dealership less than a mile from home. After running the diagnostics, they confirmed that it is the fuel pump. They called BMW North America to report the problem and get approval to proceed and fix the problem. This is when we were told that BMW North America had already paid ******* BMW to fix this very problem. However, the fuel pump was never replaced and they pocketed the money. They are a bunch of thieves! DO NOT EVER BUY A CAR FROM ***** BMW. What they've done is illegal and they are now under investigation by BMW North America. I hope they will be heavily fined and what they do will be exposed so no one else will fall into their scam.
—Guest BuyersBeware

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