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Mission Chevrolet El Paso TX Complaint - Beware of These People

Review by Akto on 2009-09-19
EL PASO, TEXAS -- Purchased a new car with cash early on a Wednesday afternoon, was told it would be made ready and available for delivery the following day. A ferocious hail storm occurred that evening. The next day, when I came to pick up the car, my salesman told me it was not ready because a tailgate latch was not working properly and needed to be replaced. Although this latch worked fine when I test-drove the car, I took his word on it. The car would be ready on Friday instead. Disappointed, I asked the salesman if the car had been damaged by hail. He said no, the car had been indoors in a service bay. I am called Friday at 1:00 PM to pick up the car. It is very badly hail-damaged, not just a few dings, but battered as if a hammer had been taken to it. I clearly do not want a car this damaged. What can we do, I ask, swap it for another car or order a new one or have it repaired in their body shop before I pick it up? The General Manager tells me the damage is my responsibility and that I must take the car and have it repaired as I see fit. I disagree with this since it was damaged in their custody. I refuse to accept the car--General manager says it can sit on their lot forever for all he cares.

As I reconstruct the situation some things are clear: the salesman did lie to me-I suspect he was told to do this so that Mission Chevrolet would have enough time to cash my check before I discovered the damage. By calling me Friday afternoon, I was left with no time to call General Motors customer service or an attorney. Furthermore, I learned that I am not eligible for GM's 60-Day return policy because a $500 reduction I was offered during price negotiations counteracted GM's offer. I had no idea. I am no lawyer, but this sounds like a conspiracy to defraud to me.

Now, reading this would you want to buy a car from these people?
Comments:9 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-09-25
Posted by CSD on 2009-09-19:
Well at that point you did own the car and not them. So I am not sure why they would be responsible for the damage. Do you not have car insurance?
Posted by MaggieMcT on 2009-09-19:
I'm thinking they would be responsible because they said they needed to keep it to fix the tailgate latch.
Check Texas law -- don't you have 3 days to change your mind on a contract? If you told them on Friday, that's within the time frame. Read your sales contract too -- the fine fine fine print.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-19:
Wait a second... you had not yet accepted delivery of the vehicle and they want YOU to be responsible for the damage?

CSD, I am having a hard time believing that you are suggesting that the OP is responsible when he didn't have physical possession of the car. That is ludicrous.

Maggie, in California there is no 3 day right to cancel on auto purchases. I am not sure about Texas.

This dealership needs to make good on the deal and fix the vehicle or cancel the contract. I hate saying these words, but I would see an attorney. You can usually find one that will give you a free consultation, or one with a discounted fee. Let the attorney decide if it is too late to pursue this. It can't hurt to try.
Posted by Ytropious on 2009-09-19:
I would run your contract over with a fine toothed comb and find out when the car is physically considered your possession and your liability. If it is considered yours the moment you sign and opted to leave it there for delivery and not drive it home with you, yes you may be liable for damages even though it was their fault they didn't try to protect it. I really don't know, I'm not a lawyer. An attorney might be your best bet.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-19:
Before you paid for the car, you should have notified your insurance company of the make model and year so it could be added to your policy. We did this before we even paid for our daughters car.

The lemon law, which applies to ALL states, does not apply here.

You may need a lawyer, but the fact that you paid cash (check is basically cash) may remove liability from them. Consult a lawyer and see if they have any liability. I am thinking no, as they did not control the weather anymore than you did.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-09-19:
The point for the courts to decide is when and if you took delivery of the vehicle - sure doesn't sound like it from what you are telling us. Sounds like it's lawyer time. Good luck and let us know what happens.

Posted by Akto on 2009-09-25:
Here is a follow-up to the Mission Chevrolet debacle: Tried to get General Motors Customer Care to intercede, but after 4 days of back and forth they would only repeat what Mission Chevrolet had told me (so then what does GM Customer Care actually do?).

So I had to hire an attorney, who actually laughed and shook his head as I told him the story. Apparently there is settled law regarding the responsibilities of the merchant before a product is delivered--in other words, consumers are protected by law from just this very thing. Furthermore, it seems that Mission Chevrolet has violated some applicable federal laws. The bottom line is that I am to go off and buy another car elsewhere, and that after this works it way through the courts I will receive multiples of the value of the original car. An important point, according to the lawyers, is that I refused to take delivery of the car. This was the correct thing to do. My rights would have been weakened had I accepted the car and driven it off of Mission Chevrolet property.
Posted by CSD on 2009-09-25:
Thanks. I was curious what the law is on this.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-25:
Well then good luck. Let us know how that turns out.

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