Complaint Category: Sales presentation misrepresented the product
Complaint: The extent on Vehicle damage does not match what the disclosure statement noted at the time of purchase.
Vehicle was purchased 9/13/2013
On 10/24 I returned to Pelham Imports after being told by a dealership in Birmingham that the 2013 ********** ****** that Id purchased a month earlier at Pelham Imports had frame damage.
I spoke with the Co-owner at Pelham Imports about my concerns for this vehicle. He explained that He wouldn't allow me to trade this car back in due to all the vehicles on the lot being in the same condition and he wouldn't want to deal with me 3 months down the road.
I was told to call back and speak with ******* as she "runs the place". After making several attempts to discuss this situation with *******, It is concluded that they have washed their hands of the situation because I didn't have the car checked out within a week on purchase and repeated that statement over and over and over repetitively without resolve.
On November 4, 2013, I took the vehicle to a local paint and body shop for a second opinion.
This is when I learned that the vehicle is still in need of at least $600 in repair, the bumper is improperly installed and that the only way to determine the exact extent of the damage to this vehicle is to remove the bumper totally at a cost of over $200.
I feel that this dealership did not fully disclose ALL damage to the vehicle purchased and since they refused all other forms of negotiation, that They should buy the vehicle back.
Initial Business Response
****** ****** purchased on 9/13/2013 a 2013 ********** ****** * ** from Pelham Imports Inc with 6,261 miles. Consumer paid $15950 for vehicle which was $3525 back of retial price of $19475. Consumer had a 2007 ***** ** *** with 112k miles she traded in. She owed $15256.48 on the Lexus and Pelham Imports gave her $12,000 on trade in which was clean nada trade in. She was $3256.48 upside down in her trade in which was rolled over to the ** she purchased. She was able to do this since the ** ****** was being sold for so much less than retail.
Mrs. ****** was verbally told and it was put down in writing that the ** she was purchasing had sustained previous body damage which was repaired by a body shop while it was in Pelham Imports inventory. Mrs. ****** was given the opportunity to and encouraged to have the vehicle inspected by anyone of her choosing before purchase. Mrs. ****** said she did not have time to do that. Pelham Imports wanted her to be happy with her purchase so we made an exception for her and gave her an additional 7 days to drive the vehicle and have it inspected by any body shop and even a ** dealership to ensure that she was comfortable with it. For 7 days Mrs. ****** was given the opportunity to take advantage of this and Pelham Imports was not able to deposit the funds for the ** we sold her so that if she changed her mind we could undo the deal. She was very aware of this when she purchased the vehicle. After seven days we did not here from Mrs. ****** and her check was deposited. The ***** she traded in had an accident on it so she was familiar with purchasing vehicle with previous damage on it. This is why we gave her plenty of opportunity to have her ** checked out to her fullest satisfaction during that 7 day period. The ***** she traded in had cracked damage on the dashboard that we repaired. The ***** also had ticking noise in the engine which we have had to repair. Mrs. ****** did not disclose to Pelham Imports that her trade in had previous engine repair work done. Pelham Imports takes full responsibility for not inspecting and test driving her trade in and trusting her when she said there was nothing mechanically wrong with her ***** she was trading in.
When she came in on 10/24/2013 to Pelham Imports she spoke to the owner and said she could not belief how much the ** had dropped in value the 8 weeks she had it. She did not tell us she had taken the ** to a dealership to trade it in. She wanted us to buy the vehicle back at that time and give her the ***** back. She had put over 3600 miles on the ** in that time frame. Pelham Imports tried to explain to her that we could not buy the ** back as she had rolled over $3526.48 of negative equity onto the ** from her ****** Pelham Imports was not responsible for that negative equity, we have spend money on her trade in to get it up to selling condition. Mrs. ****** than wanted us to take it in on trade in for another vehicle. Mrs. ****** was explained that we did not have any other vehicle that would absorb the negative equity on her ******
It is important to us here at Pelham Imports that our customers are happy. We try very hard to help consumers when we can but when we can not reason with them and they are less than upfront with us there is nothing we can do. Mrs. ****** took the ** to another dealer on 10/24/2013 to trade it in and was upset to find that they would not give her the money she owed on it do to the negative equity she rolled over from her trade in on her ****** She called and spoke to ******* ************ on 10/26/2013 screaming into the phone that we had sold her a salvaged vehicle and that we had cut and welded the quarter panel in order to repair it. Mrs. ****** was not sold a salvage vehicle and the body shop did not cut and weld the quarter panel as that it's the original quarter panel on the vehicle which had been repaired and painted. She was given the opportunity to drive it for a week and have it checked out. She in fact had no problem with the car we sold her until she could not trade it in for the number she wanted.
When you purchase a vehicle they all depreciate and certainly it is unreasonable for the consumer to expect for Pelham Imports to buy the car back for the $15950 she paid for it after she has put in excess of 4,000 miles on it and also give her the ***** back after we have spend money on it and pay the $3596.48 negative equity on her trade in. So in essence Mrs ****** wants to have had the ability to drive around in a 2013 ** ****** for free for 2months and put miles on it as well as have her ***** be given back to her and have us be out the money we spend on her ***** repairing it. She owes on her ** from her credit union in excess of $19506.29 when we sold it for $15950 due to the sales tax and negative equity of her ***** trade in that she rolled on to the sales price of our vehicle.
Mrs. ******'s son called Pelham Imports and spoke to salesperson, ******* ***** and apologized for his mother saying that she was just not happy with the ** because it was not a ********* and that she really wants to purchase a ***** instead. I tried to explain to Mrs. ****** on the phone multiple times that the deal can't just be undone after she has had the vehicle now for more than 10 weeks. Pelham Imports has long since paid off on her trade in and we have still not received title from her credit union. Upon calling her credit union Pelham Imports was informed that they mailed Mrs. ****** the title 10 days after they received our pay off on 9/26/2013. Mrs. ****** knew the title was no longer legally hers but instead has chosen to hold on to the title instead of releasing it to Pelham Imports. Mrs. ****** has had this title ever since 10/14/2013 according to *** ****** ***** and this is before we even knew Mrs. ****** had issue with the ** *******
Pelham Imports last phone conversation with Mrs ****** on 10/26/2013 she was insisting that we sold her a salvage vehicle. When Pelham Imports tried to question her as to what body shop told her that she became very angry and said "none of your **** business where I took the car to or whether I take it one week, six months, or a year to have it inspected". Again the owner explained to Mrs. ****** that she had only a 7 day period of inspection at the time of purchase. Pelham Imports has NEVER SOLD A SALVAGE VEHICLE IN 14 YEARS and this ** has a normal AL title. Mrs. ****** said she would take it to an independent body shop to have it looked at and confirm that it did not have a salvage title. The fact of the matter is that she never took it to a body shop on 10/24/XXXXX but instead a car dealer to trade it in. I am sorry Mrs. ****** was not able to buy a car and in two months trade that car in and be paid $4,000 more than what she paid for it. It is unfortunate that I can not keep all consumers happy but we do realize that sometimes Pelham Imports just can't reason with unreasonable customers. Pelham Imports has sold over 7,000 vehicles in the past 14 years and we are happy that we have had so many repeat and satisfied customers. The 2013 ***** ****** ** sold Mrs. ****** is a great car that she purchased at a wholesale price with very low miles that she will get many years of great service out of if she so chooses. It was Mrs. ******'s responsibility to find the time and have the vehicle fully inspected to her satisfaction in the agreed upon 7 day time frame.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I would like to say that this is an EXCELLANT example of why people hate car dealers. This dealership has a terrible time focusing on the REAL issue here. There have been so many lies told by the owners of PELHAM IMPORTS that it is a total embarrassment for everyone!
1) My financing was NOT the issue nor was it an issue with my bank. **** will loan 125% of the retail amount to ANY of their members with excellent credit. I could have purchased a 1950 vehicle, rolled 5k on it and financed it for 84 months.
2) We did not discuss rolling of negative equity to another car on their lot at any time. Also, I did not attempt to trade this car in nor receive any "Low Trade in Amount" from any other dealership. It was taken to be inspected and I was shocked at what I was told.
3)The difference in value I spoke of to Mr. ************* was the Amount that I paid for this vehicle VS what It is really worth due to the extent of damage to THIS vehicle.
4)I do NOT want the ***** back either. My purpose for trading was for better gas mileage. Also ANY work performed by them VOIDED a full written Warranty given on this vehicle by ***** including unlimited mileage on recall work previously performed. This WAS told to the owner at the time of trade.
5)The "tick" Mr.* mentioned is a COMMON trademark in the IS250 and can be verified with any ***** dealership!
6)The request to trade the ****** for another vehicle was due to concern for the safety of my grandchildren riding in the back seat of an incorrect and incomplete accident repair! If another rear impact occurred in this vehicle, it could be very serious! There is currently about a 1 inch gap (in places) between the replaced bumper and the car.(the part that it attaches to wasn't pulled out correctly and Mr * said he COULD fix it)Ha! Why didn't he?
7) The damage on the disclosure reads "repair to bumper and rear quarter panel". This a TOTAL lie.
I have researched this vehicle and learned the following:
This vehicle was involved in an accident in Fulton County Georgia, brought to Birmingham, Al and reviewed by a large, well known Car Dealership. The estimate for repairs including the Rental companies discount was $5832.97. It was then sold to the owner of Pelham because of the extent of damage for less than $9,000. I have pictures of this car PRIOR to ANY repair and a copy of the repair estimate. I can provide the contact info to the BBB and DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE for verification upon request. Im still getting this car evaluated at present. The rail system is still in question and why I was extremely upset and concerned that it could be salvage material.
8)Along with the disclosed 2 items during purchase, The UNDISCLOSED damages include but not limited to back window replacement, bondo work to rear and side of car, trunk lid and painting up to mid rear passenger door. There is still glass falling from the trunk lid into my trunk. These repairs were intentionally left off to insure I would purchase the vehicle and not know the truth until later.
9)They SAID that I was given 7 days to have everything checked out but deposited the cashiers check dated (9/13) on Monday Sept 16th as I have a copy of this check and can forward. The deposit voided any Supposed agreement that they say they offered.
10)The minor damage they noted on my ***** wasn't entered on Carfax for over a year after I purchased it and even though I was upset learning of it later, the repair was done so well that it did not affect its value.(unlike the opposite situation here)
11)Since I did Not know of the location of the title for the Lexus, I spent my last off day at ADOMV obtaining another which should be received within the next 7days. I will forward as soon as I receive it.
If Pelham Imports has sold over 7k vehicles in previous years, I can assure you there are many who may still not know what they have bought and didn't do homework as I did. Unfortunately mine was after the fact, yet I will do EVERYTHING with my ability to inform as many people as possible of the events of this transaction AND will have a claim in with the Al DA's office before weeks end.
If this is not an all out case of ***** in the way this transaction transpired, then we are All in trouble with the car industry. This Company performed repairs while IN their possession, disclosed a couple, while ignoring other serious acknowledgements in order to sell a substandard vehicle in my opinion!
Thank you BBB for your attention to this Matter!
Complaint Resolution: BBB determined that while the company addressed the complaint issues, the complainant was dissatisfied and the matter was outside BBB Rules of Arbitration.