I purchased a car from Streetside Classics. The car was misrepresented as a numbers matching vehicle and when It broke down on me on the drive home.
I am a ** year old disabiled veteran that currently lives in ********** North Carolina. I recently got out of the **** as a ******* about 1 year ago. I have been saving my money to purchase a classic mustang for 5 years. On September 21st I went to go look at several mustangs with a fellow **** veteran to find one to purchase. The sales asscociate misrepresented the 1968 mustang he sold me by saying it was numbers matching including the engine. My best friend was there and will testify that he said it was indeed a numbers matching car. He also assured me that the car would make the trip to the Raleigh area with no problems.
I went ahead and purchased the vehicle and corresponded weith the sales associate and it was agreed that the car would be fueled up and fluids checked and the battery charged so that I could pick it up and drive it home. It was important that this would happen because I was closing on my house the same day in ********** at 5pm. I went to go pick up the car at noon of the 27 of September. The car was not fueled there was no charge in the battery and they had to jump start the car. They had done none of the prechecks they had agreed to do. I started driving the car home with my fiance following me behind in my other car. The car made it approx 22 miles and it broke down. I had to pull over on the Hwy putting both my life and the life of my fiance in danger. I called the sales associate for help and he was very unpleasent on the phone and said he did not know what to do. I was on the side of the road for an hour and half waiting for a wrecker. Time was very important because I had to be back by 5pm to the lawyers office to close on my house. The wrecker picked up my car transported it back to my house. I talked to the sales manager and complaned about both my service and car. He sent a representive out to check the car. He changed a battery cable and started the car up for only a few minutes. When he left I started the car back up and heard a knocking noise. I work for a automotive manufacurer and was refered to a automotive shop. When I took the car there I was informed that the car had bad rod bearings and there was a chip in the cam shaft. I was also informed that the engine did not match the car like the sales associate had told me. I am very unhappy with both the service and the vehicle I have been sold. I am a combat verteran purple heart and bronze star recepient. I feel as tho I have been misled and taken advantage of. I am very disapointed and want answers.
I want them to refund the tow back to my house. I also want them to pay for the rebuild of the engine. The car was misrepresented as a numbers matching car and i only drove it 22 miles when it broke down. I think this is fair and that is all I want.
First off, we do appreciate the customer's service in the United States military. As a company who supports the troops, we always give military members the best customer service and deals that we possibly can. Over the years, we've had many military veterans as customers and we are very thankful for everything they do. All that said, this customer's allegations that the car was advertised as numbers matching are completely false. Our website has a place under features where the term numbers matching would have been clearly listed. We also made no mention of the car being numbers matching anywhere in the written portion of the advertisement. Even so, the customer claims a salesperson verbally told him the car was numbers matching while he was visiting our showroom. The salesperson, whom is a well trusted and senior staff member, disputes this claim and knows the particular car that was sold well. The purchased 1968 Ford Mustang had a Marti Report as supporting documentation, and we believe the customer, who was a first time classic car buyer, got confused that the presence of a Marti Report meant the car was numbers matching as well. Even so, if the customer was truly concerned about the originality of the car's drive train, he could have easily verified the car either was or wasn't numbers-matching on his own as he visited our dealership to look at and inspect this vehicle on two separate occasions. We have a lift on site where customers are able to inspect the vehicles thoroughly and verify any numbers they may be concerned about prior to purchasing. Our company has an open door policy on vehicle inspections. In fact, they are welcomed since many of the vehicles are 40+ years old.
The customer is correct that we did not have the vehicle 100% ready for delivery upon his arrival. We were very busy and also short staffed on that particular day. When he arrived, the battery was not fully charged and the car also needed fresh gas. We have apologized for this mistake several times and have since offered him several remedies. Without objection, we agreed to pay his tow bill from Charlotte, NC to **********, NC, and, on or about October 1st, we sent a mechanic to his place of residence to both repair the speedometer of the car and also make sure the battery was in good order. Both these repairs were done post-purchase/free of charge because we were trying to keep the customer satisfied. Streetside Classics does care about our customers, and we always try to do the right thing, but there is a limit to what we can do considering the terms of the purchase and the fact the car was sold without warranty. After the visit by our mechanic, the customer was satisfied at that point and allowed our mechanic to leave. We are still waiting on the tow bill and will pay it in full once the customer presents it to us.
A couple days later, the customer started asking us to pay for an entire engine rebuild on the vehicle because it had apparently started making a knocking noise. Keep in mind this was after he personally inspected the car twice for several hours, heard it run many times, test-drove it, and also had the opportunity to bring in his mechanic prior to purchasing it. Due to the nature of classic vehicles, and because we are a broker who doesn't have an in-house shop or perform any restoration work ourselves, our company openly sells all vehicles "As/Is No Warranty" and the customer was aware of that fact when he entered into the contract terms. If the car does indeed now have an engine issue, we're very sorry to hear that, but it clearly was not making the knocking noise while at our showroom or for the first 3-5 days of the customer's ownership. If it would have been making the noise, which I am told by his shop was quite significant by the time they first heard it, the customer would not have agreed to purchase the vehicle in the first place. We have no way to know how the car was driven after the sale, or what unforeseen issues may have been about to arise that were unbeknownst to both us and the customer at the time of sale. His mechanic has admitted that the engine in the car looked fairly fresh and was most likely rebuilt within the last 10-15,000 miles (although this was not advertised).
Unfortunately, with all classic vehicles, unforeseen issues can arise. It's a risk you take with buying an older car and it's also why our company is forced to sell them without any kind of warranty. Streetside Classics does everything we can to provide customers with full disclosure of all vehicles, and we invite pre-purchase inspections, but we cannot be held responsible for what a vehicle does after the point of sale considering the terms of the contract. We are sorry to hear the customer is displeased and will again offer to pay the cost of the tow bill as he's requesting. We also have already incurred the cost of sending a mechanic to his house to repair the speedometer and repair the battery in the vehicle.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I was not confused I was misrepresented by the sales associate. As I stated I have a witness that was there the day I purchased the car. The Sales associate told a bold faced lie, and said that the vehicle was indeed numbers matching.
I was also in constant correspondence with the sales manager. The sales manager said that the soonest they could get someone to look at my car, was the Tuesday after I had to get the car towed back to my house. I did not start the car and left it alone until their representative could look at it.After their representative had came to the conclusion that it was a bad battery cable Which obviously was not the problem. The representative left after only starting the car and hearing it for a few minutes. After the engine warmed up it started making the knocking noise. I called immediately and was told I need to put lead substitute in the gas. I knew that this was not the cause of the problem. I drove the car immediately to a shop I was referred to.
It did take a couple of day for them to break down the engine and diagnose the problem. This is when I found out it was not numbers matching and that the engine had been piece milled together. This is when I contacted the sales manager back and informed him. I did not insist that he pay the whole total as stated but, I do fill they are liable for helping me with a portion. He denied responsibility and basically brushed me off. I told him I was going to get a lawyer and he told me to go ahead if I wanted to waste my money.
I have been treated as though I am Ignorant about vehicles, and although that this is my first classic car purchase. I have owned classic cars before and know that this car was misrepresented and the engine rebuild was amateur at best. I was taken advantage of and will never do business with these gentlemen again.
Final Business Response
There was absolutely no intent to harm this customer by Streetside Classics or any of our sales associates. We made no attempts to mislead the consumer in any way regarding the originality or rebuild history of the engine in advertisement, either. Streetside Classics is a very transparent company throughout the entire sales process. We always encourage inspections before purchases are made. This is mainly because most of the vehicles we sell are consigned, and were subsequently not restored/rebuilt by us with documentation or guarantee for work performed.
Accordingly, this customer visited our showroom on no less than two occasions before the purchase, was able to listen to the vehicle run and test drive it with a witness, and then afterwards he agreed to purchase it AS/IS No Warranty. The sales documents attached to this case clearly show that he was aware he would pay all costs for any future repairs that may have arisen on the vehicle. Indeed, we are not happy to hear what has apparently happened to the vehicle, but if this buyer wanted to have a guarantee for future repairs, he should have purchased a newer car with a post-sale warranty in place. Seasoned classic car buyers/sellers understand there are certain risks involved with purchasing vehicles that are 40+ years old. The car can be fine one minute and then develop any sort of issue minutes later. That's exactly why they are sold As/IS No Warranty in nearly every sales scenario throughout the United States.
Again, we appreciate the customers business, and will again offer to reimburse him the tow bill even when technically we were out of liability even at that stage. Our company has gone above and beyond for this customer, even going so far as sending an associate to his house to look the car over post-sale (although we were not bound to do that either by contract terms). We did what we could take make him happy, but at some point a line must be drawn since the car was purchased without any kind of post-sale warranty.
Streetside Classics considers this matter settled and will pay the tow bill upon receipt. According to the attached contracts, our company has was not in violation any of the terms and conditions in relation to the sale. We therefore hope the BBB will close this case and our rating, and standing, with the BBB should not be affected.