: Traded in the V and Dealership wants to take to small claims court

01-05-07, 01:09 AM
I don't even know where to begin. I knew having a black car was going to be bad luck at some point.:banghead: I just got a call from the dealership where I traded in my V. It's been a month since I traded the car in. They tell me that if certain repairs aren't made to the car, they will be forced to sell the car at the auction. If the sale is for less than what they paid me for the car, I would be liable for the difference. If I don't pay, they will send me to small claims court.

They say they have a case that I can't beat. That supposedly I didn't disclose that I had previously modified the car with a supercharger and other mods.

The repairs they want made are for stock parts that need replacing. When I traded the car in, it was stock except for the exhaust. The dealership that I had hired to do the install and uninstall of the said modifications is telling me they have never been called to make the repairs on the car. The dealership planning to sue me is saying that they have made attempts to get the car repaired with the dealership I orginally worked with, and were denied repairs. So it's a he said she said situation.

What I don't get is that they never asked me if there were any modifications on the car. They never asked me to disclose anything on paper. As a matter of fact, the person who greeted me, not my salesman, commented when I got out of the car, "it sounds really nice!" He had a cheesy smile. I replied, "yeah, it's got an aftermarket exhaust." He began to feel the gaps between the trunk and body, hood and body, door and body. He opened the car and opened the hood. He did an inspection on the spot. He never mentioned anything.

The only paperwork I signed was a "bill of sale" that doesn't request information about any previous modifications. All the finance guy said was, "sign here to release the car."

I know there are a few lawyers in here who could give me some advice. Anyone want to chime in with a checklist of what I need to do to prepare myself?

01-05-07, 01:41 AM
Don't know what the laws are in your state, but I would think the burden is gonna be on them.

You didn't hide a wreck (?).
So you modded the car, and then returned it to stock.
That doesn't show up on a carfax.
They inspected it.

Tell them to do what they want, it is their car.

If they sue you, good luck.

01-05-07, 02:27 AM
More proof that dealers are slimeballs (even Lexus dealers).

Sounds like a scare tactic to me.
I don't see how you are responsible for their revenu loss from selling the car the quick & lazy way at an auction instead of holding out for someone who will pay market value.
We all know market value is well above what they gave you.
I bet you could find a buyer for your car, then buy it back from the dealer (for what they paid you), and sell it for a profit.

How did they even find out you had a SC?
The other dealer must have voided your warranty and then disclosed why to the dealer that now has your car.
Your car might still be able to be taken to another dealer (w/o knowledge of your prior mods) for repair.

01-05-07, 03:44 AM
I'm no lawyer, but I would have to agree with lunarx and heavy -- they have a weak case based on the facts that you laid out.

I suggest that you double-check your sales contract (and any other paperwork) for "out" clauses, though.


01-05-07, 05:26 AM
I'm no lawyer, but I would have to agree with lunarx and heavy -- they have a weak case based on the facts that you laid out.

I suggest that you double-check your sales contract (and any other paperwork) for "out" clauses, though.


:yeah: Going to have to read every word of the fine print to see if they have a legal case where you signed something stating the condition of the car.

01-05-07, 05:42 AM
wow. dumb dealer. First, they are breaking a major rule of business; never sue your customer.

Then, they are going to walk into court, and admit that they, a sophisticated automotive repair and sales shop, with dozens of trained employees and millions in revenue, got hoodwinked by a lone citizen on a trade-in of a car upon which they are supposedly experts. Then it took them a month to realize it.

But then, they are going to have no evidence that you did anything wrong. I suppose that you also failed to disclose that you broke the speed limit once on the highway? Essentially their complaint is that they can't make enough money on the resale. Their problem, not yours.

Check your paperwork to see if there was any unusual fine print, but if it's the standard trade-in paperwork you chould tell them to go screw themselves, but let them know that if they do so you you will:

1) go to the local press and make sure the world knows of their stupidity;
2) Countersue for abuse of process;
3) Seek damages and costs because their claims are exceptionally ridiculous.

(Not sure if you can really pull off #2 or #3, but they are blowing smoke, so you might as well join the fun. But, if you r paperwork does somehow indicate that you committed fraud, then you may have to take a different approach. I HIGHLY doubt that is the case. The screwed up and are looking for vengeance).

(Disclaimer: The above comments do not constitute legal advice in any way shape or form; you are advised to seek appropriate legal counsel for proper legal advice)

Years ago I traded in a winterized boat to a boat dealer in the winter. They told me that they tested everything and said it was fine. Two months later they told me that the boat wasn't winterized properly and the exhaust risers were cracked and that I owed them $900; I told them to screw themselves.

01-05-07, 06:09 AM

My guess is they've no leg to stand on. Sounds like they gave you too much for the trade-in or sold the new car at too low a price and are now trying to receover.

I could be wrong if the disclosure you signed stated soemthing about returning it to stock configuration, but I'd be shocked. It's a scre tactic. IF they get nasty, remind them you have a lawyer too and keep in mind local TV stations always look for stories of the "little helpless consumer (you) against the big nasty car dealer".

Good luck!


01-05-07, 08:35 AM
Now that's a new one on me. "Sorry, we couldn't make what we thought we would, so we're going to sure you." As an attorney (and I'm not giving you legal advice-we have to say that-they told us that in law school), I'd be hard pressed to find any way that could support their claim unless you signed something about the condition of the car which they can prove to be untrue. Remember, if they sue you, the burden is on them. They will have to show where you affirnatively represented something to them (likely in writing) that they relied on to thier detriment. Go read everything you signed. If you didn't sign anything about the condition of your trade-in, tell them to go pound sand.

Try the situation in reverse. How about if we went back to the dealer a year after we bought a car and said, "I thought I could sell this for X, but it looks like I can only sell it for Y so I want my money back"...you'd have to get mops in there to clean up after everyone who peed themselves laughing at you.

01-05-07, 08:37 AM
Exactly what repairs are they talking about?

01-05-07, 08:38 AM
See if someone like 'James' can check your old VIN to see if its been flagged deny warranty. Also did they tell you what repairs needed to be done? I'm guessing the wiper bracket that gets ground down, what else?

The Tony Show
01-05-07, 08:44 AM
That's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time.

As said already, read all your fine print related to the trade first, but it sounds to me like they're not able to sell your car, and now they want to fleece you before sending it to auction.

If I traded in a car with a dent in the door, the dealer can't call me back in a month and say, "We just found the dent in the door, and you need to pay for it". A member of management signed the purchase agreement with the figures in place and the trade present. If they missed something, then it's their fault.

I wonder what would happen were the tables turned here? Had you bought a used car, then found evidence of aftermarket parts, I bet they'd tell you that it was your responsibility to inspect the car before sigining the paperwork and taking delivery.

01-05-07, 09:23 AM
They don't have a leg to stand on. If they need to make repairs to the car under warranty they can do it. They probably gave you to much on trade and can't recoup there loss. Tell them if they want to sue, you'll see them in court. If they inspected the car and traded for it the burden is on them.

Five years ago I traded in a Ram Air Trans Am that had been modified and returned to stock. The dealer called me a couple of weeks later and wanted to no if certain things had been done to the car and then returned to stock. I said "yes". The sales guy said they wouldn't be able to get as much for the car and that I would need to come in and write them a check for the difference. I laughed on the phone and told him................"your dealership is the one who made the modifications and returned it to stock!" Needless to say that was the end of that conversation.


The Tony Show
01-05-07, 09:32 AM
It all comes down to what you signed, VELOSE. I'm sure there's standard warnings about emission control, but as long as the cats and the PCV are still there then there's no problem there.

There's probably a clause you signed that says the title isn't salvage or rebuilt: Fine there, too.

The only way they have any grounds is if something you signed expressly states that you certify the car has not been modified, and are responsible for value adjustments that resulted from said modifications. Otherwise, politely tell them that you have not broken any part of your agreement, and never falsely represented the car.

01-05-07, 10:09 AM
scare tactic, going to sue you exactly for what, cause they made a bad decision. had this happen to me when I traded my evo 8. exact same thing. I told them do what you want it is your car and don't call me any more or i will file a criminal complaint for harrasment. that pretty much ended the phone calls from them.

01-05-07, 10:43 AM
I'd let them sue, go to court and let them show how you cheated their seasoned, professional car buyer. It sounds like a fun day in small claims to me. Did you have the original tires on the car? Wiper blades? Brake pads? Those would be mods if not OEM. Did they ask if you changed the fluids? Did they check to see if your warranty was intact by calling the GM 800 number? Did they ask you if your warranty was intact?

Did they ask if the car had ever been raced :bonkers: ?

It sounds like their buyer was negligent. Even if you lose you can appeal and you get a second chance! Maybe they did something wrong on your purchase? CROSS COMPLAINT, sue them back. Is there a teeny itty bitty scratch they failed to disclose, sue them for it. Subpoena everyone that you spoke to at the dealer! Drag their whole staff into court and shut them down for a day! Then postpone the hearing at the last minute forcing them to reschedule their staff for the day in court!

Be a dick.


Good luck

01-05-07, 10:48 AM
What ever happend to the "as is" clause? It's a used car for crying out loud!!! "As Is" - period!

01-05-07, 11:41 AM
Maybe they did something wrong on your purchase? CROSS COMPLAINT, sue them back. Is there a teeny itty bitty scratch they failed to disclose, sue them for it. Subpoena everyone that you spoke to at the dealer! Drag their whole staff into court and shut them down for a day! Then postpone the hearing at the last minute forcing them to reschedule their staff for the day in court!

Be a dick.

HAHAHAHAHA. That was great Koooop - I loved it. Got a good laugh on that one. You should be a lawyer, not a realtor!


01-05-07, 12:03 PM
I haven't had a chance to look over my paperwork. I will do so tonight. I only remember signing the Bill of Sale and possibly some release of liability form. Other than that, I was never asked if the car was modified or not. I was never told to write down any modifications the car had done previously or currently installed.

I've been talking to the dealership that helped me install and uninstall the modifications. They strongly agree that they have no basis on the case. It's a simple situation of them not doing their job and having a loss. Now they want to re-coop their costs with me.

Here's my theory. They must have sold the car to someone. That person noticed a check engine light. He/she brings the car back to the dealer. The buyer refuses to keep the car. The dealer now has no choice but to seek compensation from the seller(me).

This dealership is saying they want certain items repaired or else they can't sell it. They want sway bar brackets for the front, that are missing. They want the complete wiring harness replaced because it was moved from its original location to make more room for the supercharger. They also think that I did modifications to the rearend. They said that because it was leaking, it was tampered with. All of you know very well the V's weakness with the rearend. I went on for minutes explaining to them how weak that rearend is. Also, how many have already replaced that rearend 2-3 times within the first few years of ownership. I told them they should be happy to see the stock rearend is still in there.

I just received a print out from the dealership where I had the parts installed at. The print out is of the active warranty on the V. So if they take me to court, they can't say they couldn't repair some of those items under warranty. They also can't say I sold them a car without warranty. The warranty was never revoked due to the supercharger or any mods I had the dealership install. So they can't point fingers at me for selling them a car without warranty.

I'll post later tonight on what I signed.

01-05-07, 12:05 PM
Yeah, Buyer Beware is a bitch! :highfive:

01-05-07, 12:09 PM
HAHAHAHAHA. That was great Koooop - I loved it. Got a good laugh on that one. You should be a lawyer, not a realtor!


I may be a dick, but I'm not that big of a dick!

I was gonna say if you want to be a dick you have to think like a Lawyer. But some things are so obvious they require no explaination.

Res ipsa loquitur

The Tony Show
01-05-07, 12:27 PM
I'd avoid getting into semantics with them, like how many V's have rear problems, or the wiring harness or anything else. All that conversation is moot if you didn't sign a claim of liability for mods, or state that they'd never been made. Unless you've assumed liability for the condition of the car, it doesn't matter if you've got the only leaking diff on the planet. They bought the car from you, so it's their problem now- just like if you had found paintwork on a used car purchased from them: It'd be your problem for not checking.

50 4Ever
01-05-07, 01:02 PM
I was raised in the car business and as far as I now the previous stuff does not have to be declared. If they asked and you said "NO" that would be different, but that is not what happened. One time a salesman of ours took a trade-in sight unseen on a new car. When the guy's "baby" was dropped off at the dealership it was a f^(#!%g New York City taxi cab, still had the holes in the roof and the paint was faded except where the decals were. We couldn't go back and tell the guy he mis-represented the car because legally the car was ours. To soften the blow I fired the lazy a$$#d salesman.

I don't think they have a legal leg to stand on since the car is their's. I don't believe the paperwork you signed addresses modding of the car, a CAI is a mod so how many mods are allowable?

This is not like a house where if you buy a house and find out there is an old oil tank buried in the side yard that wasn't disclosed the seller is liable for removal, environmental fees, etc.

Keep us posted.

01-05-07, 03:00 PM
I traded in 94 Z28 years ago and the dealership priced it as a 95. After the sale, the dealership discovered the error and tried to threaten me with legal action. I said sorry about their bad luck and incompetent employees...not my problem.

01-05-07, 06:10 PM

I just made a call to the contact I have at the "Car Store" within my credit union. I bought the new car thru my credit union. They referred me to this dealership. I explained what's happened and she's not happy. Nor is the salesman on the other end going to be happy when she errupts on him. They do a lot of business with them.

We'll see what happens....

01-05-07, 06:15 PM
On another note.....there's a guy at my son's school with a black V. I see it and can't get over how nice it looks even in stock trim.

01-05-07, 08:19 PM
I saw a nasty looking one today at the airport. That person needs to clean their car big time, body and wheels. They were almost as black as the paint.

01-05-07, 09:32 PM
How exciting this thread is! Everything has been covered it seems so just a comment and a question. How much DID they give you on trade and what year was it and mileage? I am sure they gave you wholesale price and can wholesale it out. They just want to make their usual $4000 markup on used cars and can't in this case! They can't do a thing as a deal is a deal and that dealer can go to hell! So, instead of making $80k profit this month they will only make $75k! TISK TISK!

01-05-07, 11:15 PM

Was it ever raced????

50 4Ever
01-06-07, 02:32 AM

Was it ever raced????

The jury is still out on that one :histeric: :histeric: :histeric:

Ever watch youtube?

The Tony Show
01-06-07, 10:01 AM
So, instead of making $80k profit this month they will only make $75k! TISK TISK!

If they're only making $80k in profit in a month, they won't be in business very long. I've made almost $80k profit myself in a month.

This whole thing sounds like a retard sales Manager to me. I've seen these guys do some stupid stuff over the years, and this reeks of a guy trying to scare someone into bailing him out of a wholesale loss. The more I think about it, the more ridiculous it seems.

01-06-07, 10:37 AM
Go to the press and F up his credability within his market. If they want to play hardball then do it. They must think they are dealing with a 18 year old kid that traded his first car in the sence that they can say anything under the sun to make thgem more profit and you will comply. Tell them to come get some!:brutal:

01-06-07, 11:21 AM
Wow, I have just read this entire thread.....another car dealership trying to screw someone...how unusual !! I agree with many of the posts to tell them to go ahead and sue you....actually, if I were you , I would terminate all conversation whether verbal or in writing immediately....these slimebags are just looking for a free ride. Screw 'em. If they are really serious, and I am betting they are bluffing, let them take you to court. It would be hard to imagine that they would prevail...in any event cease communication with them poste haste and go on with your life.

01-06-07, 06:08 PM
I agree with what everyone said above...

Read the paperwork
tell them to pound sand...

If they continue, I say we all walk into our dealerships and tell them our cars have depreciated and we want to be compensated for the difference or we will take them to small claims court... Idiots...

I have to know the deaerlship name now...


01-06-07, 06:16 PM
This is the worse dealer BS i have ever heard.... The cars there's after you sign the paperwork, hand over the keys/title and take your new toy. There is nothing they can do now. You did nothing wrong. The only thing a dealer could have to squack about, would be odometer fraud... and that's not the case here. Do not even bother to talk with them. They are verbo-judo hustlers!! They think they are such good talkers that they can get away with anything. I've seen plenty of these kind of people around. If they continue to call, put a harassing phone call complaint in with your local police. That will shut them up. Save the phone messages... Let every call go you do not recognise go into voice mail.. Good Luck.

01-07-07, 09:35 AM
They say they have a case that I can't beat. That supposedly I didn't disclose that I had previously modified the car with a supercharger and other mods.

My wife is a 2nd year law student in TX. Every state *may* be different, so the following pertains to TX law.

Having recently studied a similar case - wherein a dealership threatened to sue an individual for not disclosing their trade-in had transmission issues.

Keep in mind... Consumer laws protect larger entities from trying to muscle the little man. In this theme - they are the experts. For that matter - who cares if you had AM parts on the car, assuming their removal has not jeopardized the safety or operation of the car.

So, if this dealership wants to sue you under consumer law (small claims court) they would have to prove they are an equal consumer to you. In TX, they would have to have less then $25M in assets to claim they are a consumer. I'm not sure what dealer you are talking about...but inventory, buildings, shop equipment, etc, would easily exceed $25M.

Follow this link for more information...


Sounds to me like you have a Used Car Manager that is trying to get you to pay his shop tab. I'd tell him to "have a nice day." A stock CTS-V has a good chance of needed thousands of dollars in work to pass a used car inspection (rear end, half shafts, service, tires, peeling nav buttons, radiator, etc). He is paid to be the expert and needs to learn a little lesson here.