Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Dealership lied to me and sold me an abused vehicle

And I know the oil was never ever changed because it still has the factory installed oil filter. I have pictures to back that up.

Uh, you do realize that if a dealer does the oil changes the oil filter will very likely be a factory oil filter, don’t you? I assume you mean that oil filter is a Jeep/Chrysler branded one. So what, that is what a dealer would use.

I’m with OK4450 on this. There is clearly more to this story than we are hearing. You may not even know the whole story. You clearly have an odd notion about the oil filter proving anything.

wow. this is not my first car. what i take away from this is that next time i buy a car, which will be an eternity from now, I will probably walk away for good and just ride a bike from now on. it was preventable, on both parties account. i don’t disagree. but i don’t agree that it is ok to lie and get away with it either, no matter who you are.

It would say MOPAR not factory installed.see attached clearly says “FACTORY INSTALLED”. This was also a fact confirmed by another Jeep dealership, as well as CHRYSLER.

Well, I have to say I’ve never seen the phrase “factory installed” on an oil filter. I haven’t owned a Chrysler product in quite a long time, and the last new one I bought was in 1980. If you have some paperwork from the dealer showing this was a “certified” used car or whatever they call it, and this is truly the original oil filter that was never changed, you might have a shot in court. Good luck. That “as is” disclaimer may cover them, though.

I never checked the oil…

this is not my first car.

Really? Did you go three months without checking the oil in your other cars too? What did their owner’s manuals say about how often you should check the oil? What did the owner’s manual for your 2005 Jeep Liberty say about how often you should check the oil? At least if this was your first car, your failure to check the oil would be understandable.

I had no reason to doubt them.

Of course you had a reason to doubt them. They are car salespeople. They would say [i]anything[/i] to make a sale. They have an inherent conflict of interest of which you should have been aware.

If you want to arm yourself with knowledge for next time, here is an article called Confessions of a Car Salesman

You know, I was only responding to your request for suggestions. If you only wanted to hear views that support your own views, you should have been more clear about only wanting suggestions that support your beliefs. What you got here are objective suggestions based on the limited information you provided.

You feel wronged. Someone has taken advantage of your na?vety. If you don’t learn from this, it will happen again, even if you never buy another car. I guarantee it.

Well, shame on me for believing the statement “this is being sold as-is only because the 3/36 has expired”

Well…YEA…Shame on you for NOT finding out what these terms mean. A car is usually the second largest item you’ll ever buy. For many it’s the largest. If you didn’t understand what the deal was then you should have walked away. As I’ve told my kids…there are crooks out there who are more then willing to rob you of every penny you’ve got and not think anything of it. In fact many get pleasure out of it. Your only defense it KNOWLEDGE. I’m a born skeptic. When ever I’m buying something I firmly believe they are trying to cheat me. Maybe they aren’t, but thinking they are makes me question everything. I can’t tell you how many times this way of thinking has helped me. I’ve walked out of several dealerships that were trying to SCREW me. I’ve walked out of a house closing when the mortgage company added a new clause which I was unwilling to accept. Treat people the way you want to be treated…but expect them to treat you like crap.

There is certainly enough blame to spread around here.

The first owner should be blamed for failure to maintain the vehicle. He/she probably planned to trade it in or sell it within a short period of time, and thus felt that it was in his/her financial interests to skip maintenance. That does not make this person’s actions correct, but he/she was looking out for his/her financial interests, no matter how that might harm the next owner.

The dealership wanted to sell a car in order to make money, and it is clear that they did lie about the maintenance of the car. Unfortunately, their misrepresentation about maintenance was verbal, and they will probably deny having said that the car was maintained by them. In fact, they may claim that a lack of maintenance was the reason for the vehicle being sold “as-is”. Verbal, rather than written representations are going to be very hard for the OP to prove. Misrepresentation by the dealership is least immoral, and if proven, would be a violation of the law, but they were looking out for their own financial interests in these troubled times, and desperate people do desperate things, unfortunately.

The OP bought a car that she was told was being sold “as-is”. The OP also states that she never looked under the hood, and she never checked the oil during a three month period. She apparently also did not have the vehicle checked by her own mechanic, prior to sale.

While I cannot condone the actions of the first owner or the dealership, none of those actions would have impacted on the OP if she had looked under the hood and/or had the vehicle inspected prior to purchase, if she had checked the oil, and if she had given some thought to the implications of what “as-is” really meant. None of those omissions on her part make her a bad person, but surely she was not looking out adequately for her own financial interests.

Nobody is trying to make marieh feel bad, but it is important for her to realize that she could have prevented the damage that she suffered if she had exercised some prudence and perhaps some healthy skepticism prior to deciding to purchase this vehicle. There are people and merchants out there who will try to cheat you, but if you don’t take some simple, appropriate steps to protect yourself, then you allow yourself to be cheated.

It may be possible to prevail in Small Claims Court, but marieh also has to realize the limitation on the dollar amount that these courts will deal with. Even if she prevails, the limitations in her state may still result in her losing a substantial sum of money.

The lesson for everyone here is to follow the “rules” for buying a used car that I listed in my earlier post, and above all–Look out for your own financial interests. Everyone else involved in selling a car is doing that, and if a buyer does not look out for his/her own financial interests, then a situation like this can occur.

I sincerely wish marieh good luck in pursuing justice in this case.

From the looks of the pic it appears that this Jeep (an '05 with only 21k miles) was apparently a lease vehicle that saw a lot of short hop driving and the person leasing the vehicle chose to do the usual and not spend one dime on taking care of it.
Probably a sludged up oil screen leading to loss of oil and engine seizure.

That being said OP, you’re likely up the creek on this. If you signed an “AS IS” disclaimer the dealer is off the hook.
BBB complaints are irrelevant and if you had a legitimate state legal action the AG’s office would have dug into this further.

Forget warranty. Warranty is for the repair of faulty materials and workmanship and the fact that the person who leased the vehicle abused it is not a warrantable reason.

The phrase about “cannot find an attorney to help you” is incorrect. A lawyer can be scraped up from underneath any flat rock. The only issue is whether you have the will and the means to pay them.

About all I can suggest is that in the future you actually have a car inspected before buying it and signing any paperwork and unless you get into the habit of raising the hood every few weeks to check fluid levels then you’re going to be going down this same road with the next vehicle you buy. No doubt about it.

Lastly, a “single mom with limited resources” should not be going into hock on a late model low miles vehicle anyway. Just last night a female relative of mine in the same boat asked my opinion about a late model '05 car. My opinion was that no way, no how do you need to buy this actual car or take on the financial responsibility considering the situation.
So what are they doing? They’re currently mad at me and consumating the deal this evening I think.

At least it’s not as bad as it was centuries ago when the emissaries delivering a message were separated from their heads after delivering a message the king did not want to hear. :wink:

I faithfully have my oil changed at 3 months 3ooo miles whether it needs it or not. In case you missed it, when this happened on a Thursday, I had planned to have the oil changed that weekend. Sorry my assumption is wrong when I believe that it is normal protocol for a dealership to provide basic service to a vehicle they took in trade prior to releasing it for sale. Since I had no evidence of an oil leak, or with how the car ran, it was well under the suggested schedule. By the way, I bought two cars from them that day, and everything they provided for the other vehicle was on the level. So yeah, I did trust them. I don’t believe it is an issue of naivety. I checked out their business using all of the avenues available to me. Little did I know I would be the one they decided to defraud. My only mistake was not making them prove everything, and focusing on the issue of price and financing rather than checking the specs of the vehicle. What they did to me was wrong, and I will get some justice, I guarantee it.

Nobody is trying to make marieh feel bad

That was the case for me, but she has made so many snide remarks, I am beyond caring how she feels. She asked for our suggestions and then chided us for our responses. Perhaps she should look in the mirror and ask herself, which is more morally reprehensible, lying to someone to sell a car or being rude to people who are trying to help you.

I didn’t miss it.

None of that gives you an excuse for not checking the oil. I don’t care if the car had the Pope’s blessing and an extended bumper to bumper 100,000 mile warranty, I would still check the oil once a week.

Checking the oil is a basic part of properly owning and operating a car. Nothing you can say will change that. Nothing the dealer said will change that, and there are no circumstances you can describe that will change that.

The problem was not that your assumption was wrong. The problem is that you made decisions based on assumptions. You would be better off basing your decisions on facts.

For those people who read all these comments amd who are wondering what the point is; I hope you have found many helpful clues. One major point is that there is nothing we can do to get the money back. Only good will from the dealer can help now. While that statement is not the final word, it certainly could be and usually is the end of the story. If you read these horror stories of car buying misery for a few months, you will know why certain things are done by a dealer and what they mean to you, the buyer. Another good point is that a boyfriend who knows little about car dealers is equal to the girlfriend, and gives you no advantage. Last but not least; promises mean little if you don’t get them in writing, signed.

Haven’t you noticed that frequently when people ask for opinions or advice, they only want to hear statements that support their preconceived notions? That is what is taking place here, I am sure.

I feel very sorry for marieh, just as I would feel sorry for anyone who fails to take ordinary, everyday steps to help themselves. And, as someone (ok4450 perhaps?) said recently on this board, most of the car problems that people experience are the result of their own actions–or their own inactions. Marieh’s situation certainly bears out that theory.

I do not condone the lack of maintenance on the part of the first owner, nor can I condone whatever chicanery the dealership may have engaged in. However, Marieh did not act in a responsible, adult fashion.

Even if she did not know that a used car should always be checked by her own mechanic prior to purchase, surely she should have known enough to check her oil regularly. A responsible adult car-owner should know enough to check the oil on a new vehicle at least every couple of weeks until its rate of oil consumption was a known quantity.

Unfortunately, she trusted that this used engine would use absolutely no oil between oil changes, just as she trusted that “as-is” meant that she would be covered in the event of mechanical problems.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify”.

I feel sorry for marieh too, but not because of what happened. I feel sorry for her because she refuses to learn anything that might help her prevent this from happening again in the future. She thinks she lives in a black and white world where someone is either good or bad. As the victim, she refuses to acknowledge that she should have prevented this, even if she was not at fault.

The OP reminds me of a friend who doesn’t realize that automobile collisions are always worth preventing. They are worth preventing even if the collision would be someone else’s fault. Both my friend and the OP act as though prevention only matters when you are at fault. If someone gives them an excuse to do something stupid, they do it and blame the person who gave them the excuse.

Actually, there’s an interesting legal question here.

Dealerships advertise “certified used” vehicles, and spend a significant amount of money in print, radio, TV extolling the virtues of “3,788-point inspections.” In an economic sense they are “differentiating” their product from run-of-the-mill used cars so that they might receive more money for a “superior” product. Thus, the ad money is an investment meant to turn a profit.

If the dealer represented the vehicle as meeting whatever they advertise a “cetified used” car as possesing, but in fact it’s an equivalent “generic used car,” are they guilty of “theft by deception”? For example, if a “used” '05 Liberty sells for $8000, and a “certified pre-owned” sells for $11,500, would the dealership be guilty of stealing $3500? (I mean the 3,788-point inspection has to have an economic value associated with it).

I do agree that the dealer’s probably not responsible for contaminated-oil or oil-starvation engine damage, as checking oil level/condition is part of an owner/operator’s duties, as specified in the owner’s manual. (Personally, however, I think the “delta” between used and “certified used” ought to be recoverable, especially if it can be shown the dealer spent $$ advertising the merits of “certification.”)

You make an interesting point. However, the vehicle in question here was apparently not a “certified” used car. Being sold “as-is” is pretty much the antithesis of “certified” status, don’t you think?

As to the claim that it was “inspected and ready for sale”, that may just mean that the car will pass a state inspection, and therefore is “ready for sale”–whatever that means. The OP read too much into the puffery and the claims that could not be supported by any actual evidence.

It also could be that the salesman who was telling the buyer these things could have either been BSing to cover up actual knowledge of the vehicle, may have been repeating what they were told by (?), or simply assumimg that a 21k miles vehicle could not possibly have anything wrong with it.

I’ve worked for several dealers who would actually send cars back into the service dept. and have them checked out. The majority of checkouts were usually done by wash/detail guys who had limited mechanical experience.
It was a matter of economics. Sending a car in to the service dept. for a check cost the Used Car Dept. X dollars even at a discounted internal labor rate so why spend 75-125 dollars (Internal) when the 7 dollar an hour guy in the washroom (working for the New/Used Dept.) would simply check the fluids, tire pressure, wipers/lighting, and call it good.

It would have been interesting to hear the discussions that occurred between the OP and the dealer when this happened. Civil discourse as to what would be done or screaming and cursing?
If the former, it would seem to me the dealer would have made an effort of some sort to resolve this (meet halfway or whatever). If the OP sicced everyone from the Brazilian National Guard to the Spice Girls on the dealer from the get-go then the dealer has no incentive to do anything.

I have seen “certified” used cars with problems that they could not possibly miss if they really did a thorough inspection. I don’t think there is a difference between the price of a “certified” used car and a run-of-the-mill used car. Calling a used car a “certified pre-owned” car is like putting lipstick on a pig.

Maybe it was different before certifying used cars became popular. But now that almost everyone does it, I think it has lost its meaning.

I have seen “certified” used cars with problems that they could not possibly miss if they really did a thorough inspection.

Many dealerships play the numbers game. If they get 100 cars that are 2 years old with less then 40k miles…chances are very high that MOST won’t have a single problem for years to come. So they weigh the cost of inspecting them against the cost of possible problems they’ll have to fix. Many times the cost of inspecting them outweighs the cost of any money they’ll spend on warranty repairs…SO…they DON’T inspect the vehicles…Just do a quick once over to look for obvious problems. And hope for the best. It’s called HIGHER PROFIT vs CUSTOMER SANCTIFICATION. And for many dealers…HIGHER PROFIT means EVERYTHING.

I find this statement quite amazing-

When I am the one spending all the money, why do I have to work so hard to make sure they are telling the whole truth? I would never buy anything if it worked that way for every purchase. I mean, please.

I think most responsible people will tell you, the more money they spend, the harder they work to insure they aren’t being ripped off. You’re not buying a toaster here. By your own admission, this was a big expense for you, a real hardship now that it needs thousands in work and you can’t afford that kind of loss. Can you see the irony???