I bought a used car in July with a 'Contingency' that was noted in the Purchase Agreement

I bought a used car in July with a ‘Contingency’ that was noted in the Purchase Agreement.
I bought a 1999 Toyota Celica Convertible. The Top motors did not work. The problem was noted in the Purchase Agreement. I have sent a few emails and I get ‘run-a-round’ responses. I would like to politely inform them that they have a responsibility to fulfill the Purchase Agreement. What can I do if they continue to give me the ‘run-a-round’? The purchase was made at a Toyota Dealership, 200 miles away, so I can’t just drive up and harass them personally.
Thank you.

If the contingency was the power top would be repaired and function then you call the service dept. and make an appointment to have the top repaired. Simple. Make the call. Take the car at the appointed time, then if they refuse to repair it you go to the manager’s office show them the purchase agreement highlighting the note to repair the top. If the manager blows you off, then you tell the manager he and the owner of the dealership will be hearing from your lawyer.

Expect that they will have to look at the car, order parts and that the repair will take a few days to complete. Parts for convertible tops aren’t normally in stock, this isn’t an air filter, or spark plug. It isn’t the dealer’s problem that you live 200 miles away. You have to present them the car for repair and give them adequate time to make the repair. Sometimes phone calls just don’t cut it. In this case you’ve got to show up on their doorstep.

Please explain further what ‘Contingency’ means in this case.
You bought a 12-13 year old car with a known problem, yes?
Does ‘Contingency’ mean they promised to fix it? From 200 miles away?
What does that part of the Purchase Agreement say, verbatim?

I have the paperwork at home. I will get it out and post it this evening.

So far you’ve made it sound only that ;
The used car has a problem.
They know about it
You know about it.
And, being a used car, you’ve purchased it ‘‘as is’’. full well knowing about the pre-existing condition and agreeing to buy the car anyway.
– no surprise –

That is how they legally DON’T have to step right up and fix that one problem.

Now, other surprise issues will be another story.

Ken, it sounds like there is a stipulation in the contract of purchase that the motors be repaired. That doesn’t sound like an “as is” contract to me. Everything else is “as is”, but not the convertible top motors.

Did you pay them in full for the car? Full payment should have been contingent on them fixing it first.

For parts, Toyota dealers don’t have to have the car in from of htem to order. They will use the VIN, anyway, so have that handy when you make the call. Only real problem is we don’t know yet why the top isn’t working. It might be the motors…might not be. There are some troubleshooting steps that need to be taken, so you’re looking at at least two trips there, anyway (really, they should have troubleshot it before they sold it, but…).

As the car is a '99 model, expect it to take some time to actually get the parts. But, as UT said, make the call. All the prep work can be done over the phone. If the dealer keeps giving you the “run around”, then go to toyota.com, and start calling the 800 numbers listed there. Dealers don’t want that kind of attention from Corporate.

Just be sure they agreed to fix it before you bought it.

Okay. I got the paperwork.
And I see all of your comments since yesterday.
And I appreciate all of your input!

If I didn’t have this piece of paper saying that they ‘owe’ me something, I wouldn’t be whining about this problem in the first place. I understand that a used car is what it is, ‘as is’. But when I purchased the car the top would not go up. We made note of this on their form which says… ‘We owe’ at the top of it.
In the ‘write in portion’ of the document the Salesperson wrote in:
‘TOP MOTOR FROM TEXAS’ - they knew where the part was, they just needed it shipped in.
(btw - of course - I did not know that there were two motors that operated the top…
some of us are not mechanically inclined as others…)

But at the bottom, in small print, is a comment about a 30 day expiration.
Which might stop this conversation - here and now…

I hereby accept this ‘WE OWE’ with the understanding that it is only valid for (30) days from issuance, and that I must make an advance notice with the Service Department before the above work can be performed.

I will still like to try to get the part. I think I will write a few more emails…
Mentioning the fact that I will contact Toyota Corporate HQ because I am not satisfied that the dealership did not meet their side of the bargain!

One more comment - remember that I am 200 miles away from this dealership.

I acknowledge you are 200 miles from the dealer. Do you have another car? Can you “Rent-A-Wreck” for a week or two? To get this resolved sooner rather than later you will have to take the car to the dealer and leave it there until it is fixed. The 200 mile issue is a logistical problem you have to figure out. No amount of phone calls and emails is going to make the top go up and down. After a “reasonable” amount of time the dealer won’t have to honor anything whether it is in writing or not. You are at the edge of reasonable now, so don’t delay this any longer.

I know this is hindsight, but if I had my heart set on this car I would have told them “I’ll buy it after you’ve fixed it”.

Me too. I think you’re screwed, Blake. The 30 day clause is probably something they’ll be more than happy to enforce.

Also, one other mistake was made here for future reference. The We Owe section should have said “repair top to factory-working condition,” not “top motor from Texas.” The reason is because if it’s some other problem with the top, like the mechanism is jammed or a relay is bad, they don’t have to fix it.

30 days does not mean they have to fix it in 30 days, but that you arrange to have it fixed within 30 days. Still, I doubt that it would make a difference as long as you are reasonably prompt about it. BTW, make them put it in writing that they can’t obtain the parts just now. That way it is not your word against theirs. Try setting up an appointment via email. That provides written proof that you tried to get the roof fixed within 30 days. Also, I don’t think that Toyota HQ cares what this dealer does with respect to used cars. It doesn’t hurt to call, but don’t expect them to care about anything but a new car.

Yes, I think I’m screwed.
You know what they say about ‘HindSight’!
Thank you for your help.

Or you could actually get real legal advice from a lawyer.
Not being a lawyer myeslf, I wpuld send a certified letter to the dealer demanding they make the repair within x # of days. Geta delivery receipt and keep a copy of the letter.
If they don’t fix it, get it fixed elsewhere and recover your losses in small claims court. The 30 day clasue is irrelvant, as is where they choose to obtain the motor. The implication of the note is that they are to fix it.