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The Yaris Chronicles: Epilogue

“And they lived happily ever after…”

After wheelin’ and dealin’ and losing about three pounds in the process, I finally bought the '08 in the color, trim, and transmission I wanted, for $1k off MSR and $1,800 less than the '09 on which I’d put down the deposit. Even losing the $500 (new dealer tells me the old dealer is “legally obligated” to refund that, but), I still come out $1,300 ahead and am totally happy with the car and the buying experience. All’s well that ends well!

Hooray! Congratulations!

Maybe I need to start wheelin’ and dealin’. I’ll need to go at it harder than you did–you only lost 3 pounds. My doctor tells me that I should lose 20 pounds. Wheelin’ and dealin’ sounds like a lot more fun than the treadmill. I’m glad your happy with the experience and the car.

Free at last, free at last. Thank God almighty, free at last!

Great you are happy.

My brother in law who has vast experience in the car sales industry (GM, Finance Manger, Sales, etc…) at least in NH stated there is no such thing as a non-refundable deposit. You can go the extra mile and get that back if you desire also likely.

Exactly… In the landlord business, we’re very careful about using “deposit” vs. “fee.” One is refundable, and the other isn’t. I’ll be writing a letter.

You remind me of my first landlords and the deposit. My wife and I were newly married and found an apartment we liked. After looking us over, the landlady said, “You don’t look like the kind of people that would tear things up, so you don’t need to make a deposit”. When we moved out three years later to go back to school, the landlord and his wife were on vacation. We did leave the apartment immaculate and also left the draperies with the understanding that the new tenant could either buy them or we would take the draperies and see if we could use them in our new living quarters. When I returned to town to inquire about the drapery situation, the landlady had a check for me that included our price for the draperies and the deposit. When I said that this check was too high and that she hadn’t had me make a deposit, she replied, “Young man, everyone who rents from me makes a deposit”. She was a very stubborn lady and there was no arguing with her. However, she and her husband were great landlords.

Cool; wonder if I could get TWO deposits back???

Glad it’s (mercifully) over. Glad you’re happy. Does your Yaris have ABS?

It does not, but then I’ve driven for 32 years, give or take, without ABS and am still alive to irritate you all with my vacillating. ABS: not worth $1800 to me.

Andrew… Please ask your BIL how I go about getting that deposit back when they (alone) insist I’m not entitled to it… Trying to sound mean on the phone didn’t help me…

I agree with the ABS being unnecessary. Although it gets blamed for a lot of non-stops when stopping may have been impossible anyway, it’s just added weight with a good possibility of a major headache. You won’t pass inspection with the warning light on. There are too many brake lines that can rust out too. In closing: You were not imagining the real problems you can run into when the semi-professional help won’t work with you when you just want to buy from them. I would have refunded the $500 immediately in hope that people would learn to trust my (imaginary) dealership.

The deposit may be refundable but the dealer is likely to be entitled to compensation for any expenses incurred as a result of the buyer breaching a contract.

As a landlord, the OP should be familiar with the risk that a prospective tenant places a deposit to secure the rental, backs out at the last minute and wants their deposit back. If the landlord cannot rent it out in time to recover that month’s payment, who should be responsible for that lost income?

I believe most courts will look at a deposit as a form of contract and if the business incurs expenses as a result of good faith effort on their part, the buyer will be responsible for compensating them. If those expenses are less than the deposit amount, then the buyer should get the balance refunded.

When you go looking for a unique combination of features not commonly found on their lot, they likely have expended labor hours to locate a car meeting those criteria, probably did a credit check and so on and those could easily be defined as expenses they have on your behalf.

Most dealers will brush it off and just refund the money but that doesn’t mean they can’t play hardball if they choose to.

“When you go looking for a unique combination of features not commonly found on their lot…”

This wasn’t the case; it’s just that they had NO liftbacks on their lot (only sedans); it’s a medium-sized town but, since I was ordering new, I figured I’d practice “town loyalty” and give them my business. Now I’m told I could have just put down the money with no “buyer’s order” signature? Still, the other dealer insists I’m entitled to it back; it could be argued that it’s to their advantage to (finally) have the LB model so people can see it and order one for themselves!

Surely the gas didn’t cost $500; not in a Yaris…

I’m still not hearing how to go about this; letter; letter from attorney? Walk around in front of their lot with a sandwich board protesting their decision???

I’m really sorry to hear that you did not heed my advice in response to one of your Yaris posts several months ago. In that response, I mentioned that when Consumer Reports tested the 2008 Yaris, they specifically criticized the exceptionally long stopping distances of the Yaris w/o ABS, and stated that they could only recommend Yaris models with ABS.

Even though you have been able to get along w/o ABS in the past, with this car I would suggest that you use very long following distances on the highway, just to be on the safe side.

That is very counterintuitive. Typically ABS increases stopping distances. I wonder if the brake components are different (better) when you have ABS.

I too prefer not to have ABS.

Contrary to popular belief, the function of ABS is not to shorten stopping distances, but rather to prevent loss of control during the process of stopping on surfaces where traction is poor. Like some other posters, I consider it something else to break. And when mine engaged on the slippery road in front of my house and I was unable to stop they way I always had I truely had a bad experience. The pulsating and the failure to stop were unnerving. Fortunately I go slowly and carefully enough that it didn’t turn into an accident, but it definitely left me with a bad feeling about ABS.

I’d prefer that it be an option rather than automatically included as it was in mmy car.

Yes, ABS can increase stopping distances on dry roads, so this does seem counterintuitive. Like you, I also wondered if Toyota has slightly different brake components on the ABS-equipped models–you know, sort of like the high-capacity heater that you get if you opt for the special “cold weather package”.

Most dealers will brush it off and just refund the money but that doesn’t mean they can’t play hardball if they choose to.

Exactly. They went out of their way to find you a vehicle you wanted, then traded one of their own cars for the one you wanted. THEN you decide to take the 08 instead. If I was you, I’d just forget about it and move on. You wasted their time with your back and forth over a couple hundred dollars worth of options. I wouldn’t give the money back either.

For what it’s worth, the dealership I worked paid the guy who drove cars from one dealership to another $300. During some lean months salespeople (Including myself a few times) would volunteer for the duty for some extra cash.