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  1. #1
    007
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    Should I take them to court?

    tl;dr: 007 buys a new car. Car is delivered with paint damage. Dealership admits fault but does not offer full cost of repair. Should 007 take them to court?

    Backstory:

    The car was purchased via the internet from an out of state dealer. They are a very high-volume internet dealer for this brand of vehicle; they should be very well-experienced in these sorts of sales. After negotiating the sale price of the vehicle and sending a deposit, I get a voicemail from some new guy telling me that the original sales associate left and he was my new contact. Fine enough, I suppose . . . the deal was basically done, right?

    Couple weeks go by while the car is being built, during which time I have zero contact from new sales associate. I have to initiate all contact (e.g., getting the VIN number so I can have insurance lined up, etc.). They finally get the vehicle and as we're coordinating the shipping, they send me pictures from the car on their lot. I'm super excited at this point.

    We coordinate with the shipper and I make it explicitly clear, both in writing via email and over the phone, which were both confirmed by the sales associate, that I would be out of town and NOT able to take delivery until after a specified date. "No problem!" They say . . .

    I get a call the night before my return flight home from the shipper who says "Hey, I'll be there tomorrow. Where do you want the car?" Uhhhhhh . . . wut? Essentially, I'm completely hamstrung at this point because the shipper gave me two options. 1) he can return the car to the dealer which would cost me double shipping, or 2) he can deliver it when I get home from the airport that night. Either way, he made it very clear that he would not be waiting whatsoever. Did you catch the part about "delivering the car at night?"

    Delivery comes and goes. I pull the car in the garage and see that its dirty, but whatever . . . it just came on a truck. No big deal, right? Couple weeks go by (note, I wasn't able to drive the care for 2 - 3 weeks because of a sprained ankle, so it just sat in the garage) and I can finally drive so I want to wash it. And wouldn't you know, the paint is just trashed. Water rings etched all over the clear coat of the vehicle and I can't get them out with soap, vinegar, or clay bar. I. AM. PISSED.

    So you might be thinking the same thing I was at this point . . . this is the shippers fault. No dealer would release a dirty car, right? Well . . . remember those pictures I was sent by the dealer? I go back and look at them, and wouldn't you know, the car is completely filthy (and so is the car next to it) and there's a sprinkler head right in front of my vehicle, on the side that was clearly hardest hit. I then look at the "We Owe" slip and see explicitly on there, "full detail." At this point, I get estimates to repair the paint. Three separate estimates were $600, $850, and $1200.

    So I call the sales person and am calm, polite, and lay it out there for him. He later admits - VIA EMAIL - that a) he didn't get the car detailed before it was picked up; b) the car got hit by sprinklers and baked in the sun. He tells me the he is "authorized" to give me $50 for a "hand wax." I tell him clearly that's not good enough and that I want to talk to his manager.

    Manager gets on the phone and says "so-and-so told me the story. We'll give you $200." I lay it out for him like this . . . I tell him:

    1) I have a new car that has water damage.
    2) I have 3 estimates to get the paint corrected that are a lot more than $200.
    3) I have a "we owe" slip stating "full detail" was included with the sale.
    4) I have written acknowledgment from the sales associate that the car was hit with sprinklers and that it baked in the sun and that he didn't have it detailed.
    5) I have photos of the car on their lot, with my name in the window and a "sold" sign hanging from the mirror that shows the car is completely filthy, in EXACTLY the same way the car arrived.
    6) I would have NEVER accepted delivery in person or if the agreed upon delivery schedule had been adhered to, allowing me to fully inspect the car in the daylight.

    At this point, he's now backpedaling and says "I need to talk to my manager. I'll get back to you."

    A couple days later, he calls back and says "well given this information, we will give you $500." I'm super irked at this point and very tired of dealing with this. I verbally accept the $500, since this is really just $100 short of the place that I want to have the work done at anyway (the two high cost detail quotes are an entirely different story).

    The check arrives today, and on the back is written "By cashing this check, [dealership] is released from all future liability."

    What. The. F@$k? I didn't agree to that at all, nor would I have agreed to that. I have no way of knowing if/how the paint is affected in the long term. If the paint starts to flake/peel/oxidize, anything faster than I think it should, you bet I'm going back to that dealership.

    I'm VERY tempted to send the check back and take them to court, and two separate lawyers feel that it's likely a win for me (note, there is no money in it for either lawyer).

    My question to the OC is this . . . should I take them to court? Or should I just suck it up, cash the check, and enjoy the car?
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  2. #2
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Should I take them to court?

    I think some states gives you a cooling off period. If so, that's your way out if it's not past that deadline. Return the freaking car. They sound shady as duck! I would try and say breach of contract. This isn't the condition that I bargained for. Yada yada. I would definitely not cash that check.

    I have a silly question. A sprinkler can cause water damage to paint?

  3. #3
    the Great and Powerful
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    Pics would be nice. It's hard to believe that a good detailer couldn't get those stains out. Take it to a Ferrari/Lamborghini detailer and ask him what he thinks. Maybe $500 can get it done???
    Go toward the light. Fear not. Lord Hawg is waiting for you on the other side.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post

    I have a silly question. A sprinkler can cause water damage to paint?
    It etches the clear-coat.

    BTW: The water can come from anywhere, not just a sprinkler. It's the water that causes the water damage.

  5. #5
    RIP Wolf. Gone too soon.
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    Do NOT cash that cheque.

    They wrecked the paint. They pay for it in full with no further limitation of liability whatsoever as per your contract.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  6. #6
    Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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    I'm VERY tempted to send the check back and take them to court, and two separate lawyers feel that it's likely a win for me (note, there is no money in it for either lawyer).


    ^^^ This take those crooked slime balls to court. Delivery at night because they knew of the water damage. Don't cash that check and don't send it back to them. Take the check to court with you. You've got them hook line and sinker. It's a slam dunk in your favor with all you've got on them. They want you to cash the check. They want you to except a low ball amount.

    These estimates you got. Did they say how they were going to correct it?

    If it's black paint there's no fixing it without swirl marks showing. A complete paint job is in order to make it right. Find out what their plans are on fixing it. I highly doubt they can without swirl marks. Buffing through the clear coat is very possible. If that happens and it's not noticeable [and you eccept it] it seriously shortens the paint life.
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  7. #7
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    I have a silly question. A sprinkler can cause water damage to paint?
    Yup. Depends on the water quality, but generally speaking, even mildly hard water can damage a clear coat if left to dry on the vehicle. ALWAYS dry your car after a wash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    Pics would be nice. It's hard to believe that a good detailer couldn't get those stains out. Take it to a Ferrari/Lamborghini detailer and ask him what he thinks. Maybe $500 can get it done???
    Nope, no pics. I've intentionally written this post under a guise of anonymity and will keep it that way until its resolved. See below though, as the work has been done.

    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    ^^^ This take those crooked slime balls to court. Delivery at night because they knew of the water damage. Don't cash that check and don't send it back to them. Take the check to court with you. You've got them hook line and sinker. It's a slam dunk in your favor with all you've got on them. They want you to cash the check. They want you to except a low ball amount.

    These estimates you got. Did they say how they were going to correct it?

    If it's black paint there's no fixing it without swirl marks showing. A complete paint job is in order to make it right. Find out what their plans are on fixing it. I highly doubt they can without swirl marks. Buffing through the clear coat is very possible. If that happens and it's not noticeable [and you eccept it] it seriously shortens the paint life.
    I didn't think about this bit, but I'll be damned if you're onto something . . .

    The paint has already been corrected. It was done by a licensed-bonded, professional detail service here in Las Vegas that has a very prominent reputation. They started with a mild acid wash followed by an ultra-light polish. The car was then clayed and sealed with a polymer. This cost me $600 and if I never told you about it, you'd likely never know.

    Part of me just doesn't want to deal . . . but dammit, I hate the feeling that I've been had.

    For some reason, I feel like one of you is a lawyer . . . . is that right?
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  8. #8
    Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Yup. Depends on the water quality, but generally speaking, even mildly hard water can damage a clear coat if left to dry on the vehicle. ALWAYS dry your car after a wash.



    Nope, no pics. I've intentionally written this post under a guise of anonymity and will keep it that way until its resolved. See below though, as the work has been done.



    I didn't think about this bit, but I'll be damned if you're onto something . . .

    The paint has already been corrected. It was done by a licensed-bonded, professional detail service here in Las Vegas that has a very prominent reputation. They started with a mild acid wash followed by an ultra-light polish. The car was then clayed and sealed with a polymer. This cost me $600 and if I never told you about it, you'd likely never know.

    Part of me just doesn't want to deal . . . but dammit, I hate the feeling that I've been had.

    For some reason, I feel like one of you is a lawyer . . . . is that right?

    Well it sounds like the place you picked knew what they were doing. And it cost $600 so you're only out $100. Even though they are scum and I'm pretty sure they were trying to pull a fast one over on you. It's now not worth going through the hassle of taking them to court. Just let it go and enjoy your new shiny ride. BTW what is it?

    As far as one of us being a lawyer.

    GOB is a moderator full time.

    Hawg is a politician

    That leaves just one choice.
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  9. #9
    RIP Wolf. Gone too soon.
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    I went to law school for three years before seeing the light and finding something better (if less lucrative) to do.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Understater View Post
    I went to law school for three years before seeing the light and finding something better (if less lucrative) to do.
    Watching the OJ Simpson trial was good enough for me to figure out I didn't want to be a lawyer.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Yup. Depends on the water quality, but generally speaking, even mildly hard water can damage a clear coat if left to dry on the vehicle. ALWAYS dry your car after a wash.



    Nope, no pics. I've intentionally written this post under a guise of anonymity and will keep it that way until its resolved. See below though, as the work has been done.



    I didn't think about this bit, but I'll be damned if you're onto something . . .

    The paint has already been corrected. It was done by a licensed-bonded, professional detail service here in Las Vegas that has a very prominent reputation. They started with a mild acid wash followed by an ultra-light polish. The car was then clayed and sealed with a polymer. This cost me $600 and if I never told you about it, you'd likely never know.

    Part of me just doesn't want to deal . . . but dammit, I hate the feeling that I've been had.

    For some reason, I feel like one of you is a lawyer . . . . is that right?
    So you were only looking for opinions here the whole time?

    You had already made up your mind and acted upon it before you posted this thread?
    Go toward the light. Fear not. Lord Hawg is waiting for you on the other side.

  12. #12
    007
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    No, I got the car fixed and properly protected. Now the question is whether or not to hold the dealership fully accountable.

    I'm still deciding on whether or not to take the dealership to court. I have not done anything with the check they sent.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    So you were only looking for opinions here the whole time?

    You had already made up your mind and acted upon it before you posted this thread?
    Looks like it.

    There are a couple things I find weird with the story, but end of day, small claims court if there is justified damage that has occured ($600). Small claims are normally done in the location where the damage has occured, and for an out of state company to go to court there, they end up paying more to get it resolved. Of course, since you responded in an e-mail that you'd accept $500, you've limited yourself to what you can recieve, but with the thread of small claims court, you can get the dealer to give you the money without the fine print. The whole "waiving rights for future claims" thing is BS. Lemon Laws normally negate any of that wording, very similar to those waivers you sign at paintball ranges or rock walls.

  14. #14
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    Since the problem is correctable/corrected I am not sure what you want to sue for. I would not agree to the dealers terms what so ever and would demand the full 600.00. The fact they tried to make you "release" liability is comical. Release for what? Anything?

    Contact the dealership and ask politely to talk to the General Sales Manager regarding your satisfaction not being met on several levels. Either prepare to be on hold or offer to have them call you back. Explain how the deal was mishandled from the get go. Explain that you for lack of action from the dealership had the problem corrected and have the reciept ready for review detailing what took place for work performed.

    I would ask for more than the 600 based on your having to deal with it. Your time is worth something explain. Explain that you really want to walk away from this feeling whole and satisfied which you do not right now

    Water spots can be a huge issue but the fact it was a light polish indicates it was not to bad. You have little leverage and not much of a suit after you have fixed it to your satisfaction.

    If you get more than the current 500 bucks I would be surprised. You overpaid for wash clay, polish and wax for outside only.

    But I would not agree to forgo a warranty of any kind and would at the least demand that in writing on the letterhead signed by the GM or owner before cashing the check.

    Used to sell detail supplies to Dealers and Detailers as well as equipment for 14 years is where my opinion comes from.

  15. #15
    gobsmacked Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    No, I got the car fixed and properly protected. Now the question is whether or not to hold the dealership fully accountable.

    I'm still deciding on whether or not to take the dealership to court. I have not done anything with the check they sent.
    Not sure why you left out this important detail in your first post. It changes my answer. You already know what you want to do so good luck!

  16. #16
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    I know this is in the "shoul've/could've" category, but you should have never taken delivery of the car at night from the shipper. Once you accepted the car, you lost most of your leverage and released them of their liability. I went through a similar thing-car got shipped across the country during a job relocation. The car came in at night and I was pressured to take delivery of it right here and then, so later on I find that my front lip got cracked and i had some paint chips. Shipper told me to get lost since I had accepted the car and the moving company washed their hands saying it was between me and the shipper.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    No, I got the car fixed and properly protected. Now the question is whether or not to hold the dealership fully accountable.
    I'm still deciding on whether or not to take the dealership to court. I have not done anything with the check they sent.
    Get all the ducks in a row to get that done - it'll be miles cheaper for them to settle, so it won't be that awful in all likelihood.

  18. #18
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    No, you shouldn't take them to court. You need to find all the dickfaces responsible for the situation and punch them in the groin until they can't reproduce.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    No, you shouldn't take them to court. You need to find all the dickfaces responsible for the situation and punch them in the groin until they can't reproduce.
    That's how the world should handle all criminals, huh?
    Go toward the light. Fear not. Lord Hawg is waiting for you on the other side.

  20. #20
    Wanna Ride Bikes?
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    How much stress can you buy for $100?
    Hold my beer and watch this!

  21. #21
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    Do the ole "dog poop in a paper bag and set it on fire" trick.

    That'll show 'em!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    That's how the world should handle all criminals, huh?
    Not all. Just the ones who annoy you sufficiently.
    You'd be surprised at how many problems a swift kick to the groin can resolve.

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