7/04/2007: David and Joshua go to Towbin Dodge to see about buying a vehicle for Joshua.
We met with salesman Michael Gosy and told him what we were looking for in our price range. We wandered around the lot looking at various cars until we came upon a 2004 black Pontiac Vibe. We took it for a test drive, noticed that the front end had a slight shimmy, pointed it out to the salesman, Michael Gosy, who basically stated that the front end needed alignment and they would take care of it. After the test, we visually inspected the engine, tires, and body of the vehicle then proceeded inside to close the deal. As part of the financing paperwork, we were given a PRE-OWNED VEHHCLE INPECTION CHECKLIST, filled out by Towbin Dodge, showing that all standards were met, with no indications of any trouble areas.
When filling out the financial paperwork, the agreement paperwork did not state the percentage rate and the salesman refused to disclose the percentage rate saying they could not under “Nevada” law. Only after threatening to not complete the deal, did the salesman finally disclose the percentage rate as 6.99%. Later, when we completed the simple interest vehicle contact and security agreement the percentage rate was listed as 11.39 %. When questioned about the difference, we were told to ignore it because they had to put an amount in to complete the application but they had not shopped out the loan and we would fill out new paperwork when the loan was actually approved.
We were asked to sign a form by “RELAX CARE, LLC”, stating that we had received the 125 point inspection , vehicle history report, 3 day money back guarantee, and 3 month/3,000 mile limited warranty. We did not receive the vehicle history report and when we pointed that out, we were told it would be provided so go ahead and sign. We signed but never got the vehicle history report.
Additional paperwork completed during this process were: Notice to co-signer (x 2), odometer disclosure statement (x 2, 1 for the Hyundai trade-in, one for the Pontiac Vibe), agreement to provide insurance, 3 month/3,000 mile powertrain limited warranty, privacy notice, protection plus warranty registration, a “DUE BILL” form, and a Buyers Guide-AS –IS NO WARRANTY form.
After completing the paperwork, we were given the keys to the Pontiac Vibe, we told it was a done deal and congratulated, and we went home.
After driving the Vibe for a couple of days, Joshua noticed that the engine light came on. We sent him back to Towbin Dodge to have it checked out. The Service department told him not to worry, it was probably just a loose gas cap, and if he tightened it the engine light should go off. Joshua did as he was instructed but the light did not go off for a couple of days. Then the engine light went off, but came back on a couple of days later.Again , we sent Joshua to Towbin Dodge to have the problem checked out. Joshua called me, Barbara Wright, at work to tell me that they still did not want to do anything about it. I got on the phone with the service department and threw a fit, telling them that when we bought the car, we were told there were no problems, and they had better check it out and fix it. After much ado, they finally ran a test and discovered that the O2 sensors were bad and needed replacement. They promised to order the sensors that day, Friday July 13, 2007 and fix the car on Monday. They promised the car would be done on Monday because Joshua was scheduled to leave for his military post on Tuesday, July 17.
On Monday, July 16th, Joshua went to Towbin Dodge to get his Vibe fixed and was told that the part did not come in and they would not be able to fix the car that day. He called me again at work wanting to know what to do. I went down to Towbin Dodge and was told that they would have the parts the next day, Tuesday, and would put them on the car Tuesday morning before Joshua had to leave. On Tuesday, Joshua again took the car to Towbin Dodge and once again was told the part was not in and the car could not be fixed.I went down to Towbin Dodge again. I talked to the service manager and a mechanic, and was assured that not having the O2 sensors fixed would not endanger my son using his car but would only affect his gas mileage. I still felt that they should have fixed the problem and insisted that since they could not fix the car as promised that they issue me a check for the amount of the parts and repair so Joshua could have the car fixed once he reached his military post. After spending a couple of hours there, waiting for the check, I was told to come back that evening and the check would be ready. I left and returned later that evening with my husband, David, in tow.
During this same time frame, David began calling the dealership for the green slip so we could get the Vibe registered and found out that the financing had still not be completed and that the finance department had been running his and Joshua’s credit through multiple lendors in an effort to get the financing done but had not been successful. David made many phone calls to the salesman, and the finance department, and no one would return his calls.
So the evening of July 17, David and I went down to Towbin Dodge to accomplish 2 things. Figure out what was going on with the financing, and to get the check for the cost of the repair. Upon arriving, there was no one to be found in financing—so we headed to the service department—where we were told to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. Finally, we got to talk to the service department manager but still got no results so we followed him to his office and sat in his office and waited some more. The service department closed, and we were still waiting. Finally, we left the service department and went back into the dealership. We saw Michael Gosy , our original salesman, who seemed surprised to see us. We discussed the problem with him and he supposedly went to check on it. We waited some more. When he came back, with no check in hand for the repairs, I threatened to go out on the sales floor, stand on the tables, and tell everyone there what a rotten place this was to deal with, etc, etc. Low and behold, we got our check for the repair within in 5 minutes.
The financing problem would have to wait until another day, as no one in finance was in.
The very next day, July 18, David began again trying to reach someone about the uncompleted financing. When David finally reached Josh, the finance guy, he was told that the vehicle could not be financed with Joshua as primary because of his lack of credit and that the paperwork would have to be redone with David as primary. So we had to go back to Towbin Dodge again on Saturday, July 21, to redo the loan application paperwork. By this time, Joshua was in Washington at his military post, so we obtained a power of attorney to sign for him on the purchase of the car. We filled out the paperwork and left.
On Monday, July 23, Towbin Dodge called us and told us the lendor would not accept the power of attorney for Joshua as he was not deployed overseas and that Joshua would have to sign the paperwork. Once again, we had to go back to Towbin Dodge, redo the paperwork, and then make arrangements to overnight the paperwork to Joshua in Washington to sign and have him overnight it back to us. On Thursday, July 26, we overnighted the signed paperwork back to Towbin Dodge. Finally, Friday, August 3, we were told by Towbin Dodge that everything was a done deal.
Fast Forward to Monday, November 19, 2007. Joshua heads home to Arkansas from his military post in Washington.
On the evening of Thursday, November 22, 2007, Joshua hits black ice on an exit ramp in Santa Fe County, and hits the back end of a semi-truck. He calls the police and the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s department comes to his aid. He files a police report with Deputy D. Wood, case# 0207009279. The Santa Fe County’s sheriff’s office address and phone number: 35 Camino Justicia, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87508, toll free 1-800-742-1144, office 505-428-3720, fax 505-986-2446. We do not have a copy of the report but were told by Deputy D Wood that the accident was not Joshua’s fault, that Joshua was not going fast, just hit black ice. There was no damage to the semi to anyone’s knowledge as the semi just kept going and did not even appear to notice that it had been hit.
Joshua spent the night in New Mexico and drove home getting home Saturday morning. We looked at the damage , filed a report with the insurance and waited to find out where to take the vehicle for repairs.
We took the vehicle for repairs to Smith Ford, at 908 E Oak St, Conway, AR 72032, ph# 501-329-9881, Fax 501-329-3384. It was during the assessment for repairs process that we found out that the Vibe had a bent frame prior to Joshua’s accident. This was found by the mechanic at Smith Ford-his notes indicate “Prior Damage Notes: Improper repairs on rt< frame rails”, and the mechanic indicates on his report that he spoke with someone named Don Head about the previous repairs and emailed photos to him. We do not have copies of these photos, however. We sent Joshua down to take pictures. Joshua talked to the mechanic who advised him that the bent frame had been repaired with plaster and painted to hide the repair.
After receiving the estimate of repairs, USAA, our insurance company, opted to total the car in lieu of repairing it. However, they did not allow the full amount of the outstanding loan balance and have left us with a balance due still on the loan.
Since we were sold a vehicle with a bent frame, that was not disclosed to us, we feel the dealership, Towbin Dodge, should be held liable for selling us a defective vehicle. Their inspection paperwork revealed no problems with the frame. Having supposedly performed the inspection check list, and supposedly obtaining a car history report, they should have noticed the damage and never sold us the vehicle.
We respectfully request your assistance in bringing Towbin Dodge to justice.