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Southern by the grace of God
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Dealership Doesn't Like Deal, Takes Car Back
Posted: 7/17/2006 9:55:00 PM
Updated: 7/17/2006 11:23:17 PM


Car dealers are often the butt of jokes. But one local truck buyer is not laughing about the deal that he got -- and lost. Consumer advocates say this case raises lots of questions about how a well-known auto dealer does business.

Earl Kieselhorst thought he owned a 2003 Chevy Silverado -- a truck that he bought from Bill Heard Chevrolet in Antioch.
Kieselhorst says he "paid cash for it. Made the deal. Sales manager signed off on it. Signed all the paperwork. And drove off."
He traded in his car and gave the dealer a check for $8,100.
"I have the keys," Kieselhorst tells NewsChannel 5 investigative reporter Jennifer Kraus.
But he doesn't have his truck.
Bill Heard does.
"I can't see any reason why this wouldn't be my car," he adds.
Just one day after he bought the truck, a salesman from Bill Heard called to say the dealership was having second thoughts about the deal.
He told Kieselhorst that if he wanted to keep his truck, he needed to fork over another $10,000 -- something he refused to do. After all, he says, they had a signed deal.
But the next morning, when Kieselhorst woke up, his truck was gone.
"And I was like I can't believe it," he recalls.
The dealership had come and taken it in the middle of the night.
"I've got a contract. This is a legal contract. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to say."
Metro police investigated and wanted to file charges against Bill Heard for stealing the truck.
Detective Ray Paris got a statement from Bill Heard, blaming a rookie salesman for what happened and calling it a mistake. (Read the statement given to police by Bill Heard.)
"They inadvertently sold the vehicle at a lower cost than what they should have," Paris says.
Kathleen Calligan says the Better Business Bureau has received literally hundreds and hundreds of similar complaints about the Bill Heard dealership -- more complaints by far than any other auto dealer in all of Middle Tennessee.
"Not only is this an unbelievable volume of complaints, most of them are unresolved," she adds.
Calligan says that, in this day and age, dealers know exactly how much a vehicle is worth.
And if a dealership truly does make a mistake, she says they'll take the loss -- rather than call the customer and demand he make up the difference.
"There is absolutely no reason for a sale not to be final when the customer walks out of the dealership," Calligan adds.
Yet even after Bill Heard had taken back the truck, the salesman called Kieselhorst again.
"He calls me back and offers to sell it to me for $11,000 more than I paid for it," Kieselhorst recalls.
Kieselhorst said no way.
And even though he still believes he is the rightful owner of the truck, when we went looking for it at Bill Heard, we found a customer checking it out. It was for sale, the customer and a saleswoman told us.
"The whole thing has just gotten more and more ridiculous," Kieselhorst says.
And now the self-proclaimed largest Chevrolet dealership in the world is accusing Kieselhorst of "trying to pull a fast one" on them.
"This is the way this company does business," Calligan says. "They really thought they would be able to pull a fast one on their customer."
After we tried to get their side for days, Bill Heard faxed us a statement just before air time, saying that Kieselhorst "should have known" that the deal he got was too good to be true.
The company says:
"It is not reasonable or fair to expect for Bill Heard Chevrolet ... to be bound by a sale where a clear and material mistake was made, and the customer was aware that it was a mistake."
(Read Bill Heard's statement provided to NewsChannel 5.)
Kieselhort says he just thought Bill Heard was giving him the type of good deal they advertise.
As for the police investigation, the DA says this is a civil case, not a criminal case. He says Kieselhorst is free to take the dealer to court -- something he's now seriously considering.

http://www.newschannel5.com/content/investigates/20762.asp?q=BILL+HEARD
 

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Inspired Performance
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6,332 Posts
So, the dealer can back out of a deal AFTER the paperwork is signed, but the consumer can't?! I call BULLSH!T on that one!
 

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GOOD MEAT TAKES A LONG TIME!
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21,543 Posts
Get a lawyer and take em to the cleaners. Do it for the consumers that have been hosed by a dealer!!! :banana:
 

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LX Newbie
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15 Posts
I feel the truck owner did know he was getting a deal, but the dealer made the mistake. After all, it takes all day to but a car/truck, and several people look at the numbers so I say they stole a truck.
After all, all the paperwork is signed which is transfer of ownership. So I wonder if I pay cash for an item and they never cash my check, is it still theirs? Had he made it to the county offices to buy tags, what then?
 

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Thats no moon!
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I just don't see how the police can say this was not criminal... the transaction was closed. I had a simular issue when I bought my mag, they quoted it to me for 2k less than the MSRP when it was supposed to go for 2k over MSRP but the dealership sucked it up(though they made it clear they were not happy about it).
 

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Premium Member
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3,971 Posts
Skip the BBB, call the DMV they will rip that dealer a new one. The DMV governs the dealerships and has a leagal team that will do all the work, including fining the dealer. The dealer just blows off the BBB, but the DMV is another story.
 

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High Power Junkie
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16,628 Posts
He's got the keys right? So if its not criminal for the dealership to drive off in the night with his car, it must not be criminal for him to drive it off their lot, right?
 

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LX Padiwan
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404 Posts
Jim said:
I just don't see how the police can say this was not criminal... the transaction was closed. I had a simular issue when I bought my mag, they quoted it to me for 2k less than the MSRP when it was supposed to go for 2k over MSRP but the dealership sucked it up(though they made it clear they were not happy about it).
It was not the police who said that this was not a criminal matter, it was the prosecutors office. I said on another thread here that I thought that this was a criminal matter and I was a detective in my commercial crime unit here in Canada, but I don't think our laws are much different then yours.

As I also stated if the prosecutors office refuse to lay charges then go see a judge and lay a private information and let the courts decide.
 

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Movin and shakin
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1,900 Posts
I'd take the truck back and have a nice arsenal waiting for anybody that tried to steal it again. I would have already been in jail awaiting trial probably. Did they refund his money??? I didn't read anything about a refund.
 

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Got Diesel?
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472 Posts
That dealership has a lot to lose. They will lose in court, will have to pay lawyer fees and court costs, and if TN is like TX they will have to pay triple damages.
Nickname for Bill Heard is Bill Turd down here.

MikeyB
 

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2006 Mag SRT Owner
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13,441 Posts
Or... it would be ok, for the customer to show up after hours and take the "mistake" back out of the dealer's safe.

Wonder if that prosecuter, who IMO is politically connected in some way to this dealership, would find that the customer's actions were "not criminal"... Jeez! :doh:
Dano said:
I think what they did was criminal at best. If it had been the other way around meaning the truck was sold for way more than it was worth , the dealer would be saying " sorry you signed the paper work".
 

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LX Padiwan
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665 Posts
If he went and got the truck back, they'd nail him for tresspassing. Hell they may even give him a bill for 'storing' a vehicle...of course this is the same vehicle that they say he doesn't own. There's either more to this story than we know or indeed, the gubmint/cops/etc are in on it and getting a cut somehow. Something's just toooo fishy for the prosecutor not to reign in here and at that point, not at least have the AG stepping in and slapping some heads when he didn't. It's all pretty foolish for this multi million dollar company (as said, they have many dealerships) to go through for a whopping 11k. It's sad that the automotive industry gets away with this crap day after day after day on many levels and nothing happens to them except they make more money.
-Trouble
 

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I dunno......
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3,884 Posts
I agree with a previous poster that the person should go to court themselves and see what they can do...forget the prosecutor's office...

Too bad this wasn't in NC..hubby would have a BALL defending this guy, he hates this kind of BS.
 

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LX Padiwan
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268 Posts
I'm having a hard time with this. I'd like to be on his side, but I don't know. Have you guys read the details?

He "offered" $7,500 and his trade ($14,000) on a truck worth about $21,000. That sounds fair.

But, there was a $14,700 payoff on the trade. If he paid them the difference ($8,100) and didn't finance the payoff on the trade, what did he think was going to happen to it? $14,000 payoffs don't just magically go away.

This guy is in the mortgage business, so he understands about payoffs. Did he think that the dealer was going to effectively give him $28000 for his trade ($14k on trade and another $14 to pay it off)?

He claims to have "paid them cash". What he actually did was write them a check that they couldn't cash for three weeks. That's not paying cash. Throwing 81 $100 bills on the table is paying cash. Writing a check they could deposit immediately might be considered cash. Having them hold a check for three weeks is not paying cash.

So he's driving around in his new vehicle, while the dealership has nothing but a piece of paper and a trade with a payoff higher than it's worth.

He was given his trade back, they didn't keep it.

And he was offered $500 for the "misunderstanding".

Something's wrong there.
 

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Thats no moon!
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1,899 Posts
Oldsfan said:
I'm having a hard time with this. I'd like to be on his side, but I don't know. Have you guys read the details?

He "offered" $7,500 and his trade ($14,000) on a truck worth about $21,000. That sounds fair.

But, there was a $14,700 payoff on the trade. If he paid them the difference ($8,100) and didn't finance the payoff on the trade, what did he think was going to happen to it? $14,000 payoffs don't just magically go away.

This guy is in the mortgage business, so he understands about payoffs. Did he think that the dealer was going to effectively give him $28000 for his trade ($14k on trade and another $14 to pay it off)?

He claims to have "paid them cash". What he actually did was write them a check that they couldn't cash for three weeks. That's not paying cash. Throwing 81 $100 bills on the table is paying cash. Writing a check they could deposit immediately might be considered cash. Having them hold a check for three weeks is not paying cash.

So he's driving around in his new vehicle, while the dealership has nothing but a piece of paper and a trade with a payoff higher than it's worth.

He was given his trade back, they didn't keep it.

And he was offered $500 for the "misunderstanding".

Something's wrong there.
I'll agree that theres more to the story BUT the dealership should have never signed the paperwork and let him take the car home. Something is definately fishy with this whole thing...
 
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