Auto sales to the elderly!

sailor1xsailor1x Member Posts: 3
My 84 y/o father, who can't stand up straight and walks in a shuffle, went alone to a dealer and was sold a used car for $20,000. (nothing wrong with the 10 y/o 40,000 mile car he had - traded it in) I find out the next day when he calls and tells me that his cars been stolen. He didn't remember buying the new car, which was there in his apartment's lot! What a hassle cancelling the sale - paperwork's already changed at the RMV. Dealer won't return the $20K until the titles delivered in about a month! Why don't dealers have a policy to prevent this?


  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    That is scary alright. If your father has a form of dementia it would be best that he not be driving at all. I have two aunts that we had to take their cars as they would get lost or disoriented while driving. Not remembering that he bought a car is a short term memory loss and should be diagnosed and treated. A car dealer is not equipped to diagnose his customers state of mind. He may have seemed normal and cognizant of what he was doing.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    A similar incident happened here in Boise about 4 years ago.

    Lithia accused of fleecing veteran, targeted by vets' groups (Boise Weekly)

    I don't remember how it turned out, and don't see a link handy.

    Lithia Ford case in holding pattern (Boise Weekly)
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    That is a sad case also. I have a 91 year old WW2 veteran friend that answers every email he gets. I try to warn him about scams. His son who is an alcoholic has taken away the car keys to the Caddy. Several of his friends take him out in the evening to the Karaoke bars where he is well liked. I do worry about him getting scammed. Though his money will just go to feeding his son's habit. He still likes to dance with all the girls. He has buried 3 wives. The last a close friend of ours.

    I hope they win against Lithia Ford. They seem like sleazeball car dealers. Not sure $250k is justified.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    Since the news seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth (the net, anyway), I suspect they settled it back then.
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,379
    $250K would be fine by me. You need to hit crooks like that in the wallet to get their attention.

    My dad got hosed royally on his last car lease. He had leased Devilles from this dealership for years. His last time out he wanted to go smaller and ended up in a Buick Century and charged him out the wazoo for it. I'm sure to them it was merely collecting on what they felt, correctly as it turned out, it was their last chance for a payday from him.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 18,714
    "...Why don't dealers have a policy to prevent this..."

    Because they are business people not social workers. I bet they see a lot of fully functional people every day who make poor buying choices too. The incentive is just not there for them to turn down easy sales. It's not fair but that's the real world.

    Might I suggest consulting with an elder care lawyer? I'm sure he/she could set up a power of attorney for you so that your father could not sign any sales contract without your approval.

    I know what you are feeling. In his last days my dad had dementia and a sleazy wheelchair salesman talked him into paying $5K for a chair he could have gotten free from Medicare. I didn't even know about it until after it was too late to do anything.

    I wish you the best of luck. This is a hard time for you.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    If you ever had a difficult conversation with an older loved one about his or her poor driving, a reporter wants to interview you. Please email [email protected] by April 5, 2012 with your daytime contact information and a few words about your experience.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Florida woman, 93, reaches end of the road after 576,000 miles in her 1964 Mercury

    The end of the road is here for Rachel Veitch's beloved "Chariot."

    After 576,000 miles -- or more than a trip to the moon and back -- in the same 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente, the 93-year-old Orlando grandmother is stepping on the brakes due to age-related macular degeneration in both eyes. She realized her vision had completely failed her in early March after running a "bald-faced red light," Veitch told

    "I am legally blind, so I can no longer drive my lovely Chariot," she said by phone. "They don’t have to take it away, I would not dream of driving that car again."

    Veitch, a retired nurse who told in July 2009 that the car had outlasted three marriages and three sets of shocks, said she last drove on March 9. The following day, her worst fears were confirmed when she couldn't read large headlines in the newspaper, the result of years of deteriorating vision for the near-obsessive car fanatic.

    "I know I'm not safe enough to drive," she continued. "But I have taken it in stride."

    Veitch bought her beloved ride for $3,289 in February 1964 from a dealer in Sanford, Fla. The car, which has been appraised at $12,000, has gone through 18 batteries, eight mufflers and countless oil changes. She credits her near-obsessive dedication to the car as the main reason why it's spent nearly half a century in her care.

    "When I buy gas, I write down the mileage, the date and how many miles per gallon I got," she told in 2009. "I've never been a destructive person and I've just taken care of everything, except my husbands." 00-miles-in-same-car/
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