Advice Needed - Trade-in Problem With Dealership - Demanding Money

anomanderanomander Member Posts: 1
edited March 2015 in Chrysler
This is probably going to be longer than required but I want to be thorough. A week ago I purchased a 2005 Chrysler 300c from a local dealership. I was paying in cash and using a 2004 Impala as my trade-in. I had purchased the Impala ~5 months before from a auto repair shop for ~$3,500. About a mile from the dealership my Impala just went dead and was smoking a little and I was unable to get it started (battery drained I guess). My fiance was behind my in our van so I continued to the dealership. I liked the 300c and I told my salesman what had happened with my intended trade-in. We even went to look at it during the test drive. I told him that I knew nothing about cars and that my father had suggested that it could be the thermostat or the batter/starter but that I really had no idea what was wrong with it. I had just gotten it back from a friend who had borrowed it when his car broke down. He told me that it wasn't a problem, I could still use it as my trade-in and he would have it towed to the dealership if I purchased the 300c.

So we then proceeded to negotiate on the price. It was listed at $8,500. A friend had told me that this dealership gives $1,000 for low value trade-ins and in the initial offer the salesman basically deducted $1,000 for the trade-in, added ~$800 for taxes/title/etc for a price of $8,300 (so no discount/reduction at all). When you pay in cash you don't pay the listed price. We haggled a bit, played the "the game", and agreed on $6,800 out the door (taxes/title/etc included), plus my trade-in.

So I ended up paying $2,500 less than the listed price + taxes/title. $1,000 was for my trade-in and $1,500 was because I was paying in cash and my horrible haggling skills. The salesman told me that he was going to mark the trade-in value at $2,500 on the paperwork instead of $1,000 for the trade-in and the other $1,500 for paying in cash/negotiated price reduction. I'm assuming that this provides him with higher commission and is commonplace. It was understood that $1,500 of the $2,500 reduction was because I was paying in cash, in full, on the spot.

Today I got an email from my salesman. I have edited it very slightly in case posting emails/communications from others violates any laws or forums rules.

"Recently we had your trade in the shop, the 2004 Impala. You had stated to us that you thought it was the thermostat. The engine was blown. We built that transaction and the pricing around your statement of the thermostat as the issue that was keeping the vehicle from running. The result is a vehicle appraised on your word of $2500 in value is now worth $400 according to a local junkyard. We are going to keep the car on the premises until we can settle this issue. We will need you to provide us a cash settlement of $2100 based on the true value of your trade by Friday, March 13th of 2015, or you can purchase your trade back for $2500. This is an unfortunate incident but I hope to resolve quickly. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you soon. "

He is obviously being disingenuous/dishonest, which I find insulting. I do not intend on paying and plan on contacting the general manager.

Is this something that I need to worry about, legally? I will not get the title from the state for several weeks I believe and I won't feel safe until I do. Morally/ethically, I may have agreed on paying $600 (to bring the trade-in value to $1,000) had he been honest and not tried to sucker/extort money from me.

Another concern. I had purchased a 5 year/100k mile warranty for $2,200, also paid in cash. I paid the dealership for it but it is a 3rd party program (Royal Admin Sentinel coverage). Any repairs will be handled by the dealership and this is what concerns me. If I do not comply I am worried that the salesman and/or dealership will make me regret it down the road when something breaks on my vehicle.

Any advice, input or tips you can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 232,939
    "We made a deal. I told you I didn't know what was wrong with the Impala. You told me it was only worth $1000, either way. You are the professional and I am not. If I come back tomorrow and say I found another Chrysler 300 for $1000 less, will you refund my money?

    I made this deal in good faith, and it wasn't based upon any representation I made about the Impala (which, you knew was broken down by the side of the road)."

    I would be worried about paying for that warranty, even if this issue had not come up.. $2200 to warranty a $7000 car? You would be better off buying something new and cheap. That may become an issue, and I'm not sure what advice to give you on that.. It definitely complicates your situation.

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