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Very interesting story indeed, this Nissan dealer must be connected to the local Nissan dealer here, they operate the same way. The GM sits behind his beat up desk with a tooth pick hanging out of his mouth and nobody can find even a pamphlet on a particular car when asked for it. Seems to be the way of some dealers to be unprofessional. I left and bought the same car from another dealer for less money in better shape.

Nobody can tell you that you have to purchase an agreement to be able to remove the car from the lot either.It's a shakedown for more money.

I have had very good results in dealing with the state AG office and they solved the dispute 100% to my satisfaction with another bad deal (not car related)
 

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Leeches of our society. I swear just going into the dealership gets my blood pressure going. This dealership should be shut down!
 

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Not to defend dealerships here, but from the sounds of the article, 'Mr. K.' probably paid more attention to what he was signing. It'd be one thing if the dealer added something to the invoice that isn't in the contract....but if you put your signature on something and wasn't aware of what you're legally binding yourself to, the blame is on you.

Dealers will pull all sorts of tricks to upsell you something you don't want or need. Ultimately you should be aware of what you're buying, and if you aren't comfortable with what's being proposed, be ready to walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
...but if you put your signature on something and wasn't aware of what you're legally binding yourself to, the blame is on you.

How about the add-ons that could not be found on the purchased car? The refunds that never got to him? And the general stonewall he's getting from them?


You have a great point, but how many of us read the purchase documents in it's entirety at the dealership? And talking of documentation, the Nissan dealer was asked for documentary proof that add-ons were sold with the car but imagine the crooked response - he said the buyer should instead proof that no add-ons came with the car.

Yeah a dealership is a business but should buying a car be similar to dining with the devil, you could end up on the menu so approach with caution.
 

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How about the add-ons that could not be found on the purchased car? The refunds that never got to him? And the general stonewall he's getting from them?


You have a great point, but how many of us read the purchase documents in it's entirety at the dealership? And talking of documentation, the Nissan dealer was asked for documentary proof that add-ons were sold with the car but imagine the crooked response - he said the buyer should instead proof that no add-ons came with the car.

Yeah a dealership is a business but should buying a car be similar to dining with the devil, you could end up on the menu so approach with caution.
Don't get me wrong, the dealership was wrong on a lot of accounts, but 'Mr. K' was also at fault for allowing them to take advantage of him. If someone told me I had to buy a service contract to buy the car, that would have been my first red flag and I would have walked out the door. There are plenty of car and dealerships out there...I don't know why people let others tell them what they HAVE to buy.

The dealership did a lot of things that are flat-out...no denying that...but what stood out to me most was the fact that he admitted to readily signing documents without understanding what he was signing.

No need to read documents in their entirety in the dealership, but you should at least read them well enough to understand what they mean before you sign them. Buying a car is a big investment after-all.
 

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This brings back memories on two cases. About 14 years ago I bought a pre-owned Accord at a non-Honda dealer. It was my first time buying a car on my own. Upon reviewing the documents when I got back home, I noticed about $2500 on the bill that did not make much sense. I called the next day and was told it was for a warranty extension which was not explained to me during the transaction, I asked for it to be canceled and they did right away. After that I always made sure I read every line on the contract before signing any car document.

The second time was a co-worker's boyfriend who purchased a car from Infiniti of Manhattan. I noticed he had over 2 grands in fees that he had no clue about. The guy brought a translator to the negotiation and came back alone the next day to sign the contract. According to the finance mgr I spoke to, he signed a contract that included over $900 for prep fees and the rest was something else I can't remember. They refused to cancel the fees and I believe the guy never pursued legal actions
 

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Hey, I think it's Mr. K's fault. I find it strange that we are so fast to blame the dealers and not point the finger back at yourself. If something is wrong, and the price is NOT as you agreed, why sign the paperwork?

Come on, by now, who doesn't know that dealerships are NOT on your side, they're on their side to make a buck. If you don't read a contract, don't read disclaimers, don't read agreements, and then just blindly sign something, it's YOUR fault.

When I got my MDX, I came to an agreement on the buying price. Then with finance rate of x%, the monthly payment was going to be $### straight. When the contract came, I looked at the interest rate, terms, monthly payment, any other extras if there were... etc. Everything was right. If anything had been wrong on the contract, I would NOT HAVE signed it... simple.

If you agree to $35K and then the contract comes to $39K with this-n-that... you don't sign it. If you don't sign, you don't buy and not obligated to anything. Once you sign, you are AGREEING that this is what you want... simple.

Keep in mind, I'm not defending dealerships, I'm just saying take responsibility for your own actions and don't just stroke a broad brush and blame others for your carelessness. :) that's all...
 

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Hey, I think it's Mr. K's fault. I find it strange that we are so fast to blame the dealers and not point the finger back at yourself. If something is wrong, and the price is NOT as you agreed, why sign the paperwork?

Come on, by now, who doesn't know that dealerships are NOT on your side, they're on their side to make a buck. If you don't read a contract, don't read disclaimers, don't read agreements, and then just blindly sign something, it's YOUR fault.

When I got my MDX, I came to an agreement on the buying price. Then with finance rate of x%, the monthly payment was going to be $### straight. When the contract came, I looked at the interest rate, terms, monthly payment, any other extras if there were... etc. Everything was right. If anything had been wrong on the contract, I would NOT HAVE signed it... simple.

If you agree to $35K and then the contract comes to $39K with this-n-that... you don't sign it. If you don't sign, you don't buy and not obligated to anything. Once you sign, you are AGREEING that this is what you want... simple.

Keep in mind, I'm not defending dealerships, I'm just saying take responsibility for your own actions and don't just stroke a broad brush and blame others for your carelessness. :) that's all...
A very astute comment. Just like to many other things in modern society, people want to place the blame for their own failures on someone else. It is never their fault.

George
 

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What would you do if there were NO automobile dealerships?

G
We could simply buy direct from manufacturers via their websites, and local mechanic garages would simply subscribe to, or take certifications, to be authorized for warranty reimbursement work. Actually it would be a much better system given today's technology, easier distribution, and larger number of mechanic garages compared to dealerships. Let's do it ;P

Also, on the flip side, when a dealer does treat you right it's a beautiful thing for which to be very thankful. My dealer in KC (Jay Wolfe) is just about perfect. Never a hassle, whether I'm getting the MDX fixed or serviced or just browsing the lot.
 

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Yeah let's do it. I'm sure it's super easy to do.

So forget all the other brands for a minute. Let's just say your local independant garage is all of a sudden the replacement for Acura service. In order for a dealership to be authorized to do warranty repairs, their technicians need actual Honda training, not some bull**** 30 minute course you take in the backroom of the local Napa. And, proper repair procedures must be adhered to, which means using any special tools that are required. Dealerships just get sent new tools as they are created, whether we ever use them or not and then we get a bill for them.

I imagine I have over $200k in Acura special tools on hand plus I'd say the cost of what it's been to send our current technicians for the Honda training they have is about $20k. Plus required signage, other marketing costs, and other infrastructure costs....let's just say it's a cool quarter million bucks to be a franchised Acura service center. Not sales and parts too. Just service.

So a local mom and pop garage can spring a quarter mil just to service one brand? Ain't happening. Dealerships aren't going anywhere. Don't like going into dealerships? Buy used cars that are out of warranty. You'll never have to set foot in one again.
 

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Hey I didn't ask for a snotty reply, there, maybe I read it wrong. I'm also not ranting on dealers. I like ours. Obviously, the system now has problems. Your proposal also has problems; it just tries to make other mechanics into new dealerships, and exclusive to 1 maker, rather than starting fresh with a whole different system... which is more what I meant.

Let's tangent - Health care can learn a lot from the auto industry & auto insurance, just like the auto industry can learn from health care. Mechanics are your docs, by analogy. Now doctors don't take separate training from each insurance company even though each patient, each race, and male/female are different in little ways... but we all have 4 arms, 4 legs, stomach, eyes, spleen all in about the same places, same general physiology.

Exact same with cars. Doctors don't need special instruments for each individual patient, just like mechanics don't really need special tools for each individual car - that's a bit of a stretch to claim. Now I understand different sizes, metric, standard, different oil filter wrenches and calipers, and pullers, and tensioners, and whatnot... It's not going to be as impossibly expensive as you suggest.

Let's talk motivation & marketing. Why would any car maker, under a new system, make it prohibitively expensive for mechanics to certify up for reimbursement? No, they'll make it as cheap as possible, maybe even complimentary, because they want every potential buyer to feel like they're "safe" when it comes to repairs, as a selling point. They'll want as many certified mechanics in as many areas as possible.

A similar situation exists now in some pharmacy chains that franchise and use common distributors. The distributors in some cases may have membership fees, but they're low. The benefits with cheaper "parts", faster order & delivery times, and free signs, promotions, and marketing help & shop setup are well worth it.

Calm down Master Tech, no one is disrespecting your work, or threatening your job. No doubt you're very good. Wish you worked at mine in KC :)
 

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Exact same with cars. Doctors don't need special instruments for each individual patient, just like mechanics don't really need special tools for each individual car - that's a bit of a stretch to claim. Now I understand different sizes, metric, standard, different oil filter wrenches and calipers, and pullers, and tensioners, and whatnot... It's not going to be as impossibly expensive as you suggest.
No it is. There are basic, general tools like a 17 mm wrench, or a diagonal pliers, or even a multimeter. And I can use them on many many differnet makes and models of vehicles.

When I say special tools, they are very specific in their use. I have a horrifically expensive special tool kit that is only meant for servicing the blind spot detection sensors on the MDX/ZDX Advance. It has no use whatsoever on any other kind of vehicle in the world. When the RL with the runflat tires came out (which hardly anyone buys), we either had to buy a new $10k tire machine just to be able to service the Michelin PAX system tire it uses...or we are required to keep a completely mounted brand new wheel/tire assembly in our inventory at all times, which is a $1000 piece of inventory. And they're on the third wheel design now, so make that $3000 of inventory that collects dust and will be impossible to get rid of. In order to warranty batteries, we are required to have a $1200 handheld tester and a $6000 conditioning machine...when any decent tech could just use an ancient VAT-40 tester they picked up off craigslist for $50 and could tell you if a battery is still good or not.

A lot of folks are quick to think that dealers just rip people off since their labor rates are so much higher than independant shops. Make one of those indies buy all that stuff just to be able to service Acuras and see what their rate goes up to with all that overhead.
 

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If a firm takes responsibility for their work and have to follow manufacturer recommended procedure sure it will be expensive, any repair is same dealership or electronics etc., plenty of overheads/expenses to deal with... insurances, tools, training, attrition, taxes, labor, parts, out of model parts, ordering new parts, wear and tear, initial setup cost, marketing, infrastructure... above all you wont be able to ask 25+ people (employees) to come every day from 9-5 and work on charity basis.

Wear a small business hat and try an impartial evaluation you can really understand, yes greed is part of society but every thing is not greed...at the same time visiting a specialist(doctor,technician, lawyer or any solution provider) for a minor problem is client or customer judgment issue.
 

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No it is. There are basic, general tools like a 17 mm wrench, or a diagonal pliers, or even a multimeter. And I can use them on many many differnet makes and models of vehicles.

When I say special tools, they are very specific in their use. I have a horrifically expensive special tool kit that is only meant for servicing the blind spot detection sensors on the MDX/ZDX Advance. It has no use whatsoever on any other kind of vehicle in the world. When the RL with the runflat tires came out (which hardly anyone buys), we either had to buy a new $10k tire machine just to be able to service the Michelin PAX system tire it uses...or we are required to keep a completely mounted brand new wheel/tire assembly in our inventory at all times, which is a $1000 piece of inventory. And they're on the third wheel design now, so make that $3000 of inventory that collects dust and will be impossible to get rid of. In order to warranty batteries, we are required to have a $1200 handheld tester and a $6000 conditioning machine...when any decent tech could just use an ancient VAT-40 tester they picked up off craigslist for $50 and could tell you if a battery is still good or not.

A lot of folks are quick to think that dealers just rip people off since their labor rates are so much higher than independant shops. Make one of those indies buy all that stuff just to be able to service Acuras and see what their rate goes up to with all that overhead.
Requiring the dealer to absorb special tools is backwards thinking. Our company designs propulsion equipment for the Navy. If any special euipment other than regular tools are required for servicing or even equalizing load distribution during lifting, we have to supply them and absorb the additional cost. It makes us think twice about design anything that requires special equipment. If Acura had to supply this equipment to each dealer, they would think hard about any special equipment also.
 

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Unfortunately it's like this at any dealer. I saw the exact same thing at GM. Some new tools/equipment would just show up along with a bill everytime a new model came out. Techs from other brand's dealerships when I was in our little "braintrust" at Snap-On told me the same thing.

The manufacturer says its a "required" tool and that's that. If you're not in compliance, they can deny reimbursement for any warranty claims and eventually pull the franchise. Oh they reimburse a labor rate based on what they say, not what we say. To be honest, I don't think dealers make any money at all on warranty work, but it's part of the game.
 

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Like any business, there are good dealers and bad. The bad press just from this story must have cost this dealer much, much more than what it would have cost to help the customer come to a solution.
 
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