Never Ever Buy a Car from a Bill Heard Car Dealership

I just caught this on Fark. Basically, here’s the story:

  • Man walks into a car dealership and buys a truck at $8,100, paying cash. The deal is checked by the sales person and sales manager. Papers are signed, and the buyer goes home.
  • Man who bought the truck receives a call from the dealership that night telling him that they made a mistake and he needs to pay an extra $10,000. Man refuses on the grounds that he’s already paid and all parties involved have already signed the paperwork.
  • Dealership takes the truck back in the middle of the night. (Repo or steal — you decide which word to use.)
  • Dealership calls man back the next morning, offers to re-sell the car to him for just $11,000 more. The man says “No way. Give me my truck back.” He goes back to the dealership, only to find another customer and sales person looking at it.

Here’s the company’s statement on the issue (from the article):

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.”

Because, as we all know, if the customer had instead paid too much for the truck, he should have been able to go into the Bill Heard Chevrolet dealership and take the money back, right? Right?

Here’s the reason police gave to stay out of this:

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…

How this doesn’t constitute grand theft auto, I have no idea.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time this dealership has done something like this:

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.

It should be noted that Bill Heard dealerships are all over the country. In fact, they were recently found guilty of price fixing in Arizona.

You can read the entire article here.

Seeing as I’m in the process now of looking for a new car — and highly considering a Chevy Malibu — this kind of information is priceless.

6 thoughts on “Never Ever Buy a Car from a Bill Heard Car Dealership

  1. Hmm, ive never ‘heard’ of ‘bill heard’

    hahaha, i made a funny….

    Breaking a contractual agreement is not against the law? I would imagine that has to have some kind of legal case somewhere.

    At the very least, tell me the man got his 8,100 back on the deal.

    Thanks for making us aware.

    Btw, Japanese/german /anywhere but american cars all the way.
    I think we know enough people who own american cars, and though while cheaper up front, are several times more costly in the end.

  2. 1) From what I’ve heard, the place voided his $8100 check, so yeah, he got his money back.

    2) It seems like a breach of contract to me. I could argue also that it’s like seeing a $.99 DVD player at Target, then calling it false advertisement when it rings up at $99, but the deal had already gone through, meaning it was checked by the accounting manager, the sales manager, and the salesman. This should have been caught way before this dude took the car home.

    3) As far as American cars are concerned, I currently have a 1987 Chevy Cavalier that runs like a champ, with which I’ve only ever had one major problem (fuel pump, same as with my Honda Civic, but a heck of alot cheaper to fix). I’ve driven the Malibu before and it’s a super comfortable car with a good amount of power under the hood. (Fuel economy leaves a bit to be desired, but it’s up there with the Camry and the Sonata for that category.) Additionally, my parents drive Chevys (Chevies?) and they’ve always driven well. It’s just a matter of taking proper care of them. (Which is why I wouldn’t trust a used American car.) If I remember correctly, your dad drives (or drove) a Ford Taurus, which is by *all* accounts a crappy car, kind of like the Ford Focus.

    I’m not going to stigmatize American cars just because they’ve been crappy in the past. American companies have started to clean up their act over the past few years, and to sit here and blindly say “All American cars suck, all other cars are better” is just plain silly. For example, would you really pick a Kia over a Chevy? I don’t think so. What about Nissan Altima from between 1997-2001, better than a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am? Hardly. A Nissan Maxima over a similarly priced 2006 Mazda6? (Mazda’s owned by Ford.) Probably not. While generally speaking German and Japanese cars are better in some respects, American car companies are getting the hint and begining to catch up. After all, their current financial woes have more to do with crappy cars and slowing sales than with union wages. They’re starting to learn.

    Oh, and the fact that they are cheaper in the front end is at this time a bit of a factor.

    (By the way, according to the J.D. Power rating, Malibus get a “5” for mechanical quality, which puts them in pretty good company.)

  3. I sue car dealers all the time for this type of thing but I must admit that this is certainly one of the most flagrant stories I have heard in a long time. Believe it or not, you can find some type of fraud or legal violation in about 75% of any car deal where the dealer “helps” you with the loan.

  4. Now that’s something to keep in mind! Wow. No wonder these guys get the reputation for being shysters. I’ve met a few rather good used car place owners and salesmen — for example, the guy that owns anythingonwheels.com — so for me, being a “used car salesman” isn’t necessarily all that bad. Still, it sounds like a shadier industry than I had ever thought.

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