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This Story Will Give You Some Insight Into the Kind of Sleazy Stuff That Goes On in the Car Dealer's Finance Office!

Hi Tony:

I am a first-time visitor of your site and I truly wish that my parents had visited this highly valuable and informative site before buying their used car as I feel they have been taken advantage of, and it is infuriating to me.

I must say that even now, I feel highly grateful that you have taken the time to give people your wealth of knowledge and wise advise -- thank you so very much.

My parents went to Star Toyota of Bayside (Queens, NY) and purchased a very nice Avalon with 71,000 miles on it. The car itself seems to be in excellent condition. The base price of the car was $12,665 after taxes. Great price.

However, they were then sent into the little "loan office" where somehow, they ended up spending $4,000 more! After financing, this totaled $19,000.

My father unwittingly signed papers for a warranty (I am not sure if this is an extended warranty -- it covered bumper-to-bumper and all the stuff that extended warranties cover), the pre-paid maintenance plan and some kind of auto-theft insurance plan (they etch the 2 windows of the car, which the NYPD will do for free, and if the car is stolen and unrecovered they give us a discount thereby guaranteeing a return sale).

What infuriates me so is the way the Finance Manager disguised his words so that my father thought he was getting all these great deals for $12,665 (of course, if it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true).

The Finance Manager said that he was able to lower my parents' finance rates while getting us this great package deal (listed above) while our payments remain the same. What he did not mention was that the payment plan was based on spending $4,000 more!

My father had not even realized he was signing a loan for $19,000-something dollars! Furthermore, these extra plans are not itemized, so I don't know how much each plan was.

When I went with my parents on the following Friday, the other finance Manager said he could not help us -- no one would help us. I have to wait until Monday for the man that dealt with my parents. They would not even look at our copy of the paper work.

The contract states the etching and auto theft insurance is non-refundable. I have gathered from your site that the warranty is refundable. The contract states that the pre-paid maintenance is also refundable.

Hopefully before dealing with these people, you can answer some of my questions:

  1. Is the warranty, in your experience, refundable?

  2. Do you know the basic price of the so-called auto theft insurance plus etching program?

  3. Is it true that there is absolutely no way in h-e-l-l that we can cancel the auto-theft insurance program after only one business day after the contract has been signed? My parents stopped driving the car the following day after signing the contract just in case.

    This dealership is licensed by the Office of Consumer Affairs. If Toyota Corporate does not help me, I plan to contact Consumer Affairs.

  4. My parents' no longer want to finance through Star Toyota of Bayside. Is it possible to not accept the financing and pay off, interest free, through our own bank?

  5. Is there any advice that you can give me to handle such a situation? Is the fact that the costs for the extra options was not itemized an advantage for us?

Thank you so much for your time and I truly appreciate any advise you can give us.

Very respectfully,

Leila

Read My Answer to This Story



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