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Just when you thought it was safe to get your car repaired...


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#21 dustym

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 06:29 AM

Back when I was driving a tow truck, I had a call for a stolen recovery. I show up to a 4 runner that was partially in the weeds, with no front wheels and a few other missing stuff. Sheriff has me sign papers and takes off, and I didnt look at them. I get to the back of vehicle and the back wheel werent there and either was the axles.

 

So any way i was to load up and take to Magic Toyota where it was stolen from while in for repair. I get there and they refused the vehicle, saying it was more damaged then they were led to believe. I take back to our tow yard, and the owner shows up to see his car, and was visably upset. This vehicle then just sits around for week while the insurance battles it out, then the dealership says they are not responsible for theft or damages while on thier lot. It is right on the work order that every customer signs when they drop off cars for almost all repair shops in our area. The owners insurance company gets out of paying, and I was never clear on that, so we tow it to a 4x4 junk yard and they give the owner some money for it. The money he got wasnt even close to what he owed on it, so he did get kinda screwed on the deal.

 

About a year or so after I left the tow company, the owner of the vehicle trys to sue the tow company because of the police report. He thought I stole the parts the sheriff didnt itemize on the report.

 

So anyway, in Washington state you gotta watch what you sign for when you leave your property in the hands of others.



#22 Danno

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 08:25 AM

It's theft ~ or should be ~ just about anywhere you go.  Perhaps the state where this occurred has some screwball laws, but there is a distinction to the "employee" defense:  the perp may have had permission or consent to be on the dealer's grounds and in his store, but the perp did not have the customer's permission or consent to go joy-riding.  For the dealer to plead 'no involvement' requires inherently that the employee was acting outside the scope of his employment, so it is clearly theft.  If the argument is that the employee was acting within the scope of his employment ('he had the dealer's permission') makes the whole debacle responsibility of the dealer, insurance or not. 

 

Another consideration is that the dealer's insurance may not cover this mess.  Most insurance policies exclude intentional acts by insureds or their agents and employees.  If the dealer's insurer determined the employee was acting outside the scope of his employment, the insurer might decline to cover the dealer's losses.  That could explain the dealer's recalcitrant attitude. 

 

However, most insurers (and the policies they issue) will provide coverage to an innocent third party (the customer/car owner) regardless.  They will often then cancel coverage for the insured [the dealer] for the non-compliant behavior and failure to prevent losses such as this. 

 

Any way you slice it, the dealer is responsible.  The employee is an irresponsible jerk, but the dealer hired him and gave him access to customer cars.



#23 NHRA715

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 09:51 AM

order a new Z28 and call a laywer



#24 freakshow12

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 01:56 PM

The state law could not charge him with theft. Employee was fired and only charged with reckless driving and some other bogus thing. Customers option is to sue employee directly. Also insurance offered 45 k and customer said no as he paid 60 in 2012. Cars depreciate! This is screwed up on both sides and I am sure it will be resolved but it will take time and the dealer is not obligated to do any more than what they have done by trying to find him a replacement

#25 Tom Geiger

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 03:19 PM

Whenever you lose a car you are going to take a beating.  When you buy a new car, the moment you leave the lot, it's a used car.  Back around 1977 a guy I worked with bought a brand new Olds Cutlass.  He brought it to work and showed it off.  It went back to the dealer for some repair the following week. That night the dealership burned down with his car in the service department.  Insurance called it a used car, and reduced the price down enough that he couldn't afford to replace it. 



#26 Danno

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 03:23 PM

Okay.  TECHNICALLY what the dealer's employee did is not THEFT per se in Delaware.  Delaware is one of the few states that still has screwed up, antiquated laws in some respects, and this is one.  

 

What the employee did was commit the crime of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.  Regardless of the amount of damage caused, it is a misdemeanor in Delaware.

 

 

DEL CODE § 853 : Delaware Code - Section 853: UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A VEHICLE; CLASS A MISDEMEANOR
A person is guilty of unauthorized use of a vehicle when:

 

(1) Knowing that the person does not have the consent of the owner the person takes, operates, exercises control over, rides in or otherwise uses a vehicle;

 

(2) Having custody of a vehicle pursuant to an agreement between the person or another and the owner thereof whereby the person or another is to perform for compensation a specific service for the owner involving the maintenance, repair or use of the vehicle, the person intentionally uses or operates it, without the consent of the owner, for the person's own purposes in a manner constituting a gross deviation from the agreed purpose;

 

 

 

In Arizona, and most states, that would be a felony.

 

So, technically, he could not be charged with theft because the theft and the auto theft statutes in Delaware require intent to permanently deprive the owner of his vehicle.  This deadbeat was just joy-riding.  No theft.

 

But, he still committed a crime ~ Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.



#27 niteowl7710

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 06:01 PM

Well this is an entertaining saga to be sure.  I bet the dealer feels it has gone above and beyond to find him a replacement vehicle, because lets face it, no matter who's at fault an insurance company doesn't go buy a car and bring it to your house, it cuts you a check and sends you on your way.  So legally the dealership doesn't have to do a single thing, it's between their insurance company and this guy.  That attitude however is of course getting them a pile of "bad" press.

 

I find it interesting that this guy doesn't have Full Replacement/Gap Insurance on his own.  I mean it's a ZL-1 Camaro, not a V-6 off-lease program car.  If I had that expensive a vehicle, you can be sure I'd be getting it replaced, and/or paid off in the event of an accident.  Plus at that point you could get your check from YOUR insurance, and let THEM deal with fighting with the dealer's insurance about getting their money back.  Because it clearly appears that the Fair Market Value of his car isn't covering his finance note.

 

The idea that this guy (and a lot of the comments in the original article) are putting forward that they should just GIVE him a NEW ZL-1 is ridiculous.  Unless you could prove the dealer was intentionally liable in employing the guy who took the car out and destroyed it, why would they be on the hook to eat the cost of a 0 mile car, that at this point isn't even the same exact body-style as his wrecked car?  How would that even work? He's paying a note on a car that doesn't exist anymore in a technical sense, so even if you re-fi'd the old note into the '14 ZL-1 somehow and the dealer ate the difference, who's paying the sales tax on the entire thing?  Delaware doesn't have a sales tax, but there is a 3.75% Documentation Fee based on the Sale Price - so that's $1,950.

 

I guess ultimately it would be up to the Dealership to determine whether or not eating $16,000 is worth making this whole thing go away.


Edited by niteowl7710, 12 January 2014 - 06:02 PM.


#28 freakshow12

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 06:37 PM

Exact ally!! He figures his 60 k car is still worth 60 k. It's not. I have full replacement for 3 yrs on my shelby. Which is the exact number taxes in on my paperwork. Car gets totalled I get car paid off and my equity back so I am out nothing.

#29 ZTony8

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:27 AM

I was reading that thread on the Camaro5 board.Over 1200 posts!GM and Berger Chevy(Grand Rapids,Mich.) are getting involved to get the guy a 2013 ZL-1 to purchase.



#30 espo

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 09:34 AM

I'm retired from over 30 years in the retail car business. As many of your friends here have pointed out, your attorney should have his or her arms around this. You do have an independent attorney who answers just to you, don't you? #1 The dealership is "dancing around with you " because they are the responsible party. They had possession of the vehicle and there Garage Owners Insurance should cover any losses. Dealer's problem is their rates are going to go thru the roof if they can get it next year. #2 Has the locale police department gotten involved yet? In any states that I have lived in this is called Grand Theft Auto. and not the video game. The employee has taken the keys after hours to go for a "joy ride". I think they #1 Thought maybe that you didn't have as much owner pride in your car, #2 That you were stupid or some thing. Get some very good legal help, and ask them if you should get GM involved. GM will not be responsible in any way, but they don't take kindly to dealer that is treating you in this fashion. #2 Ask your attorney if it's time to have you interviewed by the local "investigative" TV station. This should playout  good on the 10 o'clock news. Good luck and make this so and so make it right. Their giving a bad name to all of the good dealers out there       



#31 keyser

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 10:14 PM

From Autoblog/Camaro5:

 

"Last week, we told you about the saga of Delaware couple Debbie and John Hooper, who were engaged in a battle with First State Chevrolet over their wrecked 2012 Camaro ZL1. The car was sent to the dealer for a warrantied paint repair, but was wrecked by a joyriding employee that snuck in on a weekend to go for a spin.

First State claimed that as the employee shouldn't have been in the car in the first place, it wasn't liable for the crashed ZL1, although it did try to make things right with the Hoopers by offering them a car with more mileage, modifications, options they didn't want and a rather questionable provenance. This was turned down. The Hoopers wanted a new ZL1 for their troubles.

Now, thanks to a little cooperation from General Motors and Berger Chevrolet, in Grand Rapids, MI, a 2013 Camaro ZL1 is being sent to First State. According to a post on the Camaro5 forums, John Hooper said, "I understand that it will be about two weeks before the insurance check is cut, the old car is paid off, the new car arrives, and a new purchase contract will be signed by my wife and I for the purchase of our new ZL1." Emphasis is his.

There aren't many other specifics on the forums, so we can't say whether it's the dealer's insurance or the Hooper's insurance that are picking up the tab for the wrecked Camaro. As for the newer Camaro, it seems like the Hoopers are being treated like any other purchaser rather than getting special treatment after what they've been through. Whether that's right or not, we'll let you decide. What is clear is that the Hoopers are getting what they wanted - a new ZL1. As car people, we should simply be happy about that."

News Source: Camaro5 via Jalopnik