Sundance Cars and Trucks - Dealer required purchase contract to get buyer's inspection
We had a horrible experience at Sundance Cars & Trucks in Edmonds, Washington. This is not to defame them but to warn you. If you are new at buying a car, learn from me, a *** car buyer.
All I wanted to know while at the dealer was the basic condition of a car we were interested in. After asking to get a buyer's inspection, the manager REQUIRED us to sign a purchase contract to get the inspection. Big red flag! I've never had a dealer require that before. In fact, I've had buyer's inspections done before at other dealers and sometimes I've purchased the car and other times, I haven't.
Sundance Cars' "due bill" form stated that an inspection may only cover three big items: engine, transmission or rear end. Red flag! We were tired from car shopping all day and since the salesman assured us the vehicle was in great shape, we signed it. I admit we were very *** to think that we could cancel the deal if our mechanic flunked the car for other reasons. So the problem belonged to my wife and I. But how can Sundance Cars legally in the State of Washington, require you to sign a purchase agreement to find out the overall condition of the car?
A few minutes after writing a check for the vehicle, the manager talked with the owner by phone, who said we would have to tear up our check and give them a partial payment from our debit card and the balance from another separate check. A little wierd. This double-dealing should have raised every red flag, but like I said we were tired and were accommodating to what he asked for, thinking we were getting a good car.
The next day after finding many problems with the car my mechanic said to expect $2,000-4,000 in repairs & NOT to buy it. Unfortunately we couldn't get out of the deal! Think of all the things that can be wrong with a used car besides the engine, transmission or rear end. Sundance just says "too bad" if your mechanic finds: worn brakes, radiator leaks, has been submerged in water or in an accident, rust, corrosion, electrical or fuel pump problems, bad battery, mold, broken air conditioning, trunk leaks, broken cruise control, non-working power windows, power locks, etc. My car didn't have all those problems but enough things were suspect that two separate mechanic shops told me not to buy this car.
We really paid the "*** tax" on this deal!! Understand what you sign. A buyers inspection at Sundance Cars & Truckes means you buy the car. PERIOD! You may think you can get out of the deal if there are problems with only those three major things. But in reality you still WON'T get out of the deal. Their contract guarantees to FIX those problems by their mechanic...NOT take back the car. You are stuck with ALL the other problems. The owner said that in 25 years of selling cars, he has NEVER taken a car back. What does that tell you? They always win. The manager told me that if they let people bring cars back for problems beyond the big three, 25% of the cars would be returned!
We immediately tried stopping the check but it was cashed by the dealer BEFORE we had even given the results of the car inspection to them! Red flag! So much for buying a car "contingent on inspection!"
The manager lied and did not give me the name of the owner to discuss the problem. The owner was never around the car lot and after much persistence I finally got the owner's name to speak with hiim. Sundance cars me offered $500 off on repairs done by their mechanic or $1000 off on the car but I refused. I wanted out of the deal. They offered me any other car on the lot, but there was no Toyota like this one on the lot. I just wanted out of the deal. But they refused, saying "No one put a gun to your head to make you sign the contract. You shouldn't have signed the contract if I didn't like it." That's one thing I totally agree with! They were within their legal right, after I signed the contract. Boy, was I was ***.
Epiloge: I will say in Sundance's defense, that after much hassling with Sundance, the owner had his mechanic fix some of the other mechanical issues we had with the car. His mechanic fixed the bad differential control module which prevented the rear differential from locking, which fell under the "rear end" category of the warranty. He also fixed the broken driver's door lock, which he threw in as a bonus. Wasn't that generous?
So, learn, grasshopper! Just don't be ***, like me, and sign a purchase contract from a car dealer, just to get a buyer's inspection to find out a car's basic condition. Run from the lot and go to another dealer.