Police should have called it a civil matter (contract dispute). I've seen them call stolen vehicles on private property a civil matter.
If they screwed some little old lady for an EXTRA $5,500 the dealership would be laughing all the way to the bank. Funny how they get their panties in a wad when they are on the loosing end.
I wonder if they will make aggressive attempts at hindering any warranty/repair claims for his car in the future.
I bet there is more to the story than innocent customer arrested by evil dealership.Did the buyer not notice the 5k in content difference?
Surely he knew the higher content vehicle wouldn't be the exact same price.
Otoh, the dealer should have reviewed the sales contract.
Didn't we have somebody in TCL that bought a car and later found out the contract was for a different vehicle than what they took home?
In having signed paperwork for my house and my car in the last couple months BOTH documents have clauses in them stating clerical errors may be corrected up to 10 days after the signing. I believe this is a NJ law. So if the price was wrong they can change it if it was an error. (They can't just up prices or change warranties etc...) They have to have proof an error was made. Such as another document you signed with the correct amount. Just a thought as to what might explain this. Don't know what the laws or contracts clauses were.
"Reformation is generally permitted when either the parties made a mutual mistake or one party made a unilateral mistake and the other engaged in fraud or inequitable conduct." Boyles Bros. Drilling Co. v. Orion Indus., Ltd., supra.
The dealership made a 'unilateral mistake' in the contract... and the OP knew it.
Unfortunately, the dealership did something very bad by reporting the car as stolen and having the customer falsely arrested. My guess is that they both leave everything as is customer agrees not to sue for the false accusation and the dealership does not sue for the $$$.
Last edited by BostonB6; 09-28-2012 at 01:15 PM.
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"No sir, I had no idea. They said come and trade the blue one for the black one, no questions asked. Swear!"California Civil Code section 3399 provides: "When, through fraud or a mutual mistake of the parties, or a mistake of one party, which the other at the time knew or suspected, a written contract does not truly express the intention of the parties, it may be revised on the application of a party aggrieved, so as to express that intention, so far as it can be done without prejudice to rights acquired by third persons, in good faith and for value." The remedy of reformation is equitable in nature. (Demetris v. Demetris (1954) 125 Cal.App.2d 440, 443. )
Although the police were never involved, I did have a similar dispute years ago with a Ford dealership that resulted in my bringing the new car back to them.
I go in late on a Saturday afternoon circa 1996 wanting to trade my year old Ford pickup (stupid mistake on my part) for a new Mustang GT. They tell me they can accurately estimate the payoff of my current vehicle based on the payment and time elapsed so they put that figure into the paperwork. We come to an agreement on sales price, trade-in value, fees, etc and I go to the finance guy. They offer what I know is too high of a rate so I say I want to go to my own bank on Monday.
Dealer tells me to take the Mustang home even though I kind of didn't want too until everything was squared away but did anyway. Monday I contact the bank, loan is arranged and dealer will be funded on Tuesday. Get a call from dealer Tuesday telling me all's well so come in and pick up my copies of all paperwork.
On Thursday, FIVE days after we wrote up the deal, and two days after it was funded, I get a call from the sales manager saying the payoff for my car was $175 more than they had estimated and they wanted me to bring in a check for that amount. I told him no, he continued to argue, so I told him I'd bring the car back. Got back to the dealer, saw him over in the corner office scowling, and my saleswoman took me out to the back lot in a golf cart to retrieve my truck. Some cars were going to have to be moved, so she left me there while she went back to get some porters and keys to help her. A few minutes later she came back and told me if I still wanted the Mustang, the manager had relented. End of story.
This was totally their mistake and their policies. They should have never sent me home in a new car unless they were 100% sure of everything. They also could have verified the payoff first thing Monday morning and brought it up then and changed the deal. Instead, they sat on for FIVE days and then wanted to quibble over $175 on a $20K+ car, stupid. I in no way felt morally obligated to pay that extra amount.
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