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Old 08-17-2001, 10:36 AM
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Good job! The GM is usually a real p*&^% at this point I would have a lawyer give the GM a ring stating exactly what you demand.
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Old 08-17-2001, 11:25 AM
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Don't give up!! I have had some problems with contractors, etc. - nobody blinks an eyelid till you convey a CREDIBLE threat to take them to court, and then they completely change their tone!! Of course, you should be WILLING to take that step if necessary - have you tried the better business bureau? They do arbitration and stuff - going by your case, most probably any arbitrator would decide in your favor, in which case they weaken their future options tremendously.

good luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 08-17-2001, 12:00 PM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862

Excellent work! I suggest keeping your cool. Since attorney damages are paid, I think it a good idea to step out of this. Your well intending friends (us) may only serve to heighten the well deserved sense of hostility you feel towards the dealer. In the end emotional wear and tear you’ll subject yourself to, may cost more than the value of the car, including treble damages, punitive damages, statutory damages. Etc.

You have thought through your options and seem to be willing to go the easy route. Have yer attorney put that on the table. Go from there.

And thank you for keeping us posted! We all learn (and get a vicarious thrill) from these unpleasant encounters.

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
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Old 08-17-2001, 12:09 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Surrey, Beautiful British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 750
Buyers' Beware

Apart from the monetary return you may be entitled to,
i believe the buying public should be forewarned accordingly.
Contact your local media, and report the matter to the police.
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Old 08-17-2001, 03:15 PM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,562
yours in not the case of this sort and won't be the last- - so, the remediation, negotiation, settlement, legal action, penalties, slander, etc...all the paths have been crossed and no new ground will be forged here...educate yourself on all the possibilites and use this knowledge to wisely control the process

..knowing your rights and remedies (and especially how to get them enforced), knowing the applicable law, choosing a strategy that works, is all good and well but keep in mind that very little in life is clear cut (just recall trying to deal with your insurance company or someone else's insurance company on policy trying to pull a donkey on a 2" greased rope)

I'm sure you know, that the remedies available by law/range of damage awards ( max) are possible in the event a court of law rules in your favor- they are not automatic and may be appealed. A max penalty ruling may require irrefutable evidence of intentional and malicious fraud (in more than one instance, and over a substantive period of time). Needless to say, a spectacular bullet proof case is often needed for this outcome to occur. The entire legal proceeding, case scheduling, case prep-discovery process will probably be quite time consuming and $$$ consuming requiring experienced representation. As a side note, I'm sure you also are aware that this matter, as described, doesn't appear to be within a small claims jurisdiction -unless action is for the deficiency/ shortfall and shortfall is within small claims $$$ limits. As a general rule, once "legal action" is levied as an ultimatum (indicating an unwillingness to further negotiate), one pretty much has to go through with it, since - otherwise it's viewed as a false threat and affects your credibility in ongoing negotiations and achieving your goal.

Another thought, granted you are very close to the situation financially and emotionally, it may be wise to seek an "objective" third party opinion/ remediatioin on what would be considered a "fair" resolution(s)/ option(s) for all involved parties

Do you really think that it would appear reasonable that the dealership be required to pay for your personal use of the car over the past 11,500 miles (healthy use)?

It may appear more reasonable to request some $$$ consideration for the down time and personal time associated with warranty work and the whole scenario (outside the represented sale: similar model, mileage, and vintage MB).

good luck!
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Old 08-17-2001, 09:35 PM
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-fad I think we could use that as a FAQ. You must be in the field.
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Old 08-17-2001, 11:16 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 326
NEVER, EVER, EVER take ANYONE'S word about a used car!! I don't care who it is. I've seen this happen time and time again in my career. With Carfax doing title searches is easier than ever. Most importantly, take the vehicle to a mechanic and have it checked out. It will be the best $100 you could spend.
Scott Diener
89 300E
93 300E
92 Volvo 740 Wagon aka "Mutt mover"
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Old 08-20-2001, 01:03 AM
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: San Francisco, Ca
Posts: 2,207
Shoot high, then step down if needed!
Your deal needs some extras for you like an extended warranty for free and
some other stuff. I would not have the service done there cuz they can recover their
costs with other scams at your time and headache expense.
I'd sue them and take your business to a more reputable dealer. Keep 'em honest.
Good Luck.
1979 300D 199 K miles
1995 C280 95 K miles
1992 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe 57K miles
1979 240D 140Kmiles (bought for parents) *SOLD.
1989 300SE 148 K miles *SOLD
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Old 08-20-2001, 04:54 AM
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Lightbulb got a good lawyer who knows his

Contact Bryan Kemnitzer at he just got us an award which settled this month for the exact same issue on a GMC yukon rollback from a dealer. We got our money back x 3 .. and closed the dealer down ..

he is in SF california.. but they handle cases all over the us..

don'rt let it go... they allways know (the dealers that is) they have access to all the same data that carfax has... if they ignore it thats the risk in doing biz they accept the concequences
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Old 08-20-2001, 09:08 AM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
While not particularly helpful to you in your situation now, for the benefit of others considering buying a used car, I cannot emphasize how helpful CarFax is for title and history research.

I spent about three months running down information on cars while searching for a used vehicle on EBay. You just can't imagine how many vehicles are offered for sale that have what you'd consider title or history problems. I had people tell me "it's never been repainted and never had damage" when CarFax showed a history of "severe front end collision damage". Now that CarFax is becoming well-known and easily available, people will try to explain away that "salvage title" as "well the car was briefly stolen and required a salvage title to re-register it."

Even when there are no obvious title or history problems, you gain a lot of insight about the vehicle when its been traded at the "Eastern Regional Auto Auction" every few months for the last two years!

So, thanks to CarFax, I ended up with a good used car at a great price - even from EBay. Of course, I waited until a prospective car came up for sale in my region that I could take a look at in person before closing the deal. CarFax + personal inspection is the best way I've found to buy a used vehicle.
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Old 08-21-2001, 10:36 AM
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Final update: Sorry for the delay!

Friday the dealer called and wanted to meet me halfway, I said "I really don't think so and neither does my attorney, yatta, yatta, yatta! I said I want my $$ back and a ML320 @ cost. I wound up getting a late 1998 Ruby ML320 with 23k on it for $5300 and my car, the ML was listed in the paper at $29,999. I know I could have gone with an attoney and dragged them in the mud(maybe) but in my life "what goes around, comes around". I got to use my car for almost 12k miles and got a beautiful truck for dirt cheap so......I'm happy!

Thanks for all the advice guys and girls and happy Benzing, guess, I'll change my profile now.
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Old 08-21-2001, 10:47 AM
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Good show, Bigshot. Glad you got the dealer to bend. With only 23k miles, its almost like a new ML, except for model year. Did you take extended warranty on it? Maybe you should, because 98 MLs had lots of problems. Hope yours was not amongst the first 10,000 or so made.

In any case, you came out a winner in this whole episode, except for the stress and harassment. But then that's life!

good luck,
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Old 08-21-2001, 12:51 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,562
Congrats on your ML, and sounds like the outcome was acceptable

...out of curiousity, was the ML Carfax'd and did you review the report? Did you get a Starmark car and review the maintenace documented in the dealer's system (master inquiry)?

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Old 08-24-2001, 10:32 AM
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Carfax was witnessed on the ML. The car was purchased on 6/16/98 so it is a late 98 car. It is Starmarked and warrantied until 6/03 bumper to bumper. I am very happy with it. Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-24-2001, 12:40 PM
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