Who's at fault - dealer or MB Financial? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Who's at fault - dealer or MB Financial?

I'm trying to find if there was a forum to share my recent experience with Keyes European (Van Nuys, Calfiornia).

I was in the market for a 2010 C300 and started communicating with them via email last week. I was up front and honest about my recent credit situation. I was a Tier 1 rated customer with excellent credit, up until I had to give up one of my properties in March 2010, which led to a decline in my credit score. When they ran my credit, acc. to them, MBZ financial won't finance it due to my recent short sale activity with my property (I was not surprised). I was okay with that. The back-up plan was to have my mom either get the car on my behalf or co-sign with me. Just a little bit of a background, my mom has been legally living with us for over 10 years now. She is authorized to drive any one of my cars, and is a part of our auto insurance. Anyway, they ran her credit, and as expected, she was approved ( credit score over 800). After 2 days of emailing and phone calls, we settled on a deal, the C300 sport will be under my mom's name. We picked it up from Keyes European on Wednesday, my mom signed the papers, the whole contract was under her name, my name excluded.

The next morning, Thursday, I got a phone call from Keyes stating that I have to return the car, that MBZ financial put 2 and 2 together, that I am involved in the vehicle....well - DUH !!! I'm sorry...the dealer knew that all along!!! They were dealing with ME the whole time, my mom was there just to sign, and have her name be used for "credit purposes". In any case, I am so upset because from the get go, I told the dealer my situation, I did not hide anything, I did not make anything up. My mom was approved fair and square, and now, they want the car back.

It is now 5 days since we picked up the car. I still have it in my garage, have not driven it in over 3 days. I don't want to get attached to it. I haven't even played around with the gadgets. I am ready to return it. At this time, when I spoke to the salesman today, he said, they are "fighting" for me to keep the car. The dealership once again reviewed my my credit history, and aside from the recent short sale activity, records show that I have a very clean credit record, everything else is or was paid on time. So they're going to try and use that as angle to keep my car. The dealer has made contact with me for 3-4 days now, either asking me to return the car, or telling me they're still working things out. They have asked me not to drive it around so as not to accrue more miles. I have around 150 miles right now after 2 days of driving.

I'm not really sure who to blame here. I don't know how the dealer could allow us to drive off that car last Wednesday - my mom was obviously approved. And please, I am sure that this is NOT the first time that a "relative" has stepped in to purchase or lease something for someone else. Why NOT my mom? She clearly lives with us, on top it all, she has an excellent credit rating (over 800). It just didn't make sense.

I want the car sooo badly, and returning this to Keyes and getting a C300 sport from another MBZ dealership is not the solution since the whole transaction will end up at MBZ financial. My mom and I are pre-approved to co-sign at Lexus, and I am also approved at BMW.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 05:46 PM
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I am not an attorney.

Seems to me that if you did not deceive MB financial and there was no misrepresentation and your mother is qualified to purchase the car you have a binding contract. There is no fraud here that I can see. MB financial may not be happy with what transpired, but you haven't committed any deception. Your mother bought the car, right? She is qualified to buy the car? The car is in her name? Your name is on none of the papers? What's the deal?

I would pay an attorney for an hour's time to get a legal opinion, but it seems to me MB financial sold your Mom a car.

Let us know the outcome.

"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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DrJfrmLA...

Thanks for your support. The car was leased under my mom's name, not purchased. Last Friday, 2 days after the transaction, the salesman thought that if we want to buy the car instead, they we can get around MB Financial. Unfortunately, I don't want to purchase the car. The only thing in writing I got from the salesman when I asked why I need to return the car....and he wrote "There is nothing other than the Bank looked up the application and saw both applications and figured out the car was for you."


I'm looking at the contract right now, and there is a BOX in the long form and my mom had to initial this during the transaction. During the signing, the finance guy said that it's standard protocol to initial this section. It states:

THIS LEASE IS SUBJECT TO ASSIGNEE APPROVAL WITHIN TEN DAYS OF EXECUTION, OTHERWISE, THIS LEASE SHALL BE VOID, AND LESSEE SHALL RETURN THE VEHICLE ON DEMAND.

So that tells me they have the right to re-track the contract.

I'm somewhat of a car enthusiast, and this is the 1st time I have a brand-new car in my garage that has not had any of my attention since picking it up. This whole experience has taken the whole excitement away from me.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 07:16 PM
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Ah. The lease bit was an important missing piece. Leases are different from buying. You can't lease a car in one name and give it somebody else to use, unless it is a corporate lease. I think they can take their car back. The reality is you did deceive MB finance in some sense.

Sorry I gave you bad advice. I misread what you wrote.

Good luck.

"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2010, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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No worries. You didn't give me any bad advise. The thought did cross my mind about reaching out to a lawyer. Ironically, I called 2-3 other MB dealers who I've worked with in the past, and they all were pointing to the fact that it's probably a decision made by MB financial and not the dealer.

Your analysis makes sense "You can't lease a car in one name and give it somebody else to use, unless it is a corporate lease". I would think that the dealership would have known better, don't you? Or maybe they thought they could get around it.

Thanks again for your advise.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-01-2010, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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DrJFrmLA -

On Memorial Day, I got another phone call from the dealer asking me for a copy of the short sale offer. I happen to have a PDF so I fwd'd it to them via email. The sales man kept reiterating that they are fighting for me to keep the car based on the fact that I had a stellar credit record prior to the short sale.

He called back and asked me to go back to the dealership (along with my mom) as they had a "couple of questions". My issue with that was I'm at least 45 minutes away plus it was a holiday, so I didn't want to "waste" another time going there. This whole thing was not any of my doing, and it feels like I'm the one who's getting inconvenienced. Why couldn't they ask the "couple of questions" by phone? I was ready to return the car. After the call, I decided, just so I can get it over and done with, I went back to the dealership with my mom later that afternoon.

We walked in, met the salesman, we were seated in his office, and within 2-3 minutes, he came back and said everything is now okay....they are keeping the contract the way it is (which is under my mom's name), so basically, we can drive off with the car. Huh??? So there it is, the car is in our possession. After all that fiasco....it came down to the dealer over-riding MB Financial's decision.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2010, 11:59 PM
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Glad it worked out, now go enjoy your new car!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2010, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dandelos...all that drama huh? :-)

I'm just now starting to appreciate the car and I'm loving it! Thank you!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-05-2010, 06:05 AM
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if someone co-signs the lease they are responsible for payment, pure and simple.
if you dont make payments the cosigner must pay, so mb financial was wrong
from the get-go.

a'
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