Mission Chrysler Jeep Still Facing Mounting Complaints

A little over a month ago, BBB warned consumers of increasing complaints being reported against Mission Chrysler Jeep. Since BBB issued their warning in May 2011, this company has received an additional 15 complaints putting them at a total of 43 complaints for 2011, a 65 percent increase from 2010.

Consumers are complaining to BBB:
1) Advertisements regarding trade-in incentives are not honored appropriately
2) The company is difficult to work with when attempting to seek a resolution to a dispute
3) Refunds for gap insurance or extended warranties were not given

Here a consumer shares their story on dealing with Mission Chrysler Jeep : http://www.ksat.com/news/28151722/detail.html

Here are some red flags of vehicle dealer advertising:
1) “No matter what you owe, we will pay off your trade-in”

  • This gives consumers the idea that the dealer will give them what they owe for their old car.
  • People who are behind on their car payment generally fall for this ad.
  • In reality, the dealer means if they obtain credit approval, they add the negative equity to the consumer’s new loan.
  • This claim may be in violation of the Texas Motor Vehicle Divisions rules of advertising.
    – § 215.253. Trade-in Allowances –
    No guaranteed trade-in amount or range of amounts shall be used in advertising. 
  • The same rule applies to ads such as “Get $2,000 for your trade-in no matter what condition it’s in!”

2) “All Credit Applications Accepted”

  • Consumers believe their loan will be approved, but all this says is that the dealer will accept the application, not necessarily that it will be approved by any lender.
  • This claim may also be in violation of the Texas Motor Vehicle Divisions rules of advertising.
    – § 215.247. Untrue Claims –
    The following statements are prohibited. (2) Statements such as “everybody financed,” “no credit rejected,” “we finance anyone,” and other similar statements representing or implying that no prospective credit purchaser will be rejected because of his inability to qualify for credit.
  • “Buy a new vehicle and get the second one for free (or $1)”. This is the same as the guaranteed trade amount. If the dealer over charges you for the first car, he can absorb the cost of the second car. You end up paying normal price for both cars.

3) Very Low Prices

  • Dealers who advertise a price for a vehicle that seems extremely low, may be using bait and switch advertising.
  • They may only sell 1 or 2 vehicles at that price and the rest will be similar to their competitors. However, they must disclose this in their ad.
    – § 215.245. Availability of Vehicles –
    (a) A licensee may advertise a specific vehicle or line make of vehicles for sale if: (2) the price advertisement sets forth the number of vehicles available at the time the advertisement is placed or a dealer can show he has available a reasonable expectable public demand based on prior experience. In addition, if an advertisement pertains to only one specific vehicle, then the advertisement must also disclose the vehicle’s stock number or vehicle identification number.

4) “If I can’t beat your deal, I’ll just give it to you!”

  • Often what actually happens is if the consumer brings in an advertisement from a competitor, the dealer will beat it by a penny or a dollar and they have technically fulfilled the ad.

Let us know if you have a similar story to share or if you have any questions!