I will try to be as brief as possible with my complaint; however, the severity of the below outlined situation warrants an in-depth explanation. Monday February 21, 2000 my wife and I purchased a GM Certified Used 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe from Advantage Chevrolet in Hodgkins, Illinois. We made a down payment of $5,500 and three payments of $620.00 between February 21 and May 15, 2000. Tuesday June 13, 2000 we attempted to renew our license plates. We were informed that there was a hold on the title and we would have to contact the Secretary of State to obtain a transfer card. Due to my own investigation and with confirmation from the Secretary of State we discovered that the Tahoe was an unrecovered stolen vehicle. The title and vehicle were stolen together and the dealer was not aware of the status of the car when they sold it to us.
We contacted Mr. Rick Zureich, Advantage's Finance Manager, and informed him that we would be returning the vehicle to them that night, on the advice of the Secretary of State Police and Country Companies Insurance. He informed us that this car was not stolen and that he was going to look into the situation, but he was very busy and we would have to wait. We again assured him that an investigator with the Secretary of State Police had informed us it was stolen and Country Companies Insurance paid a claim on the vehicle. Mr. Zureich's response was I'm not going to believe you or a police investigator until I have documentation. As it turns out the vehicle and original title had been stolen on January 15th, the owners were out of town, and the salvage title had not been applied for until after we purchased it.
During our initial meeting with Mr. Zureich and Mr. Desmond Roberts, owner and president of Advantage Chevrolet, we were told that Chevrolet had no control over Mr. Roberts or his dealership. During the second day of talks with Chevrolet, Mr. Roberts' claim was confirmed. Chevrolet wanted nothing to do with this situation. It was a used vehicle, though certified by General Motors, and anything that needed to be resolved or recovered would have to be taken care of through the dealer.
Once again we approached Advantage Chevrolet attempting to resolve the issue. Mr. Roberts was very apologetic but made it very clear that his dealership, in his eyes, did nothing wrong. We understood his position and stated we only wanted to be made whole again. Mr. Roberts presented us with a deal on a new truck. At first look it appeared to be acceptable, but on further review of the numbers we were unclear on how he arrived at those figures. We requested a break down, from Mr. Zureich, of how our cash was to be applied in the new figures, he stated he was tired of working with us and he was turning it over to the insurance and our attorney could figure it out. The total amount of cash out of my pocket is $7,360 not including tax, titling and licensing fees (1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee trade-in, $5,500 cash down, and 3 payments of $620 to the bank). At this point our trust in this dealer was very low and we simply asked to have our money returned. We were told again to have our attorney figure it out.
Mr. Roberts said several times that Chicago Auto Auction would be returning his money plus expenses. He also said that he is claiming this on his insurance. If he is collecting from two sources we don't understand why we cannot simply have our money returned.
On the advice of our attorney, we have filed a claim with our insurance company. We were renting a car at our expense (our insurance and out of pocket). Advantage Chevrolet had given us a loner 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe, but when we requested a refund of our money, we were told to return the loaner at once, which we did.
My wife and I feel we have done nothing wrong but the dealer insist on putting the blame on us. We have told them several times that we simply want to recover from this and move on with our life. This has been stressful both financially and emotionally. We must assume that Mr. Roberts is not worrying how to pay for a new car or how to cover his legal expenses, that we most undoubtedly will accrue.