Dodge Charger Customer Gets the Wrong Car Delivered, It’s the Dealership’s Fault [Update]

2015 Dodge Charger 1 photo
Photo: Dodge
In a reddit subreddit tagged under /r/cars, a funny story came to our attention, although the owner of the vehicle in question is certainly not smiling. To sum things up, this guy found out two months after he bought a 2015 Dodge Charger sedan that he was offered with the wrong car, not the one he asked for.
Originally uncovered by shortly after reddit member ‘Darkbouncer4689’ posted his unfortunate story on the social networking and news community site, the following bit of info was shared: “About 2 months ago I bought a new Dodge Charger. Today I get a phone call from the dealer that sold it to me saying that the VIN numbers on the cars got mixed up.”

Darkbouncer4689 added that when he looked more closely at the Charger delivered to him, he found out that it was an entry-level SE model ($27,995), not the posher SXT he signed and paid for, a model that starts from $29,995 without even looking at the options list. “It looks like I signed a contract for an SXT model with a different VIN number and I was given an SE (about $2,000 difference that isn't in my favor). The car I was given was the one I test drove, but they [the dealer] gave me paperwork for a different car.”

Bummer! This absurdity is somehow an automotive equivalent to a Laurel and Hardy sketch, including the mandatory Cuckoo Song in the background and all. However, Darkbouncer4689 needs your opinion on the situation he’s in: “My loan, insurance and registration all use the VIN number that does not belong to the car I have. The dealer wants me to come in tomorrow and says that ‘it's not a big deal and I just need to sign a few things’. I have now put 1,100 miles on the car and got the windows tinted.”

Considering the dealership hasn’t yet mentioned a thing about refinancing at a lower price or giving a better equipped model as a sincere “sorry for this mess!”, the Charger owner is afraid that his dealer “seems like he just wants me to unknowingly sign a new contract that makes everything okay for him.”

So if you have any idea on the legal grounds in favor of Darkbouncer4689, do please contact him.

UPDATE: the Charger's owner came back with a follow up on his problematic situation, from which we found out the man took delivery of a 2014 Dodge Charger, not a 2015 model year as we initially believed. Without further ado, take a look at what Darkbouncer4689 said only recently on reddit and recommend him which of the three options would be best suited for him. I'd personally go for option #1, of course.

So I drove the SE Charger up to the dealership, but I drove past the dealership and parked it in the back of an outlet store since I figured driving it up to their lot would be a terrible idea. I then walked to their lot and found the car matching the VIN that I paid for.

Here it is on the lot

I peeked through the window, even though it's an SXT it doesn't have leather interior for whatever reason. Then I went into the dealership. The salesman was busy and I sat for a while, but then he came up behind me and smacked me on the shoulder and asked for the keys so he could go check out the car. He acted as if he was my close friend wanting to go see the car. I told him it wasn't here and that I had a friend drop me off. He asked why and I told him that he messed up the VIN numbers so the car wasn't actually insured and I didn't want to drive it. You could tell he was a bit upset that the SE wasn't on the lot.

Then I sat for a while longer until he came out with the keys to the SXT. He told me that they sold me a nicer model car for the cheaper price and that I could take the newer car at no extra cost (which is a big fucking lie, I paid every penny of that SXT price tag). Looking inside at the SXT I wasn't very impressed, it had no leather and the gearstick was different. I wasn't exactly too excited to get this car that I had never seen or test driven until now. At this point I started to get shitty with him. I told him that this entire time he has been acting like all of this is no big deal but the way I saw it this was the biggest mistake he could ever make as a car salesman. He tried to tell me that either I keep the car I have or I take that one. At that point I asked to go back inside and talk to a manager.

The manager turned out to be a pretty great guy. He apologized about what a colossal fuck up this has been and said he was going to make it right. We talked for a while and came up with 3 options.

  1. I take the SXT and give back the SE. They don't have to fix all of the fucked up paperwork. This option is definitely the best for them. He offered to redo the tint on the SXT as well as add leather seats for free ($1100 value).
  2. We void out everything and I walk away. Pretty good option for me if I am just fed up with everything.
  3. I keep the SE, they adjust the price to match what I should have paid for an SE, add leather interior for free ($1100 value) and knock off an extra $400. Additionally they cover all costs and hassles involved in changing everything to match the correct VIN.

What I paid for the SXT: $26,854. Actual price for the SE I got: $24,540 (doesn't include the $400 discount).

I was also able to get out of the "Theft deterrent" upsell that I got previously and immediately regretted. That saves me another $300. I'm leaning towards keeping the SE, having my loan reduced by 2314 + 400 (discount) + 300 (theft deterrent) = $3014 and I get the leather interior for an extra $1100 value, however walking off with a new SXT and getting leather interior for free isn't a bad option either (I really hate the gearstick in this thing though, not sure why they changed it between models).

I had him write up a new contract for the SE and a condition of sale sheet and told him I wanted to take things home to thoroughly read through everything. I also told him that I appreciate him working with me and giving me so many options and that even though it was a big fuck up I knew he was doing everything he could to make things right. I walked out of there pretty happy overall.

Now to decide what to do. What would YOU do?

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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