My concern is with my 1999 Dodge Durango that I purchased from Budget in Muldraugh KY. We, being my wife and I, were looking for a vehicle for about a
week when we called William at Radcliff Budget. He stated that the Durango that was listed online at his store was moved to the Budget in Muldraugh. The two sites are co-owned by the same 2 people, Randy and
Tony. William, Myself and my wife all agreed over the phone to meet at the Muldraugh site to look at the Durango. When we pulled up we immediately saw the vehicle in the first row that surrounds the outerperimeter of their lot.
We spoke with William about the vehicle and he stated that his mechanic just looked at it and that it came back with no issues other than worn tires, brakes and in need of an alignment. We all climbed in and took it for a test drive. I looked over the vehicle and thought what he said was true so my wife and I purchased the vehicle, paid for in cash for sticker price of 2900, 3200 out the door.
Later in the day I bought a second vehicle, a 2001 Stratus for $3,800. The next day I took the vehicle to Radcliff Meineke and I was astonished to hear that the vehicle had an original estimate of damage of $8,000. I received a full inspection sheet stating everything that
was wrong with the vehicle and immediately called the salesmen that I had spoken with, William and Joe. They said to call the owners and see what they had to say about it.
The owners wanted to meet and discuss the vehicle status. During the first conversation they had said you buy the parts and well put them on but we cant do everything. Not once in the first 2 weeks did they offer to give us our money back even when we said that's all we were willing to accept.
I had asked for our money back since I had to sign 2 waivers from Meineke stating I knew the vehicle was illegal to operate on the roadway due to front rotors being cracked all the way through, not just worn, and no exhaust other than a converter and a 3 inch pipe. They did not agree to it so I agreed to look at the parts price. Randy was able to find several parts for
roughly $750.00. He said to get the parts and he would have his mechanic put them on. I searched everywhere, even online and in salvage yards and I couldn't get the parts for less than $2,000.
During the time it took me to look at parts there were conversations between myself, my wife and the dealership where they had offered the money back but I had asked for a couple more days to see if I oculd find the parts cheaper. Shortly after that my wife's father passed away unexpectedly and the salesman, Joe, had said take your time and we'll talk when the funeral
Randy had called me 3 days after the funeral and asked what we wanted to do with the vehicle, if we wanted our money back or if we had found the parts to fix the vehicle. I had just gotten off a 30 hour Staff Duty shift so I had asked if I could call him back in the afternoon. He said that was fine. I had called at around 4:00 and was immediately placed on hold for 45 minutes. I hung up and called back the following morning and was placed on hold a second time with the excuse that he was with a customer, this time I hung up after approximatley 30 minutes.
I had called back the following day being Friday and was told by Tony (co-owner) that Randy was on vacation and to call back on Monday after 10 am. I called back Monday around 1:00 and was told Randy was out sick and to come in person on Wednesday at 5:30 to meet in person. I then came in on Wednesday and met with Randy and their finance director. The main point of the conversation was that Randy had several times offered to return our money and that now that we had asked a lawyer what was proper to ask for he had no intention of returning our money. At first he even refused a mediation hearing in which I had to repeatedly point out that I had signed a legal document that allowed the mediation.
The time I took to find parts and prices and the amount of contact that I had with the dealership I feel that I kept in complete contact with them in good standing. I did not 'dilly dally' on the subject I just simply tried to do what was best for everyone involved by finding the cheapest way out for everyone. I attempted to contact the dealership several times in which I was forced into a game of phone-tag and was given mis-information about the whereabouts of Randy and then the excuse was given that I had not kept in contact with them. I canprovide phone records of the contacts between everyone involved.
The other issue that I have is that this is the first time I had bought a car in Kentucky. There was no window sticker stating the issues of the vehicle that I believe is in the regulations set forth by state law. We were not provided or allowed any information of the prior owner,they stated the vehicle was only from auction when we asked. The truck also has 19 Car-Fax reports on the vehicle in which we were not told of any issues that cost over $500.00 to fix before buying.
The list below is a brief list of what are only some of the problems with the vehicle:
1) Cracked rotor on front brakes in which I was told was illegal to
operate in such a state
2) Ball joints all the way around (8) are shredded
3) No muffler in which I was also told was illegal to operate without
4) Rear Main seal is bad, leaks oil but was moved in such a way that a
Meineke mechanic feels was on purpose
5) Head gaskets leaking but were cut to not hang below the Valve Covers
6) All struts are either bent or in such a state that they will cause
further vehicular damage
7) Steering arm is bent past repair, needs complete replacement
8) Serpentine belt was shredded with the shredded part of the belt
removed as to not be seen by customer
I have thought over this issue many times and I feel that I am in the right by asking for my money back. There have been several other people of mechanical or sales backgrounds that have told me I should sue
for as much as I can get. I am starting to feel that is the only way to go at this point. I have heard many times that the Budget store has repeatedly ripped off soldiers both deployed and stationed locally and I
think something needs to be done. Randy had stated at the end of our meeting on Wednesday that he is a man of principal and that he will drag this out in court. I too am a man of principal and I do whole heartedly
believe they are wrong and that they should admit it and make it right.
Yes, I did take time to find parts but when they had given me an ultimatum I only asked for several hours of sleep so I did not drive a vehicle after a 30 hour shift. They repeatedly lied to me during the
buying process, did not provide me the information I believe the state to mandate they provide and I have paperwork stating they sold me a vehicle that was illegal to sell at a dealership due to the fact that it
is illegal to operate on a road way.
Not only did they do this on my wifes birthday (Spetember 23) but they sold me an un-safe vehicle that I had put my wife and two young children in.
Heather proud army wife
Fort Knox, Kentucky