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Discussion Starter #1
After sending out several dozen requests for price quotes, I happen to get a reply from a dealer in southern California (I live in San Francisco). The price was $4000 below MSRP for a Limited with a stack of options/accessories.
I just happen to be vacationing 20 minutes away from the dealership and went in the following morning and gave them a $500 deposit on credit card. While they didn't have a vehicle order sheet filled out, they did print out my original email (which listed trim and options), with the agreed upon price and off I went to catch my flight home.

Last night I emailed asking for the VON, figuring 6 days should be plenty of time for them to have entered it into the ordering system.
The reply, "We do not have one yet when I do I will forward it to you also when the manager ordered it the price was a bit different the Factory makes you get some of the features in packages when my GM gets back in town I am going to go over it with him. He is the one who built it for me for you."

I acknowledged that there was a $4k price difference between MSRP and their quote, but reminded him that they had already taken a deposit based upon the price they stated in email. And that I expected them to honor their offer. He replied, "I will talk to him for sure my friend"


Hmmm.... I'm getting a sinking feeling they are going to try and back out of this deal because they made such a huge mistake in the pricing. I've tried looking for any legal references online for California and if an email quote is binding, more so if they've already taken a deposit on the car, but to no avail. So I'm looking to the hive mind and if anyone knows of any legal points that bind them to the price they offered???

I don't want to be a jerk with them IF they try and back out... but I'll certainly hit social media and forums to warn about this dealership and for sure contact SoA about this. But I'd just rather get the car I inquired about in good faith at the price they offered. If I knew what MSRP was when I began reaching out to dealers, I would expect dealers to know their own pricing when they reply back.

Sigh :(
 

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The little law courses I took lead me to believe that if there is an offer and an accepted offer, a legal contract has occurred. Do you know if they actually accepted a check, or charged you credit card. In my opinion if they did either, I would talk to your legal advisor about it. IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The little law courses I took lead me to believe that if there is an offer and an accepted offer, a legal contract has occurred. Do you know if they actually accepted a check, or charged you credit card. In my opinion if they did either, I would talk to your legal advisor about it. IMHO
I went into the dealership in person. They charged the credit (debit) card... I have the receipt and the money is gone from my bank account.
I'm soooo hoping they just say screw it, we messed up, we'll honor the price. I'm not the sort that wants to get nasty with them about it, but also not walking away from $4k off MSRP when I did my part in good faith.
 

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I went into the dealership in person. They charged the credit (debit) card... I have the receipt and the money is gone from my bank account.
I'm soooo hoping they just say screw it, we messed up, we'll honor the price. I'm not the sort that wants to get nasty with them about it, but also not walking away from $4k off MSRP when I did my part in good faith.
From my experience, you have very little recourse other than getting your money back. I work for an outstanding dealership that would honor any mistake we make, but we happen to be next to a few dealerships that don't have such practices. We hear horror stories all the time of people being promised one thing and then when it comes times to sign the contracts the price is much higher than what was agreed upon.

I think what is happening is dealerships are beginning to fill their 3 month allocations and realize they didn't need to discount them as much as they did. We filled up our 3 months with only a $500 discount. Everyone else in the area is charging sticker for the car. We now have a waiting list of about 4 or 5 people that want to place an order as soon as the October allocation opens up.
 

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Seems to me you did the due diligence on the purchasing, should not be your fault that they did not do theirs.


It seems to me they could back out unless you have something type of order but California law and rules are so different than other places so you may be for the good, and honestly its a car dealership some are great and some are shady as **** just like everything else in life, curious to see what happens and I really hope it works out in your favor.
 

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If they charged your card then its a slam dunk. Especially in CA. Most dealers only hold the check or card number and never actually do a physical transaction for this reason. Once you actually take money as a deposit the game changes and has very specific legal contractual steps both parties have to follow.

Your dealer contact simply doesn’t know the laws governing his actions. You might need a lawyer to umm educate said dealer regarding deposits around written contracts
 

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If they charged your card then its a slam dunk. Especially in CA. Most dealers only hold the check or card number and never actually do a physical transaction for this reason. Once you actually take money as a deposit the game changes and has very specific legal contractual steps both parties have to follow.

Your dealer contact simply doesn’t know the laws governing his actions. You might need a lawyer to umm educate said dealer regarding deposits around written contracts
DITTO You have a binding contract.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had to double check because I was starting to doubt myself, but most definitely the $500 has been taken from the account the day I went into the dealership.
The salesman says the GM is on vacation and not back until Monday... Hopefully, this will be high on his attend to list when he gets back. I hate uncertainty.
 

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In the meantime, maybe you can use that price quote from the California dealership and use it to see if any other dealerships are willing to match it or do better. Since you have an email, they don't need to know about your deposit. ;P
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In the meantime, maybe you can use that price quote from the California dealership and use it to see if any other dealerships are willing to match it or do better. Since you have an email, they don't need to know about your deposit. ;P
LOL, Oh trust me, I am shopping the quote around a bit. I don't mind the flight and drive back to go get it, I can probably see some clients on the way and write off the flight and gas. But would be nicer to save a day of travel and get it closer to home.
 
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