Thank you for taking time to read our response.
This was a very delicate situation and hopefully you can
appreciate the position we were in regarding contract law.
Mr. Jones was the buyer, so we were legally bound to protect his interest. Neither his daughter nor the author was party to the contract and although we requested Mr. Jones' presence, he never visited or even called the dealership to request cancellation or confirm the daughter's actions, so we had to assume that he did not want the contract cancelled.
Our legal obligation was to the buyer, not the daughter or the author of the article. Had Mr. Jones contacted us, this situation might never have occurred.
As for "taking advantage," the article is misleading at best. Mr. Jones was trading in a seventeen year old Ford Explorer for a much newer, safer vehicle. Although privacy laws prevent us from sharing the details, he did not pay $48,000 for the vehicle as the article states; Mr. Jones elected to purchase several additional products for prepaid service and maintenance to protect himself and his investment. The daughter and the author's assertion that he overpaid is a misstatement. He may have paid more than they would have paid, but he was extremely happy with the vehicle and the purchase...which was in-line with the current market value and understated by the article for effect.
We understand the vindictive nature of the article and realize that auto dealers are easy targets for disgruntled people. We do not doubt the sincerity of the daughter, nor do we know the personal conflicts she may or may not have with her father, but neither is relevant to our obligation to the buyer under contract law.
Neither American Honda nor Acura Financial Services forced us to do anything. They would never ask us to break the law by cancelling a valid contract at the request of third-party. In fact, it was at our request that Acura Financial Services unwound the deal after the daughter returned the vehicle to another Acura dealer with the intent of letting the vehicle repossess. The article says Mr Jones would be liable for any difference after the vehicle was sold at auction, which is completely untrue. We made sure that Mr. Jones would have no personal liability and his credit would not suffer as a result of his daughters actions.
When Acura Financial informed us that vehicle had been repossessed, we asked them to allow us to buy back the contract in order to spare Mr. Jones the embarrassment of having repossession on his credit. Although they were under no obligation to do so, they allowed us to buy back the contract.
We picked up the vehicle from the other Acura dealer, refunded his down payment and issued him a check for the full retail value of his 1995 Explorer; which was considerably more than his trade allowance.
We are not the ogres the article makes us out to be; our hands were tied by the contract. Mr. Jones is a lawyer; breaking a contract at the request of the third-party would have left us open to litigation for Breach of Contract. We know how the article makes it sound, but that was simply not the case.
Mac Churchill Acura is the top-volume Acura dealer in the Southwest and nine-time recipient of the prestigious Dealership of Distinction award from Acura for exemplary customer service. Our goal is to treat everyone with respect, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, age or gender, and we will continue to do so as we have for over twenty years.
Thank you again for taking your valuable time to find out what really transpired.