Dodge Stratus / Sold an unsafe, illegal car
Wednesday March 25th I called Kingdom Chevrolet, Chicago Ill. regarding a 2005 Dodge Stratus listed on Car Fax and Kingdom Chevrolet’s website. I told the sales rep Cleveland Gallowa that I was looking for a car with decent mileage, good shape and ran well for use in heavy driving. I asked about the Dodge Stratus at which time he said he didn’t know much about it, only what the Car Fax said. We arrived, David Wiley, and myself around 10 am Thursday March 26th to look at the Dodge. The body appeared to be in decent shape and the mileage at 128, 225 for a 2005 was acceptable. I asked if the vehicle had been inspected and Mr. Gallowa stated that all vehicles are looked over before sold. After entering the car it was apparent that the shocks and or struts would need to be replaced and an alignment but the vehicle appeared to run well. The total cost for the Dodge was $1835.52.
Friday March 27th David Wiley called me in a panic that the driver’s side front wheel was sitting at an angle, with the bottom of the wheel angled under the vehicle and the top angled out of the wheel well.
Monday March 30th David Wiley, followed by my husband Walter Jones, drove the Dodge to our mechanic, Chris Wallen of Wallen Auto in Michigan City, In.
Tuesday March 31st Chris Wallen called and said the front driver’s side wheel had folded under the car due to a broken control arm, sheared bolts in the cradle, separation of the cv axle shaft. Upon further inspection both upper ball joints, hub bearing assembly, sway bar link, both rear upper strut mounts, water pump, oil pressure gauge switch had to be replaced just to make the vehicle legally safe to drive. 4 days later the total cost of repairs was $1757.38.
Monday April 6th I called Kingdom Chevrolet to speak to a manager regarding the situation. Nobody returned my call.
Thursday April 9th a lady called from Kingdom Chevrolet asking all sorts of question as a survey on how satisfied we were. I explained the situation and that it was illegal for a dealership to sell a vehicle that wasn’t safe to street worthy or safe to drive and this constituted criminal negligence and needed to be addressed. I also let her know I had called Monday with no response. She was upset about the situation and said she’s tell the manager and someone would get in touch with me.
Monday April 13th my husband Walter Jones called and spoke with Shane, the Sales Manager. Shane told Walter that the vehicle was supposed to be for parts only, that’s why the price was so low, however nowhere on any site or listing was “for parts only” listed. Walter told him this and Shane said fine bring back the car and we’ll reimburse you the $1400 you paid for the car, not any of the taxes, fees etc or the cost of repairs, just the initial cost of the car. Walter said that wasn’t going to happen especially considering the amount of money we spent on repairs and that they would turn around and sell it for a great deal more. Shane then told Walter he would pay $500 and that was it, take it or deals done. Walter said that wasn’t enough, reminding of the illegality of the sell and the criminal negligence. Shane hung up saying do what you gotta do.
Thursday April 16th I called leaving a message for Shane telling him to call me, reminding him that he sold an illegal car, it was criminally negligent and people could have died if David had hit one of the craters on 94 going home to Indiana. We needed to discuss the situation, coming to a decent agreement as I was trying to avoid any legal ramifications. Shane never returned my call.
Now there is a loud rattle getting louder all the time and burning oil so badly we add a quart of oil daily. We’ve already been told by 2 mechanics that the oil pump is going out and the bearings may be wearing out which means that the engine will seize and the car will be toast. To repair the engine or replace will cost over $3000 and we’ve already invested around $3600.