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Gurnee Dodge Inc. / Failure to provide title to vehicle per contract

1 7255 Grand AvenueGurnee, IL, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

On July 23, 2008, I purchased a 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan from Gurnee Dodge Inc. that had been advertised on Ebay. The Ebay site where Gurnee Dodge had this van for sale (this is how I learned of the vehicle) stated the following:

"There is a $150 documentary fee added on all our auctions. Out of State Buyers will be provided necessary paperwork to pay taxes if we don�t collect here, and register in their own State, a temporary tag is available for only $10. Vehicle title will be sent to the out of state buyers via Fed-Ex, if there is a pay-off for the sold vehicle it might take up to 30 days till the title is available. Illinois and Wisconsin residents will have to pay taxes and registration fees."

This is also what was represented when the deal for the vehicle was made and throughout the entire sale process.

I bid on the vehicle on Ebay, but the winning bid did not meet the reserve price. I contacted the dealership to see if they were going to rebid the item and they stated they would sell the item to me for the reserve price (which I have later found out they should not have done). I arranged for a friend to pick up the vehicle for me since I had to work. I was told that I would have to provide my friend with a copy of my driver's license and a signed statement authorizing him to act on my behalf concerning the sale of the vehicle. I provided him with those items.

The agreed price of the vehicle was $2, 250 plus a documentary service fee of $150.00 for a total of $2, 400.00. I have copies of the Illinois Standard Buyers Order documenting these amounts as the exact amounts owed to Gurnee Dodge. On July 23, 2008 I paid (through my friend) $2, 400.00 in cash for which I have a receipt from Gurnee Dodge. At the time of the purchase, my friend took possession of the vehicle and was told the title would be sent to me (as represented on their Ebay site). He was given numerous documents, including a Illinois Department of Revenue Form ST-556 Sales Tax Transaction Return showing the sale to a nonresident and indicating that no sales tax is due. This document was signed by a representative of Gurnee Dodge 0n July 23, 2008. After paying the agreed price for the vehicle, my friend took possession of the vehicle and delivered the vehicle to me. My friend left without the title because he was told it would be mailed to me. That is what was represented to me prior to the sale and in their advertisement of the vehicle on Ebay.

On July 29, 2008, an employee of Gurnee Dodge named Richard Werk contacted my friend concerning the title. When I returned the phone call at 1:34 PM, Mr. Werk stated that they would "be glad" to take care of getting the title placed in my name if I would just send $145 dollars to the company. I told him that I did not want them to "take care of the title" and that I wanted the title sent to me as had been agreed upon before the sale took place. Mr. Werk, at that time, said they would send the title to me.

On Friday, August 1, 2008, I received a voice mail from Mr. Werk asking me to call. When I returned the phone call, Mr. Werk stated that I would have to pay $145 to the company for sales tax and the amount HAD to be paid by Monday, August 4, 2008 and demanded a credit card number to make the payment. When I questioned the sales tax and why (if it was a state law that it had to be collected by the dealer from the purchaser) it had not been disclosed to me when the purchase was made and why it had not been mentioned in the previous conversation we had on 07/29/2008. No coherent answer was provided. I kept getting told that this was a law from 2005. When I asked if they had ever sold a vehicle to anyone outside of the state since 2005, I was told "Yes". Then I asked why, if they had sold vehicles out of state before, that they did not know about this law until just now and why this was not disclosed to me prior to the sale. Again, I received no coherent answer, just "You have to pay us this money by August 4."

When I asked to speak to someone else about the problem, I was connected with the "Finance Manager, " who I believe was Ray Hoadley. I was told that the tax was due because my friend �had represented himself as a dealer, and that was why the tax was not collected at the time of the sale." At no time did my friend represent himself as a dealer. If so, the paperwork would have been in my friend's name, not mine, and they would have required a dealer's license number (None of which happened). All of the paperwork indicates that I was the purchaser of the vehicle and that it was being sold to me, an individual. I was again told that I had until 08/04/2008 to send $145 to the company or else I would not receive the title to the vehicle for which I had paid. I told "The Finance Manager" that I would pay the sales tax for the vehicle in Indiana when I received the title.

When I went to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, I was told that the sales tax did not have to be paid in Illinois - that it could be paid in Indiana and is done all the time.

I also contacted a representative in the Illinois Department of Revenue who stated that sales tax must be paid on the vehicle, but the law does not specify that the purchaser has to be the one to pay the sales tax.

I had a contract with Gurnee Dodge. The oral and written agreement of the sale was for a total price of $2, 400, which I paid to them in cash and have a receipt. The agreement also was that the title would be sent to me by Gurnee Dodge. Gurnee Dodge has failed to live up to their end of the contract. They are refusing to send me the title to the vehicle. They are, in effect, holding the title to my vehicle "hostage" in what appears, to me, to be an extortion attempt to try to force me to pay more money to them. They have falsely advertised the terms of this vehicle's sale and practiced misleading and unlawful business practices by selling me the vehicle, accepting payment for the vehicle, giving me possession of the vehicle and now refusing to provide me with the title to the vehicle for which I paid.

On August 1, 2008, I attempted to contact the President of Gurnee Dodge, Inc., Michael Fohrman, to try to work out the situation. When I called the company, the only person I was allowed to talk to was Sue Breytspraak, who takes care of the license & titling. After talking to me, she put me on hold to connect me to him, but then came back on the phone and said she was unable to do so. Mr Fohrman refused to take my call. So now I have a van that I cannot drive, sell or even sell for scrap metal because I do not have the title that the dealership stated they would send to me.

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  • Ar
      5th of Aug, 2008
    +1 Votes

    The title was sent to Ms. Jones on 8/5/2008. Gurnee Dodge vehemently denies her all allegations and prides itself on having a sterling reputation over the past 29 years in business.
    We regret that Ms. Jones felt sje was mistreated and will strive to improve our communication and processes in the future.

    Arnie Singer
    Vice President
    Gurnee Dodge

  • S1
      6th of Aug, 2008
    -1 Votes

    thanks for throwing arine under the bus micheal ...way to go big guy that takes alot of gall on your part

  • To
      21st of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    I am in total agreement with you. Gurnee Dodge is a very untrustworthy company. We bought a Grand Caravan from Gurnee Dodge in 2003. It was brand new off the lot with 14 miles on it. We bought the car in December and by January it wasn't running right. Every time the temperature dropped below 20 degrees, the car wouldn't run unless you stood on the gas pedal to keep it running. We started our first service ticket on this issue in February of 2004. The car had 3000 miles on it. We have had the same issue every year since and still own the car. We paid well over $6, 000 in repairs for deductibles and components that Gurnee Dodge said weren't covered under warranty even though we purchased an extended warranty when we bought the car. I've told them from the first visit, that I suspected the onboard computer was bad but they told me that couldn't be the fact because it doesn't return defect codes when they put the diagnostics tester on it. In 2009 when the car had 69, 000 miles on it, we sent it back to them for the last time. They had the car for over 3 weeks in the months of January and February of 2009 and every time they sent the car back it still did the same thing. I contacted Chrysler Corporate offices in Detroit and they told me that there was no fix for the said problem (word of caution, Dodge had no fix yet Gurnee Dodge sucked us for over 6 grand.) I was also informed that Chrysler Corporation has no regulations over Gurnee Dodge, because they are not a 5 STAR dealership. Meaning they don't do business practices in a way that is in line with how Chrysler does business. When I got the car back for the last time in 2009 it was 100 miles shy of going out of warranty. Todd at Gurnee Dodge told me that it was an ongoing ticket and that based on the fact that it had been a lifetime problem, it would still be worked on even though the warranty had run out. Now take into account that every sensor on the car had been replaced, the battery (?), The fuel tank (?), the fuel filler neck (?), a tune up, a fuel system flush and and injector cleaning. To top that off, the car has had 4 tie rod ends replaced on it in 80, 000 miles. As I said in the beginning, the starting problem still exists and I told them in the very beginning this was going to lead to other issues. Now I have a car in my driveway that still won't run when it's below 20 degrees outside and to top it off it now has a rod knock in the lower motor and some kind of a grinding noise in the engine. All of this could have been avoided had they put the new onboard computer in at the very beginning. That was told to me by at least 2 techs from other 5 STAR Dodge service departments. It makes me sick that businesses like this can exist and be allowed to get away with the business ethics that they operate under. If I can leave with one word of caution in this, it's that Gurnee Dodge does not have a sterling reputation and Gurnee Dodge is not up to the standards of operation that the Chrysler Corporation requires to gain that award. The part of all of this that upsets me more than anything is that in the last 20 years, I have owned 5 Chrysler Corporation cars, and for some reason having owned that many of their products, made no difference in how the problem was handled. DON'T BY DODGE! By definition, it means to allude or avoid.

  • Ea
      24th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    I have to agree. I purchased 2 cars from Gurnee Dodge and will never buy another from them again. I had several terrible experiences with the service department. I had a wheel bearing that went out while it was still under warranty and they made me come back 3 times before they admitted that it was still under warranty and would be no charge to me.
    I was very happy when I purchased my first car there - it was a used car...but then again i did not have any service issues with that one. I went back to purchase my second car - which was new. I had always thought that if you were loyal to a dealer that they would take care of you. I now know differently. I believe if Michael really worried about keeping customers. he would improve they way that his service department handles customers. Signed: Very disatisifed customer

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