When I took it for a test drive, I noticed a vibration, and asked about it before I bought the car. I was told at that time that the idler needed to be adjusted and they could take care of it if I brought it back the next day when the shop had time. I remembered the exact same thing I had to have done a few times, on a Chevy Vega I once owned.
They are also well-established and the most prominent dealership in town with nearly a dozen dealerships. I thought that I could rely on what they said, when they told me that the vibration was not a big problem and they would fix it right away.
I took them at their word, and bought the car. It came with a 90-day, 3,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and I purchased an extended warranty in addition, just to be safe. It did not cover previously submerged and rusted out flood cars with contaminated electronic equipment.
I had no idea then that the contract I signed included a clause — on the back — that took away my Constitutional rights and required any dispute to be submitted to an arbitration program chosen and paid for by Mossy Toyota.
When I took the car back for repairs, I was taken aback by their change in attitude. It turned out that Mossy knew about the vibration problem beforehand and knew they could not fix it before they sold it to me.
The vehicle shook only when in drive and at a stop. Shaking the rear view mirrors to the point I could not see through them and headlight beams bouncing on the street.
I returned several times and asked them to fix it. They took the car for repairs twice, but the shaking and rattling continued. They refused to take the car back after repeatedly asking, even laughing at me at one time.
Then I contacted an independent expert after several weeks of pleading with Mossy and asked him to examine the car. When he did, he found extensive rust damage and other signs that the car had been submerged under water. He said that vital electronic equipment was contaminated and corroding.
He also found that the vehicle had been in a collision. I found out eventually that the collision damage had also been reported to Carfax even though the dealer provided a clean “Auto Check report”.
He concluded that the car was unsafe to drive. I then made arrangements for an alternate vehicle.
They did not take the car back, offer a like vehicle or anything else… Only turned their back leaving me no alternatives.
While I was waiting to get things resolved, I had to keep making monthly payments for the car. Otherwise, it could have been repossessed, ruining my credit. I ended up paying off the entire loan of over $12,000 — all for a car I couldn’t even drive.
My attorney found out that the one arbitrator who was going to hear my case had a history of representing car dealers. Another had a history of ruling for the company and against the consumer on forty different cases.
So he contested that arbitrator and another one was named to hear my case. There was more back-and-forth over the arbitrators. Then Mossy refused to pay to initiate the arbitration proceedings as required by the contract. Under the AAA (American Arbitration Association) rules, the company was supposed to pay $750 to start the arbitration process moving. But Mossy refused to pay.
Instead, they insisted that I pay up-front. But that is contrary to AAA rules. The contract they presented to me said that they would pay up to $1500 for case management and arbitrator fees, but they still insisted that I pay instead.
My attorney has tried over and over again to get the case heard. Meanwhile, I have had to wait. And wait. I’ve been waiting ever since 2007, now in the seventh year, just to get my case heard in arbitration.
But again in March 2013, Mossy filed a motion seeking to have the case dismissed and taken off the docket for JAMS. Since then JAMS Ruled Mossy is the prevailing party. Without even hearing the case or reviewing the merits. Only that it "timed out" and that's only due to Mossy dragging their bloody feet for so long.
So now I’m still having to battle, again under an appeal just to get a hearing in arbitration. I know that the proponents of arbitration claim that it’s faster than courts. But — I don’t think they take into account cases like mine.