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Car Rebate Denied by Toyota forced me to Return the Car

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Car Rebate Denied by Toyota forced me to Return the Car

Hi I purchased a car about a week ago from Toyota. I traded in my older model for the brand new one. At the start of the negotiations, the sales guys brought up the fact that I had derogatory marks on my credit. But they said due to being on time with my car payments and having all my accounts current, I would be okay.  In fact they even offered me .9%APR. We finally negotiated a killer deal that included a college credit. I drove off that night excited about my new purchase only to receive a call days later saying that the rebate was denied due to my derogatory remarks and to cover that $750 loss I could purchase gap insurance and call it even. They also mentioned that the dealership usually eats the cost but since I got my car at such a good price they couldn't afford to lose more money. I told them I would think about it and call them back. 


The dealership called a few days later and said that if I didn't pay half of the difference I needed to return the car. In the mail I was sent a letter about how they were unable to finance the car and it needed to be returned. They called back again saying if the car wasn't returned it would be reported to the DMV as stollen. 



Here is where I am unclear. Firstly there was no issue with finding financing so how could they force me to return the car? Also on the rebate contract that both I and the dealership signed, it states that if the rebate isn't approved the dealership won't be compensated. My hunch tells me that the dealership gave me way too good of a deal and had sellers remorse. They refused to eat the $750 cost because they already lost so much in the deal. Was there a clear violation? Or do they have the right to force me to return the car??? HELP! 

Message 1 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: Car Rebate Denied by Toyota forced me to Return the Car

EDIT:  This advice might vary by state, discuss with attorney before following.


Tell them nope.


They are required by law to cover the difference themselves.


Don't give them more money. Don't agree to sign new paperwork.


Also as they illegally threatened to report the car as stolen I would recommend talking to an attorney.  You can probably get some hefty compensation out of the dealership, because that is "lose your business license" levels of wrong.

Message 2 of 7
New Visitor

Re: Car Rebate Denied by Toyota forced me to Return the Car

Thank you. That’s exactly what I thought. I ended up returning the car because I was scared of it escalating and being reported as stolen. What Can I do now? I have voicemails from them threatening me to return the car.
Message 3 of 7
Established Contributor

Re: Car Rebate Denied by Toyota forced me to Return the Car

Did you sign any new paperwork concerning the return of the car?


If not, you might want to contact a tow company and have the car reposessed. All they need is your original sales paperwork and registration. A lawyer could probably figure out how to bill the tow cost back to the dealership.


But I would give up at this point, as its likely more trouble than its worth with you having voluntarily returned the keys.    Talk to a lawyer anyway. Consultations are free, and if its a open/shut case they will likely do it for free as they can recoup costs from the win.

Message 4 of 7
Senior Contributor

Re: Car Rebate Denied by Toyota forced me to Return the Car

Did you sign anything when you returned the car?  If so, you're out of luck.


Even if you didn't sign anything, it's feasible the dealership might now be able to wiggle out of the sale because you voluntarily returned it.


The threats on your voice mail may be good evidence, but it depends greatly on the jurisdiction and the actual facts of the situation.


If anyone ever threatens me over the phone, I just tell them that I am calling my lawyer and they should do the same.  I also let them know I'm recording the phone call and they should also do the same.

Message 5 of 7
Senior Contributor

Re: Car Rebate Denied by Toyota forced me to Return the Car

Several points, Many of finace contracts say conditional did yours?  Speaking as a former Ford Dealership owner many moons ago. (My family owned a small one for over 50 years) I would complain about the treatment  and the stolen car threat to Toyota. The factory has strict guidelines for dealerships and can "make' them do things like give you money for their little game.  I would ask an attorney what the finace laws are for your state  as the dealership violated several.  You may get a nice ie $5K settlement from them.  Some dealerships are pure slime and should be avoided. I once had the chance to take over a very large volume Ford dealership for litterally nothing from Bank of America and Ford Motor credit. The dealer had stolen from both of them and they just wanted an honest person in there.  I did not buy the dealership but a friend did. Between BOA and FMC he had almost $1 million dollars in equity they gave him.   Usually they know right then if they are going through factory finance  if a deal is go/no go or borderline  I personally think they were just trying to use you to cough up the extra downpaymentt. 

Message 6 of 7

Re: Car Rebate Denied by Toyota forced me to Return the Car

This is really a state by state issue and most state DMV sites will have the specifics of new and used car sales. In my state for example the dealer has you sign the contract and drive off in your new car with a 30 day temp tag. The dealer then has up to 20 days per state law to get the financing finalized (new) or 30 days used. They then report the sale to the DMV and send you documentation to get the car registered and its a done deal. If you had a trade they legally must keep your trade until financing is finalized. If the dealer calls back with changes to the contract or terms you are not obligated to accept a new contract and can return the car. Ive had one experience where after 2 1/2 weeks i hadn't heard a peep from anyone and come to find out financing fell through. I dropped the truck off at the dealer and drove home in the vehicle i traded in. The second time the dealer and finance company were literally fighting over $148. I told the dealer that's fine I'll be there to drop off your vehicle in 40 min. Magically the deal was done. From my own personal experience and the experiene of others incidents like this on weekend sales most of the time. Funny enough when I was living in another state and bought a car on a sunday and was pretty smooth.

Message 7 of 7
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