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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default The Service Manager of a Car Dealership Refused to Give My Car Back

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: CA

    A month ago my boyfriend and I purchased a new car that was intended for my use. The loan is in both of our names ( I am the cosigner) and the registration reads Him "OR" Me.

    A week after the purchase the entire audio system went out so I took the car back to the dealership to get fixed. I was given a loaner car and was told that the car will be ready in 5 days. In the meantime, my boyfriend, who is in Hawaii for 2 weeks, and I get in a big argument. On the day that my car was suppose to be finished I didn't get a call from the service department so I called them myself. I was told it's not ready yet, however, if it was I am not able to pick it up because my boyfriend told the service manager not to release the car to me! I was very upset and called the sales person who sold us the car as well as the finance manager to let the service manager know that i am the owner of the car as well. Neither of them did anything and just kept saying they will call me back.

    When the service manager kept saying that my boyfriend's name is the only name in their system and the finance manager was not returning my calls, I contacted the Sales Manager and asked him to mail to me a copy of the contract and all other documents because my boyfriend had the original copy and he made up an excuse why it can't be done at this time.

    After a week of no returned calls or any explanations why they are refusing me my car I called in to say that I am coming to pick it up and even though the service manager is telling me I am not in the system all he has to do is look at the piece of paper taped in the window from the DMV. So they tell me not to come ( i do have to drive 80 miles there) because the car is still not ready because the part is coming from overseas and it will be another 3 days. I called in 3 days later and was told by the cashier that the car was picked up by my boyfriend 3 days ago! I remind them that i still have their loaner vehicle and they didn't even realize it and just asked me to drop it off.

    So my question is: isn't it against the law to refuse to give me my car back even though I am the cosigner but I AM on the registration?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: The Service Manager of a Car Dealership Refused to Give My Car Back

    From what you're saying, they released the vehicle to your boyfriend, a registered owner, as soon as it was fixed. Is that correct? So your complaint is what?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: The Service Manager of a Car Dealership Refused to Give My Car Back

    My complaint is this: They refused to return the car to me even though I am the registered owner and I was the one that brought it in and had the loaner vehicle. Can a service department pick and choose which owner to release the car to? I am aware that it was my boyfriend who told them not to release the car to me, but is that legal?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: The Service Manager of a Car Dealership Refused to Give My Car Back

    the dealership was in a tough spot because you and your BF had this fight. Why they did what they did may never be known but unless they actually prevented you from picking up the car, the dealership did not do anything illegal.

    Maybe a bit shady but not illegal.

    If you had gone down there and tried to claim the car and they prevented you from doing so, a call to the police would be in order and the car should have been released to you.

    Since the BF went there first (yes, i understand the delaying you situation), they could release the car to him.

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