On February 18th 2012, my ex-wife and I purchased a 1994 Toyota Camry from Essex Motors for $2,914 (including tax and dealer fees) for or 16 year old son.
On Saturday March 3rd we had a mechanic look at the vehicle to see if there were any problems with it. Needless to say he informed us that we purchased a "lemon". He also showed us that this 94 Toyota Camry has several major oil leaks, a broken hood, power steering leaks, and corrosion that’s covered up with electrical tape - among other issues.
The total quote of to repair the car was for almost $3,500, which is more than the value of the car.
We contacted Essex over the phone on Saturday March 3rd and they kindly offered to exchange the vehicle.
Before driving to Longmont I spoke to Terry over the phone on Monday March 5th to determine what the "exchange" meant and he told me to just come in and we'll see.
Assuming they meant a fair and equal exchange we drove up there, test drove a few cars, and picked out a car to exchange. I showed Essex the quote from the mechanic and they didn't take me seriously when I accused them of selling us a lemon.
After waiting for about an hour we sat with Terry only to discover that Essex was only going to offer us $2,000 for our "lemon" in exchange for another vehicle and that they planned to charge us dealer fees and taxes again for the car we wanted to exchange for.
They claim they did not know that the Toyota had any damage, and they continued to point out that you will have issues with older cars. I agree, but the issues with this vehicle are beyond the normal issues you would have with a car this old. I also feel the issues with this car are so extreme that they should have known. Someone tried to cover the issues up with electric tape, and that’s just simply unacceptable and BAD BUSINESS
Needless to say we left the dealership Monday night March 5th with the 94 Camry and extremely disappointed at the service we received. Essex clearly mislead us on their “fair” attempt to make this right.
Due to this experience I fully understand that you should have a vehicle checked while test driving it. I did not know that the day we bought the Toyota Camry. We also should not be the ones responsible to take the car to a mechanic to let the dealership know what’s wrong with their car – they should know already. I also feel cheated that used car dealerships can hide behind their "as is" statement when selling you a car they clearly didn't do any research or work on. They clearly ignored any of the issues this car had or just covered them up JUST to get a sale.
This is bad & dishonest business and I will never recommend Essex to any of my friends. They do not value their customers as much as they might lead you to believe, and they do not do their due diligence on their vehicle inventory to ensure they are selling you a functional vehicle.
They sold us a lemon - we'll make lemonade.
Lessoned learned, I guess
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