I found a pretty good deal on a sharp looking black 2012 Town and Country online. A nice car for a young and growing family, right? My wife, one year old daughter and I made the one hour drive to the dealership. We were shown the vehicle we had inquired about and learned "We (the dealership) just got it; haven't even had time to clean it." My one year old climbed over the interior as negotiations began.
Questions were asked. "Was this a commercial vehicle?"
"Are you sure? Any way to find out?"
"Nope, the cars just show up on the lot..."
Turns out in speaking with the manager later, they do know where the vehicles come from.
Fast forward after the sale- One morning the windows fogged and clearly could be seen the residue from where lettering was affixed to the side window. "(name withheld by author) Farmingdale." A quick internet searched revealed it is a funeral home. A funeral home in the same town as the dealership. Then it all clicked, the minor damage inside rear from where a gurney clicks to the left after securing, the rear seats that appeared never sat in, the overwhelming amount of surface rust in the 2nd row Stow n’ Go as if the metal framework were exposed to fluids for extended periods of time. My van was utilized as a hearse in its prior lease. Can't get too much more commercial than that.
In my employment career I have actually had jobs (and still do) where I assist medical examiners, funeral directors, and other personnel load bodies, pre- and post- autopsy, as well as straight from the scene into these vehicles.
I can speak from experience when I say whatever caution is taken, there will be fluids that leak out of body bags, personal effects and clothing when taken, both as possible evidence, or in remembrance are placed in paper bags as to not putrefy as they would in plastic with whatever body fluid they may be covered in. Police and others assisting directors with the movement/removal of the deceased often toss the used gloves in the back of the transport vehicle.
And my one year old was crawling around in the back of this van both prior to the sale without even being vacuumed, much less thoroughly cleaned, as well as for a few months after with her two year old cousins.
My wife is terrified to drive the vehicle.
Papa's solution? Trying to sell me a brand new van (for much more money) or another one they found at auction that they would still need to make a profit on. Either way, I’d be losing several thousand dollars.
They found one van that they said had all the options that the hearse did. After driving an hour to see this replacement, it was immediately apparent that it did not. Being black in color was where the similarities ended. It was not even the same model of van. Another day wasted. More lies.
Phone calls to the used car manager were not returned for days, sometimes a week. They were only returned after a message was left for the general manager, (who never called back directly). Their methods or "rectifying" the situation were laughable. This is not an honest dealership, nor do they look out for anything but the sale.
I actually believe the salesman "Steve" did not sell this van and lie to me with malicious intent, as he actually apologized. Jeff Armington, the used car sales manager, is another story. By the way, he says they do “lots of business” with funeral homes.
After several weeks of attempting some resolve, my wife and I went to another dealership and, after giving full disclosure on the trade in to that dealership, were able to make a deal on another Town and Country (a new one- definitely not a hearse).
As one should, take caution with any used vehicle purchase. If you want better your chances of not being lied to, sold a haz-mat vehicle, or ignored after the sale, do yourself a favor and steer clear of Papa's.
I Recommend This Dealer:
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