Chevy Dealer Really Sorry About Having Customer Arrested Over Pricing Error

Image courtesy of (TLFagan)

When the folks at a Chevy dealership in Virginia realized they had accidentally sold a customer a car for $5,600 less than they should have, they could have just eaten the difference and stewed about it for a bit. Instead, they tried to get the customer to pay the extra money — and then had him arrested for car theft when he refused.

According to lawsuits filed by the customer, he test-drove a blue 2012 Chevrolet Traverse back in May, but when it came time to actually buy the vehicle, he opted for a black one. He signed a promissory note and traded in his old car.

The next day, the customer decided that he really wanted the blue one after all and brought back his new Traverse to see if he could swap them out.

The swap seemed to go down without a hassle, but the customer says no mention was ever made that the blue Traverse costs several thousand dollars more than the black one. The dealership’s sales manager says the customer verbally agreed to pay the higher price. It doesn’t really matter because the contract that everyone signed was for the lower amount.

After getting his blue Traverse, the customer provided a cashier’s check for the approximately $34,000 listed on the contract and drove off into the sunset or something.

But within a few days, the dealership began contacting the customer, telling him that a mistake had been made in the contract and that he had to come by the dealer and sign a new contract for the higher amount.

The sales manager tells the Virginian-Pilot that the customer initially agreed to the higher price but then balked.

So, after further attempts to contact the customer, the dealership contacted police, and he was arrested on charges of theft.

The charges were subsequently dropped after prosecutors determined that there was insufficient evidence.

The dealership’s manager first told the Virginian-Pilot that the police were only asked to help locate the Traverse while the dealer pursued a civil action. He claimed there was no intention of having the customer arrested or charged with theft.

But then he did a little digging and found out that someone at the dealership had indeed told the police that the SUV was stolen.

A rep for the police tells the paper that the person at the dealership knew in advance that the customer was going to be arrested if found.

“This shouldn’t have happened,” said the manager of the group that owns the dealership along with several others in the region. “I owe [the customer] a big apology.”

He says he intends to let the customer keep the disputed cash.

“I can’t tell you how I plan to fix it, but it is my intention to make it right,” he tells the Virginian-Pilot.

Meanwhile, the customer’s attorney says that “An apology is not enough.”

The lawsuit, which alleges malicious prosecution, slander, defamation and abuse of process, seeks $2.2 million in damages.

Dealership apologizes for error, customer arrest [ via]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.