Professional car-buying consultant. Contributing writer for Jalopnik.
Professional car-buying consultant. Contributing writer for Jalopnik.
Illustration for article titled Elderly Couple Says Dealership Scammed Them Into Buying a Prius

We have all seen those silly flyers from our local dealerships, "Come in for a test drive and win a 60" flat screen TV!" We know these gimmicks are a load of crap, and we toss it in the trash. Cecil Laroue, a WWII veteran, and his wife both from Orange, TX fell for the trap and ended up with a car they didn't want.

From 12NewsNow-

Laroue says in February he and his wife visited Cecil Atkission Toyota in Orange to claim their prize before going out for lunch. They never got a prize. Instead, Laroue says a team of 3 sales people pressured them for more than 6 hours to trade in their 2012 sedan for a brand new Prius, even though Laroue says he tried to leave several times.

"And then they started bringing things in there for us to sign... 'If you sign this we can make you a better deal'," he says they told him.

Laroue says he signed the papers just so they could get out of there, admitting he did not know what the forms were. They left with a new car, confused as to what had just happened. They returned two days later to get their sedan back.

"They said it was, 'A done deal whether you like it or not'," said Laroue.

Now I'm fairly certain that this dealership used some strong-arm tactics to get these people to buy a car, and I will also give the elderly couple the benefit of the doubt that they were indeed confused about the process. However, there are a few things that are not adding up. First, once they found out there was no prize, why didn't they just leave? Why did they hang around for 6 hours? I get that they were "surrounded" by 3 sales people, but nothing prevented them from leaving. Perhaps they didn't want to be rude and just storm out, but why would anyone sign papers "just to get out of there," when you could "just get out of there" without signing anything? Did this dealership use the old "hide your keys" trick?


I realize my bias is coming out here and that we all know older people that could easily be duped by stealership tactics, but something tells me we aren't getting the full story.

The lesson here is, if you don't want to buy a car don't sign a buyer's contract at a car dealership.

(image credit-

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