Ford Bronco dealership accidentally sells a demo car to a man, then insists he give it back

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What grounds (other than entitled assholery) would the dealership have for demanding it back? A deal’s a deal, right?

Guy should have offered to sell it back for 2x what he paid for it.


This is similar to how I was able to taste the first batch of Pappy Van Winkle 20yr family reserve (for those who don’t know, this became the holy grail of bourbon and the price skyrocketed in short time and became unobtainium). The vendor rep dropped off the weekly shipment to the bar my friend was working, but it was for an allocation to a higher-end establishment. By the time he came back to collect it we were already 2 drinks in. :wink:

And yes, it was that good.


It’s more common than you think for dealerships to ask someone to come back after everything’s been signed.

I don’t think the dealership has much of a case in these instances but they can find ways to make your life miserable. I.e. refusing to service the vehicle or honor the warranty.


Or an upgrade to the real Bronco when it came out, not this Ford Escape platform Bronco-light.

They can refuse all they want, but the buyer could just sue them and get attorney’s fees that cost more than the car.


Many years, a friend of mine dropped his car off at a mega dealership for routine service. He said he was about to leave on a two-day business trip and asked if it would be okay to leave it at the dealership until he returned. They agreed.

Upon his return, my friend called the service department and, after some delay, was told that the service was not yet complete and that they would need another day. So the next day he goes down there, and they try to tell him the car still wasn’t ready.

Eventually, he gets to a manager who explains that they had misplaced his car. The manager invited my friend to walk through the lot where they park all the cars in for service, hoping my friend would be able to spot his car. They searched the giant lot, but his car wasn’t there. The manager explained that sometimes, when things are this busy, they use some side streets of overflow parking, and the manager drove him around the adjacent neighborhood, but they did not find the car.

They returned to the corner of the service area. And then my friend saw his car. It had been parked in the front row of the dealership’s used car lot, with a price tag on the windshield.


It is really good, but it sure ain’t $2500/bottle good.


Hell no. When I had it, it was around $60/btl but limited allocation. And honestly, the second batch I had around 2 yrs later was significantly less great. I suspect that they wanted to keep milking the golden goose and began blending with old stock that wasn’t as great (despite what anyone says, an old barrel isn’t any sign of quality past a certain point).

But back on topic, I’m also pretty skeptical of these new Broncos being worth their MSRP, though I do trust Ford more than most US manufacturers. However, I don’t think most things are worth what they’re sold for, but will pay a premium for actual quality. Hopefully I’m in for a pleasant surprise.


One would think a sales contract would bind the seller as much as the buyer.
Unless of course there was some weasel language in there.


Ha Ha! Joke’s on this fellow…now he’s stuck with a Ford!


Why did they care? Just replace it with another one as a demo. Oh, Ford could not ship them fast enough? This guy was supposed to wait a few weeks for his order? Tough shit, they fucked up and should stand by it even if it means they are short a demo car for a few weeks.


Not to excuse the dealer behavior, but based on some of my experience with the financing side between dealers and manufacturers it could be that that specific vehicle was loaned or the dealer had some financing from Ford to use the vehicle as a demo.

They then sold it by mistake and thought it would be easier to take it from the customer rather than deal with Ford or Ford Credit.

ETA: typos


Yeah, this is my big question. What leverage can the dealer apply?

Nope, not when the dealer writes the contract. Most likely the dealer totally had the legal right to demand the vehicle back, and make the customer pay the depreciation.

Dealership sales contracts all have a rescission clause in them that allows the dealer to go back on the deal within a few days and demand the car back. Unsurprisingly, there is no similar right in the contract for the buyer to make the dealer take the car back.

The rescission clauses are designed to protect the dealership if the financing falls through, allowing the dealership to get the car that the buyer no longer has a way to pay for back, but unscrupulous dealers have used such clauses to scam people in various ways.

Cars sold for cash shouldn’t have such clauses in them because they are meant to protect against financing issues, but they do. Paying cash, I’ve talked one dealership in to removing the clause, after much hemming and hawing about how it is how they always do it. And I’ve had one dealership say essentially, “I sell 400 cars a month, you need us, but we don’t need you” and say “you have to agree to the rescission clause or we won’t take your cashier’s check for the full price of the car.”

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Hmmm challenger the dealer to a karate match - winner gets the car.

This could be the Cobra Kai season 4 plot line.

The demo vehicles are probably loaded to the hilt with extras and options (what might be a lengthy-wait special order for a customer off the street). No one puts a base-model Civic in the showroom… it will be the one with the best engine and trim package.

I get the dealership’s side on this but it should be common knowledge amongst sales staff that you don’t sell these until the sales manager gives the go-ahead.

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Yeah, I get that, but I’d presumed he’d paid the right price. I’m probably wrong and he paid for something that was worth more than he paid, because some sales or admin person put the wrong price on the wrong car. Entirely their problem and not his. I bet they make sure they never let that happen again!

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When I worked in a dealership we sold demo cars all the time, and gave a discount as they’d been driven so much.
If I’d accidentally been given a demo instead of brand new I’d have ben demanding a partial refund or the actual new car I’d paid for


True, but in this case “demo” probably means “car we put in the middle of the showroom with an outrageous dealer markup to see if someone has to have it before they become common”.