There's a reason stereotypes about used car salesmen exist.
People like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. help to remind us that there are plenty of good people out there. Without them, it would be a bit tough to keep faith in humanity. However, not everyone has the same moral compass as these two heroes. Some people like Gaston Trefault, owner of a car dealership called Car Craft Auto Sales in Washington State, tend to sour things for us optimists. It’s not that all used car dealers are bad, but there is a reason that the stereotype paints them as slimy people.
Trefault helped to reinforce this image by recently selling a 2000 BMW 5 Series to a man named John Thomas. Like any car buyer, Thomas test drove the car and bought it when it appeared to be issue-free. Days later, the engine died and an independent mechanic claimed that the car that was purchased for $4,500 needed an $18,000 engine swap because the old one was completely shot. Of course, like any shady dealership, Car Craft Auto Sales refused to take the car back. Curious as to why nothing seemed wrong about the car before it committed suicide, Thomas asked his mechanic to dissect the dashboard. Sure enough, a piece of duct tape was covering the check engine light, effectively masking the engine’s pleas for help.
This highly illegal move undoubtedly secured another purchase for the crooked dealership, but justice may be coming soon. It appears that local police have been conducting an investigation on the dealership due to the fact that it has been cited by the state's Department of Licensing for misrepresenting mileage, charging illegal fees, and general unprofessional business practices. As it stands, Thomas is out of luck with a BMW-branded piece of immobile furniture, but given the shady practices of the dealership, it’s likely that a simple lawsuit will solve all of the poor guy's problems. This is a good reminder to all car buyers to have an independent mechanic look over your potential purchase before you hand cash over to a grinning salesman.