“pressure” sales tactics
new vehicles manufactured for sale or lease to
consumers turn out to be “good” vehicles to
their buyers or leasers, fulfilling their
requirements of providing reliable transportation.
Some vehicles will turn out to be “lemons” under
our California Lemon Law. These vehicles will turn
out to have operational/mechanical problems, and/or
safety/use impairment issues.
Can a consumer spot a brand new vehicle that may be
a potential “lemon”? The answer is YES. Can
consumers avoid these potential lemons? Yes. Do
automobile dealerships often pressure the customer
to “speed up” the sale/lease process and
side-step important pre-sale decision steps? Yes.
Some examples of potential
“lemon law” candidate vehicles are:
1. Vehicle’s that have a severe steering
“pulling” problem noted by the consumer on the
2. Vehicle’s that have paint flaws, such as
“peeling” or “flaking” new paint. Also,
vehicle having “panels” that do not color match
to one another (example: fender does not color match
door correctly) should be avoided.
3. Vehicle’s that have doors or hatches
that improperly close/latch/fit.
4. Vehicle’s that are represented as
“company demonstrators” or “executive cars”
that are registered as “new”, but the consumer
fails to have inspected for abuse or damage prior to
signing the contract.
How does the consumer avoid
the “pressure tactics” of car dealerships and
car salespeople, yet at the same time ensure that
they properly inspect and “test drive” their
vehicle choice? It’s basically a “buyer takes
control” step-by-step plan.
To “take control” of the vehicle
purchasing/leasing experience and minimize stress,
“pressure sales tactics” and reduce the
possibility of a “lemon” vehicle, consider
following these steps:
1. Speak with your banker or credit union on
what price vehicle you can afford before you go into
a car dealership. Discuss your available
down-payment, payments, etc. with your loan officer
so you will have a good idea what the “maximum
price” car you can afford before starting your car
buying/leasing quest. Any purchase price you end up
negotiating that is below your “target price”
will result in a lower monthly payment.
2. Before visiting the car dealership(s), do
your homework on the internet. A wealth of
information is available on the internet, including
factory rebates, incentives, special financing and
more. Most manufacturers allow you to “build”
your vehicle online at their web site, reviewing
what the “MSRP” (manufacturers suggested retail
price) is before ever going on a dealers lot! Many
websites, such as www.kbb.com,
allow you to “build” a new vehicle on line with
options you desire, allowing you to see both
“retail” and “dealer invoice” prices.
3. Once completing your “pre-dealership
visit homework”, it’s now time to visit the car
4. Once you have completed the time necessary
to find the vehicle that is the your potential
purchase/lease candidate, you will need to remember
this important tip: “price negotiations at the
dealership can either be to the benefit of the
consumer, or to the dealer”.
Time=Fatigue=Pressure. The more time you spend at a
dealership, the more tired you become. The more
tired you are (as well as the emotions involved in
the car buying experience) the more fatigued you
become, and the dealer then takes control. If you
find that you are feeling tired, fatigued or
“pressured”, STOP. This is where the buyer can
take control. You can choose to halt the
negotiations/sale process for some “breathing
room”. This is a good time to consider returning
on another day to the dealership. A simple
refundable deposit check is all that is necessary to
“hold” a vehicle so you can come back another
day to continue the negotiating/sale process. There
is a big difference between signing a contract
(completed sale), and simply leaving a refundable
deposit to “hold” the particular vehicle you are
5. What if the vehicle has a rebate and/or
special financing, that is ending the day you find
your vehicle? This is a situation that requires you
to make choices. These choices are up to you.
6. What if the dealer “pressures” me with
“this price is only for today” or similar verbal
sales tactics? Figure it this way, if the dealer can
sell it to you for “X” price today, what makes
tomorrow any different? Answer: nothing. If the
dealer attempts to talk “rebate ends” or other
tactics, the rebates have nothing to do with the
“selling price” that the dealer is negotiating
with you. The rebate is taken after the vehicle
purchase price, tax and license are computed.
Don’t fall for this old dealer pressure sales
Remember, no one is
handcuffing you to a chair at the dealership. You
can get up and leave at any time. The buyer is in
control until or unless the buyer chooses to allow
the emotions (or the dealer) to control the sale.
Keep in mind this is a business/monetary
transaction. You are exchanging money and/or a
financial obligation in return for motoring
transportation. If you treat it as such, and not a
“spur of the moment” or “pressured” same day
decision, you will likely end up being happier with
your purchase/lease decision.
Once you have decided upon and have completed your
vehicle acquisition, and if it for some reason the
vehicle turns out to be a “lemon”, we would
invite you to call our law offices for a free
“lemon law” case review and evaluation.