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  1. #1
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    ID - Car Dealership takes advantage of Elderly Man



    A lawsuit filed Monday alleges Lithia Ford of Boise violated an Idaho law that protects consumers from "unconscionable contracts" by taking advantage of an 82-year-old man's dementia.

    The lawsuit contends a Lithia salesman convinced Frank Baxter to swap his $32,000 SUV for a $15,000 economy car on Sept. 9 by taking advantage of Baxter's "inability to understand, and other factors due to his age and dementia."

    Baxter's daughter and legal guardian, Janet M. Baxter, filed the suit in District Court.

    According to the lawsuit, Baxter was having trouble with the battery in his 2005 Toyota RAV-4 and attempted to take it back to Peterson Toyota where he had purchased it Aug. 12. But he mistakenly turned into the Lithia Ford lot on Fairview Avenue.

    "They told him the deal (for a 2006 Ford Focus) was going to solve all his problems, and talked him out of taking the car elsewhere," said Paul Fitzer, a Boise attorney who is representing Baxter and his daughter.

    A spokesman for Lithia said the company has tried to settle the dispute.

    "Lithia has been willing to resolve this issue from the beginning, and we are still willing to unwind this transaction; all we have asked is that Mr. Baxter or a legal representative sign the necessary paperwork," said spokesman Dan Retzlaff in a prepared statement.

    Fitzer said the company has never offered to resolve the dispute.

    "And their statement is disingenuous because Lithia Ford can't cancel the deal. It has already sold Baxter's vehicle," he added.

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  2. #2
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    This is unspeakable the way this man was taken advantage of. Wonder why car salesmen get a bad rap? Here's the perfect example. His vehicle had only 16 miles on it, geeze it was still NEW. I'd bet the dealership made good money on the resale of his vehicle.

  3. #3
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    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
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    This makes me so angry! They knew they were taking advantage of a confused old man. I hope he wins his lawsuit.

  4. #4
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    On another thread I mentioned the lack of respect for elderly people. This reinforces it. I hope the dealership loses big time.

  5. #5
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    Why is this elderly man with dementia still driving?

  6. #6
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    driving

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabel
    Why is this elderly man with dementia still driving?
    Well, I suppose the state can determine if the doctors say he is able to drive and often do require letters from a doctor before allowing some people with certan medical conditions to drive but then again you can own a car and let others use it to drive you places. My grandparents did that before they passed away. They owned a car but I or my wife drove them places in it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by docwho3
    Well, I suppose the state can determine if the doctors say he is able to drive and often do require letters from a doctor before allowing some people with certan medical conditions to drive but then again you can own a car and let others use it to drive you places. My grandparents did that before they passed away. They owned a car but I or my wife drove them places in it.
    The article says that he drove to the wrong dealer so I'd assume he's still driving. I can't help but think of the 82 year old man who drove into that farmer's market, killing and injuring so many people. If this man isn't competent enough to realize that he's at a Ford dealership rather than a Toyota dealership, or to realize that he's being taken advantage of, how is he competent to make the split second decisions that drivers sometimes face?

  8. #8
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    Uh - yeah - he definitely isn't enough there to drive. And a nice brand new SUV that can really do some damage when he gets confused and goes onto the sidewalk or blows through a stoplight. The dealership should pay him back for what they did, complete with the purchase price of his new SUV and a penalty, but the state needs to revoke his license.

    All too often, the doctors simply aren't involved - the slow decline into dementia isn't enough monitored to pick that point to revoke the license.

  9. #9
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    A friend's mother has mild dementia. She can drive just fine, she remembers important things, but there's no way she could hold her own ground dealing with a car salesman. They are fast talkers, they are usually less than honest and you really have to be on your toes not to get the shaft. Most older folks couldn't handle a situation like that. In fact, my car-buying rule is "Never sign that day" take all the numbers home and look at them hard.

    Beyond the "crime" of this, what about morals and being able to sleep at night? SCUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!

  10. #10
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    Being in the car business and FORTUNATELY having worked for REPUTABLE dealers who fired anyone who did anything as dispicable as this, I can tell you that that man should have walked out of the dealership with a check and his Taurus. Just the other day we traded DOWN and wrote the man a check for $750 difference. His trade was worth more than what he bought. Once when I worked for Braman Motors in Florida, we took a trade of a classic Cadillac with less than 10,000 miles. The man was trading it in on a Rolls Royce. The sales manager took the trade and sold it before the Rolls deal was final. The customer backed out and wanted his Caddy back. Talk about a mess. The customer that bought the Caddy was upset also. We ended up paying out some big bucks to satisfy both customers. We had a rule that no trade could be sold and delivered until the deal was final.

    Consider this little bit of education for you as my gift to car buying:

    Selling price of new/used car $20,000
    less allowance for trade -35,000

    difference to customer -15,000

    The customer should walk out with a car and check.

    Here is how the dealer figures the deal in accounting (one of my jobs).

    Cash difference: $-15,000
    Actual value of trade 32,000

    Actual selling price $ 17,000
    less dealer cost -16,000

    profit to dealer $1,000

    Dealers are entitled to make a profit. Employees need to be paid, building rent, utilities, etc. The actual value of the trade becomes the cost basis when the trade is sold.

    It works the same way when you trade up. Just substitute numbers. Usually a dealer will put the sticker price as selling price and give a trade allowance more than the actual value of the trade. The difference is a discount to the customer as it is rare that a customer pays sticker for a new car. In our experience, we make very little in the competitive market on new vehicles. We make more on selling trades. And for those of you who think all car dealers are rotten, this year is horrible. We are running slightly in the red year to date.

    I hope this helps you understand a legitimate car deal. I would love to see the actual transaction. How the He** can people sleep doing that?


  11. #11
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    driving

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabel
    The article says that he drove to the wrong dealer so I'd assume he's still driving. I can't help but think of the 82 year old man who drove into that farmer's market, killing and injuring so many people. If this man isn't competent enough to realize that he's at a Ford dealership rather than a Toyota dealership, or to realize that he's being taken advantage of, how is he competent to make the split second decisions that drivers sometimes face?
    You raise some good points in that he drove himself to the wrong place.

    I also realize that his condition may have deteriorated since his last doctor visit or license exam so,for those posters upset at doctors, it doesn't mean doctors for sure looked the other way. And driving to the wrong place safely may or may not indicate he should not be driving, thats something I am not qualified to determine.

    However I note that often you either drive when elderly or you dont eat or go to the doctor. It isn't like you can always call a shuttle or a cab whenever you need to go somewhere. Why not? Because often such service is not available in many areas, some of which are rural, and also the expense is beyond the reach for some elderly on fixed low incomes. If it was a simple case of having the state provide for your transportation needs once you got too old to drive probably many more people would surrender the driver's license sooner. Sadly, for many, it is a choice of drive or die.

  12. #12
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    He is probably still trying to hold on to some of his independence. Look at that sweet little face. Shame on those folks at the car dealership. You will reap what you sow.

  13. #13
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    Wanting your independence is no excuse for driving when you are a danger to other people. It's tough, and it's part of growing older - all of us will reach that point (if we are lucky) where our reflexes and intelligence are no longer good enough to make the quick decisions that are sometimes required to drive. Mistakenly turning in to the wrong dealer is just the same type of error that the driver made who drove through that farmers market. It's tough, but there are alternatives to driving provided for the elderly.


    The problem is by the point they reach that point, they may well be too far gone to realize it. Doctors and the DMV need to do more to make sure that the elderly are allowed to drive only while they have the faculties to do so.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mabel
    Why is this elderly man with dementia still driving?
    I was going to ask the same thing. My grandfather had the beginning stages of dementia and when he tried to renew his license, he was denied. Perhaps this man hasn't had to go in for a renewal, but who ever his guardian is should be advising him not to be driving anyway. All it would take is one accident. As bad as it crushed my grandpa not to be able to drive, he understood it was for the best.

    Poor thing - I wish him well and hope he puts some serious thought into getting behind the wheel again.

    And as for the dealership - I hope they lose their azzes.

  15. #15
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    I remember when my grandpa had to stop driving as well - he was passing out every once in awhile, and when he asked the doctor about it, the doctor did the right thing, and took him off of driving (pass out at 55 on the freeway and....). Grandpa hated it, but it had to be done. My other grandfather is almost off of driving, but occasionally he still does - he's still pretty alert, but going downhill fast.


    Yeah, the dealership needs to get some real fines for this - everyone involved. They'd better have fired that salesperson and the manager who approved the deal!

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