Originally airing on NPR during All Things Considered on February 4, 2023, Chris Arnold discusses deceptive auto sales and interviews John Van Alst.
Usually, when you finance a car through the dealer, technically you owe the dealership the money for the car. But the dealer wants to quickly sell the credit contract you signed to, for example, the credit arm of Ford or Toyota or some other auto lender.
That’s why car dealers often put in the fine print that if they have trouble doing that, they can cancel the sale.
Sometimes the car dealer made a mistake and thought they’d be able to find a lender.
But other times, Van Alst says, “it’s used as a technique by dealers to try to force consumers into a worse deal.”
In those instances, he says, the salesperson knows the deal is too good to be true, but lets you think you’ve bought the car anyway. So you take it home, show it to your friends and family. Then a few days or weeks later you get the phone call yanking you back like a yo-yo.
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