• Aug 11th 2008 at 2:29PM
  • 36
If you believe the Johnston family, owners of Wildcat Mitsubishi in Tucson and Ideal Automotive in Sierra Vista, Arizona, they have a little communication and paperwork problem. If you believe the soldiers at the Army base in Fort Huachuca, the Better Business Bureau, the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, the Arizona Transportation Department, the police department, and at least one civilian customer, the Johnstons have a much larger number of far more serious problems.
The Army base has banned personnel from patronizing the dealerships, alleging its soldiers have been abused. Soldier James Tuman traded in an SUV and a motorcycle and got financing from Ideal Automotive to buy a used car. When he tried to return the car because of mechanical issues, the Johnston's wouldn't give him his money back, instead saying he could buy another car on the lot. When he threatened to complain, they said they'd declare the car repossessed, which could hurt Tuman's security clearance. Tuman ended up with no money and no car.

Other complaints against Johnstons range from financing auto loans without a license and issuing temporary tags with the wrong VIN numbers. The Johnstons say they are sorting things out... but until the Army et al sort things out with the Johnstons, you might want to give Wildcat and Ideal a wide berth.

[Source: Auto News, sub req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      What I think is funny is that people are assuming and jumping on the bandwagon. Why is the Army pissed because their little kids cannot take care of their own finances and so big daddy has to step in. I have never or never will be against the military, my husband works for them. But my father in law who was in the ARMY for 20 years and then worked for them for another 25 years says that the Army is leading the soldiers by the hand. When he was in he didn't have that, and less would he want big daddy 'Army' to have to do that for him.
      I agree whole heartedly with Obie, dealerships are not thieves, most people just cannot take the blame and they use someone or something else as a scapegoat. I could blame the hospital for all my bills or realize that I will pay them bit by bit and take responsiblilty for what happened.
      What needs to happen is people need to grow up and stop berating the next big thing.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Your father in laws 20 years obviously didn't teach him much about operational security.

        An in debt, financially strapped soldier is a security risk and such an individual is subject to exploitation. So, to mitigate this military posts maintain lists of businesses that take advantage of less world-wise servicemen and also offer financial advisers to help the newbs manage their assets.

        It has NOTHING to do with "hand holding" from "daddy" and everything to do with keeping folks with security clearances from getting into trouble they can't get out of due to their lack of experience in the real world.
      • 7 Years Ago
      When a place near a military installation is placed on a commander's NoGo list, it can have very serious implications - a majority of their business can come from service members or their families... D.A. Civilians are subject to NoGo lists, as well.

      Fort Huachuca isn't exactly a small potatoes post, either... home of Army Aviation.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Regarding the dealer... typical of idiots; they assume everyone else is as stupid as they are.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here is whats sad. Some guy went into a dealership asked to buy a vehicle probably spent hours there trying to negotiate a deal then signed his name to a whole lot of paperwork and then after taking all there time came back and changed his mind. These are the people that I really wish I didnt have to support in our military. Im supposed to be proud of our country no embarressed of how our soldiers are in the civillian world. Maybe sometime the army will teach economics to our soldiers. Thats were a business goes out and invests in a product and then tries to sell it for a profit. Wierd huh. The most unfortunate thing is every mitsubishi dealership has been harrassed about this and were not even a part of Wildcat not even in the same city. People wonder why alot of civillians dont support our soldiers. Whats really sad is most of these soldiers are cowards and will only put comments on emails or websites instead of talking face to face with managment. Oh well Im sure there are a couple good people somewhere in the army.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you'd like to send your regards, here's a link to their 'contact us' page. Hopefully the link works.

      • 7 Years Ago
      lets hope this goes viral, like it did with that guy Ken and his M3,

      ideal automotive
      645 S Hwy 92
      Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
      (520) 458-4808
      (888) 257-2605
        • 7 Years Ago
        he had his car shipped to a dealer in his town, all is good
      • 7 Years Ago
      I live in Tucson, about 2-3 miles from Wildcat Mitsubishi. I have heard a series of negative things about other dealers in town, but not them. This news surprises me, though I am more willing to believe the dozens of people complaining versus the dealerships themselves... I hope that Wildcat opts to rectify any grievences the soldier's have and them some.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unfortunatly this is all too common. All military bases have an off-limits list and there is always at least one car dealership on the list. When I was in the military, we always got briefings about what places were known to rip off service members, and its not just car dealers. Restaurants, stores of all kinds, etc. There is always somebody looking to rip off a gullible service member.
        • 7 Years Ago

        There isn't a "wide public" list but if you make friends with a service person they could probably get you a copy of the list for your area. Each list is specific for that base and the area around it. You might be able to get a copy of the list yourself by contacting the base HQ. This use to be a lot easier to do before 9/11. Good luck...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ideal - A conception of something in its absolute perfection. One that is regarded as a standard or model of perfection or excellence.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Everyone do yourself a favor. Go out and rent/buy/download the movie "Suckers".

      Funny B movie about a car dealership.

      • 7 Years Ago
      'no money and no car'?? revoked security clearance??
      sounds like the Army needs to do some 'field testing' of the Excalibur right on top of Mr. Johnston's dealership.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "When he threatened to complain, they said they'd declare the car repossessed, which could hurt Tuman's security clearance."
      That is lower than low. So, they could potentially screw a soldier about to be shipped off, and the family left behind has to deal with this? But, one needs to look at this not just from a soldier's standpoint, but strictly from public as consumers standpoint. There are too many sources complaining about similar issues.
      I hope this news spread out like wildfire, and the public authority takes some action, and shows the dealer a taste of real "communication problem".
        • 7 Years Ago
        agreed. these guys have no idea what they've gotten themselves into, once its on autoblog chances are its over.
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