• May 8, 2010
2010 Mazda6 – Click above for high-res image gallery

As Americans, we typically view Canadians as our friendly neighbors to the north. So friendly are they, in fact, that it seems unimaginable that one would do anything as vile as, say, sell a woman with reduced mental capacity a used Mazda at a 60-percent markup over new. Unfortunately, that's exactly what Madeline Leonard claims happened to her when she visited an Orangeville, Ontario dealership.

Leonard brought her 2004 Mazda in to have its tires replaced, and somehow wound up being talked into purchasing a 2010 Mazda6 demo with around 3,700 miles on the odometer. To make matters worse, the car's final price tag totaled around
$66,000 CAD with taxes and numerous upsells. Among other things, the salesman convinced Leonard that she needed extras like stain guard, rust protection and window etching. While the Mazda6 carries an MSRP of $39,969 CAD, the Orangeville dealership had priced the car at $45,846 CAD.

Despite being unemployed and living on a fixed income that nets her under $2,000 CAD per month, the dealership financed Leonard with an eight-year loan that will end up costing her an additional $16,000 CAD. The Orangeville dealer currently has a D+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and faces changes from the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council of engaging in unfair practice by making an unconscionable representation. Thanks for the tips, everyone!



[Source: The Toronto Star]


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  • 123 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes, they took advantage of her, but clearly she's not the smartest person.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ hbusiness.w

        Yes, Canada is in relatively good shape, but your name doesn't represent you very well if you do not know that yes in fact Canada is running a deficit due to the recession, and will be for a number of years. That is a well publicized and well known fact, mr. businessman....

        http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/05/14/harper-deficit-recession-0514.html
        http://www.financialpost.com/news-sectors/economy/story.html?id=2472970

        and then you end your statement with "check the facts before you start saying ignorant statements" ... there's irony for ya....

        • 4 Years Ago
        yeah, whatever... convert this from Canadian bongobucks into real money and it probably turns out that they paid her to take the car. Seriously though, being a loon in Canada must pay pretty well if you can get financed on a deal like this while living in government housing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @turbomonkey2k

        I do not take kindly to those ignorant statements. our dollar is almost at a par with yours. i', sure we could run higher than your dollar like we have before, but our government is working hard to keep our dollar in check so it doesnt overinflate, our government is not running a debt from the recession and none of our markets (aka housing or banks) are falling apart. suuree we got dragged down like EVERYONE by the american "economic blowup" but we're one of the best running in and out of this "great recession" of yours. check the facts before you start saying ignorant statements badmouthing others.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ....And apparently so are you....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah Canadian prices are garbage, I mean My boss just bought a range rover autobiography for 160k.
        • 4 Years Ago
        BEWARE...CHERRY HILL (NJ) TRIPLEX. They have an F rating by The Better Business Burea website. Practices deceptive pricing. Also "Switch & Bait" Watch out for auto dealership......CHERRY HILL TRIPLEX, Cherry Hill NJ. Good Luck folks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @clavius

        i think its quite obvious i skipped over the sentence where they mentioned her mental capacity. however, your insult in itself makes no sense. "so are you?"
        • 4 Years Ago
        What the hell does her Not being smart have to do with the price of sliced bread, Mazda should give the dear lady the car for free, Mazda is clearly a dishonest business with zero integrity and leaches for sales men, how dispicable. It makes me sick to my stomach, Ive always said , a lady going to buy a car on her own or going in for car repairs is "Prey" the guys see dollar signs all over the place, its a situation where someone needs to be hald accountable by losing their dealership license and maybe paying a very very hefty fine !
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have a side question to you Canadians out there: Why do you guys put up with the 40K Mazda 6 in the first place? Couldn't you come to US, buy 20+K Mazda 6, and drive back and pay the taxes? (I don't think they would have you pay 20K + in taxes, would they?) I know speedometer would be kinda inconvinient, since it will have kilometer in small prints and miles in the large, but I don't see it worth being 20K premium.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @elpepe

        Canadian National Debt (http://www.debtclock.ca/)
        $523,000,000,000
        $15,408 per Person.

        USA National Debt (http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/)
        $12,948,000,000,000
        $41,993.25.per Person.

        I think the Canadian one looks a lot better to me, but we need to remember the economies are very different and need to look at GDP for each country.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "sell a woman with *reduced mental capacity* a used Mazda at a 60-percent markup over new"
        • 4 Years Ago
        actually we are not allowed to buy cars in the states unless we hold a us citizenship. i think only subaru is allowed for some reason to sell to canadians
        • 4 Years Ago
        at vizel

        The car needs to be "permissible", it needs to be on the official list issued by the federal government. It needs to be modified a bit. There's tax, there's import fee, administration fees. Now, some US dealers are banned from selling cars to Canadians under threat from manufacturers of having their franchise removed.

        Canadian dealers are pain in the axx sometimes when honouring warranties on US bought cars and there are manufacturers that do not honour warranties at all and it's their official policy.

        More at www.carswithoutborders.com ...

        But if it's still worth to import a US bound car to Canada, there must something wrong with Canadian dealers.

        Two years ago, when dollars were on parity, I did a calculation for the aforementioned site comparing the price of a fully loaded Mazda CX-9 with taxes, etc. in Canada and the final price of the same car bought in the US and imported to Slovakia, Europe, again, including tax, import tax, modification expenses, registration, shipping, grey importer fee.

        The price difference was in the region of $100 which is negligible when we talk tens of thousands of dollars.

        Imagine that, you buy a car in the US, ship it across the Atlantic, trail it to the heart of Europe 1000 miles, pay 19% VAT, import fee, modify it (rear fog lamp, dipping headlamps, etc.), make the car legal (another fee), register it. And then there's profit for the importer - that includes 60,000 km warranty. And it was the same price as in Canada. Go figure.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How can a woman be stupid enough to not know what Blue Book price means, or at least do research on line before buying? The dealer's worker obviously saw a victim and figured that he could net a nice size commission off of her. Remember...That you are the only person standing between your money and someone else getting access to it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hopefully Mazada corp. will slap this dealer down and force the dealer to rescind the deal.
      I sold Toyota's for 8 years and made a very good living without cheating my customers.
      John
      • 4 Years Ago
      sigh.......i cant believe Canadian dealer is like that bad........sad
      BTW, the Japanese version looks way better than the US version.....
      3 series doesnt change, accord doesnt, rav4 doesnt, a6 doesnt, 911 doesnt, why does mazda 6 change?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I bought a car in Windsor, Ontario, Canada once. The salesman was shifty and wanted money under the table to "make the deal happen". What ever happened to honesty and integrity? Are the Canadians so over-taxed and desparate for money that they have to cheat every living soul to make their world go round?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wait a minute...If she is metally off where did she get the money? Typical dealer...
      • 4 Years Ago
      @Tony - Page 3

      Well said sir - and if the owner had tried to lead by example none of this would have happened. Had not heard of a regulator with this much power before, so there sounds like hope for the future.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I sold cars for 4 years and to hear of such a thing doesn't shock or suprise me one bit.
      All car buyers are taken advantage of as a daily part of the car sales business.
      Even when you feel you've gotten a good deal; You have been ripped off.
      Are you ready for a slap on the face; Any and every automobile can be purchased for
      invoice; Yes I said at invoice cost; and they must show you the factory invoice.
      Every invoice already has a $1500.00 markup so if the dealer has to sell the auto at invoice they are still making money. This added fee also protects the dealer if another
      dealership wants that car; they are going to make $1500.00 for having the auto on his lot.
      The more autos they move; The more vehicles they can buy from the factory next year.
      Always remember; You Don't Get; What you Don't Ask For!.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I read the article few days ago. I'm surprised she was willing to actually pay that much for a Mazda. Anyone else read the article? It said she lives in a housing complex (subsidized living), hence we tax payers actually pay for her living yet she goes out and buys a car and not just any car, a new car.

      I've seen bmws around subsidized houses, can never figure out why government pays for their welfare.

        • 4 Years Ago
        OK hold your horses, "reduced mental capacity" must be an invention of autoblog, i don't see that anywhere in the article and ive read it unlike you two.

        Seriously, what they said here is "she's dumb" in a nicer way.

        Because people with down syndrome or "reduced mental cap" don't have drivers license, think about it, yet she does, hence nothing wrong with her.

        She also came to the dealership knowing she will probably buy something, yet with what money i wonder?

        • 4 Years Ago
        if you guys are looking for a good laugh they need to post this in the "customer testimonials section" of their website. "I am completely satisifed with my purchase as my Mazda cost me as much as a new C63 AMG Mercedes"
        • 4 Years Ago
        Read it one more time. The Star article clearly calls her intellectually disabled.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Reading comprehension 101, She knows no better DUE TO HER MENTAL CAPACITY she was taken advantage of, what part of that don't you understand?
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Reading comprehension 101, She knows no better DUE TO HER MENTAL CAPACITY she was taken advantage of, what part of that don't you understand?"

        WOAH dude, back off a little. Just as people with reduced mental capacity can walk into car dealerships, people with reduced mental capacity can, and obviously often do, comment on autoblog :O

        /duck
        • 4 Years Ago
        Read the article again more carefully:

        "Smith said the salesmen also billed Leonard, who is intellectually disabled, about $4,500 for a “protection package” that included fabric guarding, rust and sound proofing and window etching. Other dealers charge about a third of that for the same items, he said."

        And she went in to get her tires replaced, not to buy a new car. Which was also stated in both the original article and this one.
        • 4 Years Ago
        At long last Sir, have you no shame?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Two thoughts on this:

      (1) wouldn't this be perfectly legal if the dealership was also a Rent A Center? I thought that company's sole reason for existence was to sell people with reduced mental capacities stuff they don't need at twice the retail price.

      (2) How the hell do you determine if a Canadian has reduced mental capacities?
        • 4 Years Ago
        (2) How the hell do you determine if a Canadian has reduced mental capacities?

        Easy! If all he/she does is talk about guns, the right to bear arms, and what a pric k Obama is...you know!

        Two thumbs up to Tony. LOL
        • 4 Years Ago
        (2) Oh, Snap!

        And the answer is, by the putain he eats....poutine/putain tomato/potahto)
      • 4 Years Ago
      What? That's what we used to call a homerun! : )
      • 4 Years Ago
      So much for ethics. Looks like sales people are the same all over...
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