• May 10, 2010
Canadian Mazda dealer responds to overpriced car sale – Click above to watch the video after the jump

Over the weekend, we brought you the story of Madeline Leonard, a Canadian woman on disability who was pressured into the sale of a 2010 Mazda6 sedan when she came in to have some work done on her 2004 model year vehicle. Not only did she drive off of the lot in a new car she didn't really want (a demo car with around 3,700 miles, no less), she was ridiculously overcharged. The dealer sold her the car at a $45,846 CAD list price with an eight-year loan at 7.4 percent interest, bringing the grand total of the transaction to $66,000 CAD.

Now, the Orangeville, Ontario Mazda dealership has responded, saying that the two employees mainly responsible for this sale have been fired. What's more, the dealer plans to take the car back and refund Leonard all of the money that she has paid up to this point. That may be all well and good, but OMVIC says that the people involved could potentially face fines of up to $250,000, and possibly even do some time in jail.

Leonard, who is taking medication for a number of problems including fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, depression and anxiety, says that she feels cheated, lied to and manipulated. Understandably so, especially since an investigation by the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) determined that the vehicle she purchased is only worth about $40,000 CAD.

Justice will indeed be served. Hit the jump to watch a video of this story which ran on a Toronto area news station. Hat tip to Jeff!

[Source: CityNews.ca]



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  • 67 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Patrick, these crooks deserve some jail time. Consider it time for them to think about how ripped off this woman and the consequences of their actions.
      • 4 Years Ago
      seriously i cant believe after reading the comments that 1 person and myself were the only ones that thought this would should have her license taken away...... if she was dazed and confused from all the meds she was on what gave her the right to danger my family on the road when she went to the dealer and subsiquently drove the car home afterwords

      this woman needs someone to drive her or she needs to take a cab or bus
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ssholes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      66k after interest? I'm getting the feeling that she didn't get nearly as ripped off as was originally reported.

      Also, did she already lose the hubcaps?
        • 4 Years Ago
        What they did was wrong? Sure. But prison worthy? No.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree that it's a shame that she overpaid for this car. I also agree that it is a free market and if she signed to pay that much for the vehicle, then she's obligated to go through with it. Caveat Emptor. It is terrible that the dealership would feasibly take advantage of a customer like that, but it's not really THAT outrageous of a deal considering what they could have done.

        I don't think there should be any legal intervention on the part of this woman, unless she had not signed and initialed the contracts, or didn't have the legal power to enter herself into a contract. The higher interest rate may be justified based on her debt to income ratio, to justify the risk the dealer would be taking.

        However, I think the dealer is backpedalling severely to get away from the bad publicity over this incident. Dealerships are a competitive business, and I think they will be hurt enough from the publicity this has received so far. Surely, they'll think twice about trying to stretch a deal so far in the future....
        • 4 Years Ago
        "It wasn't a new car to start with, so it should be way below MSRP"

        Cars are "new" as long as they've never been titled to anyone other than the dealership that is selling them. And usually, dealers can put up to 5000 miles on a vehicle and still call it new. When you find a new car on a lot with miles like that, you can be sure that it was a manager demo (or dealer principal, etc) and they drove the car until it was time to switch out to another.
        At least that's how it is here in the states.
        • 4 Years Ago
        you guys are also not counting the value of her 2004 very low mileage Mazda 3 trade in - that is probably 12-15k there
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm going to have to agree with you, Nick.

        I surely feel bad for the woman, but if you do the math...

        she got ripped off for CAD$5,800 (US$5500) on a car that was worth CAD$40,000 ($US39,000) ...and the media is including the interest to sensationalize the story.

        That means in reality she paid roughly a 15% premium over MSRP and got a mediocre interest rate... which to me, doesn't sound ALL THAT BAD.

        If the dealerships around where I live are any indication, I'm sure this and WORSE has happened literally millions of times to buyers who weren't as informed about their purchase as they should have been.

        I'm glad this is getting coverage just so maybe people will think twice before signing the dotted line, but I'm having trouble seeing what all the hoopla is about.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It wasn't a new car to start with, so it should be way below MSRP...
        • 4 Years Ago
        rubrduk: Who says she had any equity in the 2004? If she's taking out loans for 8 years, chances are she was a couple of grand under water on that car, thus ADDING more to the price.
        • 4 Years Ago
        the price of a car to hit a customer's target payment, instead of telling the customer that her payment would be lower because she got a better rate and making her really happy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh Come on....
      Senario...
      The woman enters the Service Department for Tires or Whatever, the service department finds Many issues with the car which could cost say...$2-3000.00.
      She says..I don't have that kind of money....
      Someone either suggests or she says, what about if I trade or sell for another car..
      The salesmen do the math, she gets finance and then after taking delivery she finds she can't afford the payment!!..

      Well if this POOR WOMAN is that medicated and that unaware of WHAT SHE IS DOING then WHY is She allowed on the Roads and WHY does she have a Drivers License in the first place....

      Something is fishy here, the Total Cost obviously includes finance and Interest costs over the life of the loan..

      WHO REALLY IS AT FAULT???
      • 4 Years Ago
      No doubt the dealer seems to have screwed up here but why does that seem to excuse the buyer of her inept and completely irresponsible behavior?

      While she is clearly dealing with some physical and mental impairment, I'd like to know which of her medications allegedly turned an responsible, intelligent woman into a complete !@#%ing idiot.

      Someone please explain why it is okay that an UNEMPLOYED woman living on $24K a year decided to buy a $45K car.

      She made a conscious decision to spend a substantial amount of money that she had no business spending! I don't care if it's an interest free loan. She can't afford a $20K car let alone one worth more than twice that! If the dealer sold her a $100K car for $66K, she'd still be an UNEMPLOYED woman living on $24K a year who couldn't afford a $45K car.

      "Oh whoa is me." Screw that. Fine the dealer, take the car away from the woman and make it unlawful for any financial institution to ever be stupid enough to loan her a penny again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good to see this story had a happy ending, but how does someone get talked into buying a new car when they didn't want (or can afford) one in the first place?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Legally they can't, but since she's been bullied and taken advantage of by predatory practices according to Canada's watchdog group she has recourse - plus the dealer doesn't want any more bad press. I think if this had happened in the US, she might not have been so lucky.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What ever happened to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY ?

      I know people who are taking meds,and in pain and they do not have this issue...hell, I know 80 year olds who dont go out and buy expensive purchases,even they can afford it !!

      Obviously she has major mental issues,obviously because she bought an overpriced Mazda !!! A Mazda,you gotta be heavily sedated to own an import like that !!


      ***MOST IMPORTANT***

      IF THIS WOMAN CLAIMS SHE WAS HEAVILY MEDICATED,AND SUCKERED INTO THIS DEAL AND SHE IS SO INNOCENT,WHY THE HELL WAS SHE DRIVING ? OBVIOUSLY IF SHE IS SO HEAVILY MEDICATED TO BE SUCKERED INTO A COSTLY DEAL,SHE IS IMPAIRED,SO A IMPAIRED CHARGE SHOULD BE LAID ON HER,IN CANADA IT COVERS ALCHOHOL AND DRUGS,SHE IS AN IMPAIRED DRIVER,SO OUT OF IT SHE PROBABLY LOST THE HUBCAPS DRIVING OVER CURBS !!!! GET HER OFF OF THE ROADS !!! WE DONT NEED DOLTS LIKE THIS !!! IF SHE IS SO IMPAIRED NOT TO UNDERSTAND SHE COULD NOT AFFORD THE CAR,HOW IS SHE DRIVING ON THE PUBLIC ROADS ????
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ok, the dudes got fired and get what they deserve. I think it is horrible what happened to this woman BUT.... if she has a condition that doesn't allow her to make good decisions and creates pain that doesn't make her think clearly, what the hell is she doing driving a car?!?!! The media is making this woman sound like she is not herself but how about enjoying the thought of this person driving the car on the same road as your teenagers, wifes etc.!!! I think the media is playing this way to hard. If you allow her to drive a car and she only got taken for about $6000 CAD don't mentioned her disability too much. Just state that a woman has been taken advantage of at the dealership...... and then go after every single stealership, sorry dealership, in the world!!! Women are their favorite customers!!! Anybody up for a fluid change on their headlights?!?!?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Unfortunately, this type of thing happens all the time. Often to people who are not heavily medicated. The dealer is right in attempting to unwind the deal, but I'm sure that won't be the end of it. It does make me wonder which dealership will employ the people responsible for this...Someone certainly will see the value in their ability to crush their customer. If the profit had been a wee bit lower, we would likely never had heard about it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Showing the price after interest is just a way for this story to make it into the news. Wow I cant believe that people are falling for this kinda of stuff. 1st off her interest rate is decent for the term she is financing. Second, last time i checked she was an adult and was legally able to make her OWN decisions. Third, if she is dumb enough to pay above asking price on the car....TOO BAD TOO SAD! As far as the employees being fined UP to 250,000, that will never happen, and it wont stand up in court. The only thing that will happen after the three years of court battles is the sales guy wont be able to sell in Ontario anymore. Big deal. The dealership wont have to pay a penny other then legal expenses. It makes me sick how the media gets a hold of something and runs with it. Makes me sick.
      I have seen people paying 29% intersest on a car all the time. On a 10k car and a 84month term, you figure out what they are paying in total.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No disrespect to the poor lady, but if she's that out of it, I really don't want her to be on the road...
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