Last week, we told you about the saga of Delaware couple Debbie and John Hooper, who were engaged in a battle with First State Chevrolet over their wrecked 2012 Camaro ZL1. The car was sent to the dealer for a warrantied paint repair, but was wrecked by a joyriding employee that snuck in on a weekend to go for a spin.

First State claimed that as the employee shouldn't have been in the car in the first place, it wasn't liable for the crashed ZL1, although it did try to make things right with the Hoopers by offering them a car with more mileage, modifications, options they didn't want and a rather questionable provenance. This was turned down. The Hoopers wanted a new ZL1 for their troubles.

Now, thanks to a little cooperation from General Motors and Berger Chevrolet, in Grand Rapids, MI, a 2013 Camaro ZL1 is being sent to First State. According to a post on the Camaro5 forums, John Hooper said, "I understand that it will be about two weeks before the insurance check is cut, the old car is paid off, the new car arrives, and a new purchase contract will be signed by my wife and I for the purchase of our new ZL1." Emphasis is his.

There aren't many other specifics on the forums, so we can't say whether it's the dealer's insurance or the Hooper's insurance that are picking up the tab for the wrecked Camaro. As for the newer Camaro, it seems like the Hoopers are being treated like any other purchaser rather than getting special treatment after what they've been through. Whether that's right or not, we'll let you decide. What is clear is that the Hoopers are getting what they wanted - a new ZL1. As car people, we should simply be happy about that.


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  • 586 Comments
      Vien Huynh
      • 1 Year Ago
      boycott First State for bad customer service!
      DPollak
      • 1 Year Ago
      Those of you claiming that he owner was a cry baby, I don't think he was wanting the car for free and not pay anything for it. But for a car like this, that is a rarer car, I would not want one that is wrecked. That dealership should have replaced the car with a very clean, similar and non-wrecked example with less or equal miles or brand new if they can't find that. That would have been good customer service and would have cost them a few thousand by the time the insurance paid the replacement value, a few thousand that they probably would make up in additional sales from the positive PR and taking care of the customer. Now it looks like this who fiasco is going to end up costing them much much more than a few grand from the bad PR.
      392 guy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Happy for them and that they got a new car. And glad Gm stepped up to the plate and got involved. It shouldn't have even gone this far. The dealer should have did what was right and replace it. Now there going to lose business and the couple gets a new car.
      jasonbooboo
      • 1 Year Ago
      For those that don't know the history, the dealer was trying to screw him offering a lower value undesirable vehicle in exchange, as if that somehow made them even. And you have to have sympathy for the guy, because these vehicles devalue quickly, so even if you gave him reasonable used value for the car, its still a huge hassle and he was the first owner and if he took care of it where can he find another in the same color with the same options with just one owner? Can't happen, so royally sucks for him and considering how messed up the scenario is, they really should give him top dollar for his car and something to make up for the shenanigans, fired the guy, and maintained their reputation.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      "First State claimed that as the employee shouldn't have been in the car in the first place" Good. I assume this employee was turned over to the police and charged with theft then. If not, why not?
        Ron
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        because they re-hired him
      Beardinals
      • 1 Year Ago
      "First State claimed that as the employee shouldn't have been in the car in the first place, it wasn't liable for the crashed ZL1" Do the Three Stooges run this place? I can guess that First State will lose lots of business and Berger will gain lots of business. See how that works?
      mustsvt
      • 1 Year Ago
      If anyone read Jalopnik, they would know that the owner NEVER demanded a new car, just did not want what was offered. The customer is PAYING the difference in value to get the new car. They were very reasonable considering what happened to them. The dealership was responsible and paid the price for it.
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      What ever happened to the "joyriding dealership employee"? Were auto theft and/or burglary reports ever filed with the police against the "joyrider", who started this mess, by either the car's owners or the dealership? Is the "joyrider" facing criminal prosecution? The story seems to have been only focused on the conflict between the car's owners and the dealership, while completely ignoring the crime that started the conflict in the first place.
      Get a Grip
      • 1 Year Ago
      First State has to be sleazy. They pulled the old "I'm not responsible for my employee." You are always responsible for your employee. Always. who else would be. Why lie to a customer. I love the signs everywhere that says, "not responsible for this and that." that tells you they know of thel hazard and haven't done anything about it. Dumb
      T H
      • 1 Year Ago
      First State claimed that as the employee shouldn't have been in the car in the first place, it wasn't liable for the crashed ZL1,? Seriously? You Key word here is "EMPLOYEE". YOUR Employee to be exact, therefore, YES "First State IS fully responsible. First State's Insurance should be made to pay off the Camaro as well as the Down Payment that the Hooper's put down on it and the Payment on the New Camaro should NOT be higher.
        Krag G
        • 1 Year Ago
        @T H
        It is moronic that the cops said they can not arrest the employee at least for illegal trespass. He used the key the company intrusted to him to steal a car. I have had work lock keys and office keys . That does not entitle me to partake in illegal activity while intrusted of those keys. The car was intrusted to the dealership for safe keeping. They gave their employee who they felt they trusted a key fro the dealership thus bare responsibility for the car being taken.That should not relieve the employee of charges for entering the building to commit illegal activity and taking the car. It should be shared by both parties.
        Joe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @T H
        So, if the guy who crashed the car had not been an employee there would have been no insurance coverage? I leave my car in your care and you park it in a back alley or whatever, it's in your care and YOU have responsibility.
          aidsyou
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Joe
          But it was not parked in a back alley. It was inside their locked premises, where the employee only got access to when he was let in after hours.
      Ian
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like GM and the other dealer are smarter than First State. I also imagine someone from GM will be talking to First State about how hard it is for dealerships that generate complaints to receive new vehicles...
      dontuo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't know how it works there, but in Illinois, I'm responsible for the actions of my employees at my place of business. I f they're on the clock or not...I don't see why the dealership should be any different.
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