There's car dealerships that give the auto industry a bad rap. And then there are the ones that make those look like fuzzy kittens. We've highlighted them with "Cotomer Sevis," but now we're ready to give them a name and its own investigative column here on Jalopnik. We call it "Stealerships." These aren't just hard-nosed negotiators who know how to get you to agree to a bad trade-in value and a high monthly payment. These are the dealers that straight up jack you. We're talking total lemons, reneged deals, detailing that leaves scratches all over your car, and $62,000 cars being pushed on 70-year-olds with dementia. Now we want your stories, and we want to help make them right.
I'm Ben Popken, former managing editor of Consumerist (which Gawker sold to Consumer Reports in 2009). I've spent the past six years investigating and exposing corporate chicanery, and giving tools to the regular guy so he can solve consumer complaints on his own. Often that's meant giving great stories exposure so the forces of the internet can converge to share tips and tactics. It can also mean putting bad actors in the public pillory so we can bury them in tomatoes. (I know how you like to do that, internet.)
Now Ray has asked me to come over here and see what we can do for car buyers — making the calls, getting the quotes, digging through evidence, getting the straight story and solving problems. The ultimate goal is to make this car industry more honest, transparent, and fair to you, the car enthusiast.
So help us out by sending us your tales, forum links, and best supporting evidence (docs, audio, video, pix) to our tips line with the subject line of "Stealerships".
Greasy dealership guys in checkered jackets and two-toned shoes, consider this your warning shot.