Dealership Reportedly Sells Honda Fit To Man With Dementia For $27,000

Illustration for article titled Dealership Reportedly Sells Honda Fit To Man With Dementia For $27,000

On June 16, an elderly man who had recently suffered a stroke took his 2011 Honda Fit in for an oil change. While he was at the dealership, the sales staff allegedly talked him into buying a car he didn't need.


Frank Merlino, 86, is a former Marine from Jacksonville, Florida. His numerous health issues include recovery from a stroke, and he exhibits the early signs of dementia. He is not the type of person who is in the right frame of mind to make an auto purchase.

Frank's local Honda dealer took his perfectly fine 2011 Honda Fit on a trade, and sold him a brand new 2015 Fit, according to his family. The dealership was also nice enough to include thousands of dollars in additional fees in the way of a maintenance plan and service contract. This brought the grand total to a whopping $27,000 on a car that has a maximum MSRP of about $21,590.

From USA Today:

"They sold him a car for $27,000," Gina Merlino said, "And they told him he has seven years to pay it off at $459 a month."

"They told him all you have to do is put gas in this car," she said. "They made it sweet for him."

Once the sales manager of the dealership met with the Merlino's caregivers, he decided to cancel the sale and return Frank's 2011 Fit.

I found it odd that none of the local news outlets revealed the name of the dealership. Perhaps they omitted that information because the dealer decided to do the right thing. If any of you know something regarding this story, please tell us in the comments.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at and be sure to include your Kinja handle.




Man walks into dealership. Dealership sells him a car.

Wow, they're such monsters. I mean, how could you expect that a guy walking into a car dealership wants to buy a car? No, that's WAY too far. Join me in shaming them for doing their job correctly.