Wait, How Many Of You Have A 'Detained At The Dealership' Story?

Illustration for article titled Wait, How Many Of You Have A 'Detained At The Dealership' Story?
Photo: Denis Tyrin/AP (AP)

Jeez, reading the comments (currently sitting at 643) from Tom’s post on dealerships detaining people against their will, it’s pretty clear that a lot of you have awful dealership stories, which makes sense, because everyone who has been to a dealership has at least a few awful dealership stories.


In fact, I’d imagine that among American adults, interacting with a car dealer for any reason sits somewhere around turning yourself into the police and putting a pet down on the list of things they’re eager to do. It’s not that good dealerships don’t exist, I’m sure there are some great ones, it’s probably that “I had a normal/pleasant experience buying a car” doesn’t make make for much of a story.

A Honda salesman once told me not to buy a Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen because Volkswagen was going to pull out of the U.S. market, that he’d read about it on a special website that was available only to people who worked at car dealerships. I’ve been told that the car I was after (package zero Mk5 GTI) “didn’t exist,” so I should just buy a DSG-equipped GTI with leather and a sunroof — only to have my cousin who worked for VW find me the exact car I wanted just a short drive away. I’ve intervened in some goofy service/warranty situations, including having to contact a dealer group owner about his service department making women feel uncomfortable. But I’ve never had someone try to physically keep me from leaving a dealership.

But apparently, it’s not unusual! It happened even to Lawrence’s mom and it happened a few weeks ago to another colleague here at G/O. So what about you, do you have a “detained at the dealer” story? You ever have someone try to park you in or hide your keys? How many of you have “detained at the dealership” type stories?

Jalopnik EIC '48 Willys CJ-2A, '84 Porsche 911, '15 VW GTI, '07 Lexus GX 470.



Not detained in the dealership, but detained in finance at the dealership. After a several hour negotiation, I go to finance to start that tilt. The guy starts his song and dance about extended warranties, credit protection and the like. And my 9 month old absolutely destroyed a diaper. As in, I’m surprised it didn’t shoot of the neck of her onesy. We finished the paperwork in less than a minute.

So, if you are a parent that has become deaf to the screams of your brood, this is an tool to use against the dealership.