Man talking(l+r), Honda sign(c)

Colin Temple/Shutterstock @tomislavmikula/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘The shadiest thing I’ve ever seen’: Expert warns Honda dealership tried to scam customer on HR-V with this paperwork trick

‘I don’t use the word shady lightly.’

 

Phil West

Trending

A car buying expert warns about an experience he reportedly had negotiating for a client, dubbing it “the shadiest thing” he’s ever experienced in his time helping clients buy cars.

The video detailing the situation comes from Tomi Mikula (@tomislavmikula), founder of Delivrd, a company that specializes in negotiating auto sales for customers. The TikTok, which went up on April 5, has since generated more than 311,000 views and 11,000 likes.

“I don’t use the word shady lightly,” he begins. “I deal with more dealers than 99 percent of the public, so I understand they’re trying to make a profit and understand there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. But what this dealership just pulled with me and my client is arguably the shadiest thing I’ve ever seen, and I need to warn you about it.”

His complaint has to do with what he calls a T sheet, which has the proposed price of the car from the dealership to the customer. This sheet includes the tax amount, which Mikula says varies based on where the buyer lives. He contends that a manager signed the form.

He notes, “It’s not legally binding, meaning both sides, even though they sign it, have the right to just walk away.” However, he also contends that when a manager signs it, it’s “good as gold,” and the price of the vehicle should not change, regardless of what happens with the estimated taxes to arrive at the with-taxes total.

However, in this case of trying to help a customer buy a Honda HR-V, he says, “We were surprised. We get to the purchase agreement, and the price of the vehicle is still $30,168. And we’re like, oh, maybe they got the taxes wrong. We go to taxes, and the taxes are now being charged as $2,000,” down from the initial estimate of $3,200. “And the price of the vehicle went up 1,200 bucks.”

That’s not what the manager initially offered, and as Mikula points out, “They cannot over-collect here,” referring to the tax line on the offer sheet, “and then say, ‘You know what, sorry, that’s our profit.’ That doesn’t work. That’s not legal.”

Mikula says he got on the phone with a manager, who blamed the situation on someone “new” at the dealership, even though a manager signed it. The manager reportedly said he would adjust the price accordingly, yet kept offering the same $30,168 total when it should have gone down.

“It was like talking to a broken robot,” Mikula marvels. “He’s like, ‘Yes, I agree. Yes, I agree. Yes, I agree. Do not compute.’ It was absurd, it was stupid, and it wasted a lot of time.”

@tomislavmikula Can a Dealership do this?!? #newcar #carbuyingtips #dealership #carbuying #carsales #delivrd #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Delivrd

How can I avoid this trick?

In its tips for car buying, NerdWallet notes, “It’s easy to get confused, so go slowly and even write down the numbers thrown at you. Make sure you know whether you’re talking about the ‘out-the-door’ price, which includes all taxes and fees, or just the sale price of the car.”

It adds, “Ask about fees before saying yes to a deal. Some dealers may include fees that are unnecessary. Ask for a breakdown of additional fees before you agree to any deal.”

Commenters on Mikula’s video were curious to know which dealership he dealt with, even though the TikToker said he wasn’t going to reveal it.

“No good reason not to name them,” one said.

However, Mikula responded, “100s of people work there. They have no involvement with the deal. My outreach is millions. It could ruin lives. Not worth it.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to both Mikula and Honda via email.

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