Thursday, June 19, 2014

TOYOTA: Elderly couple says Orange car dealership scammed them into trading in car


Elderly couple says Orange car dealership scammed them into trading in car

Posted: Jun 10, 2014
By Adam Wright

ORANGE - World War II veteran Cecil Laroue and his wife Jo have been married for more than 60 years. They're both in their 80's and live a quiet life in their home in Orange, so when they got a flyer from a car dealership in the mail promising prizes, they got excited.

"It says 'If your number matches a number on the flyer you win a prize'," said Laroue.

Laroue says in February he and his wife visited Cecil Atkission Toyota in Orange to claim their prize before going out for lunch. They never got a prize. Instead, Laroue says a team of 3 sales people pressured them for more than 6 hours to trade in their 2012 sedan for a brand new Prius, even though Laroue says he tried to leave several times.

"And then they started bringing things in there for us to sign... 'If you sign this we can make you a better deal'," he says they told him.

Laroue says he signed the papers just so they could get out of there, admitting he did not know what the forms were. They left with a new car, confused as to what had just happened. They returned two days later to get their sedan back.

"They said it was, 'A done deal whether you like it or not'," said Laroue.

When contacted by 12News, Cecil Atkission Toyota general manager John Starnes told us that the couple signed a legally-binding buyer's agreement, and says that they did express interest in trading in their car.

"He's a bold-faced liar. My wife told them time and time again 'We got a car, we don't need no car'," said Laroue.

Starnes says the dealership was contacted by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Texas, and the Texas Attorney General's office about the situation. He says all three agencies cleared the dealership of any wrongdoing.

Now the Laroues are stuck with a new car they say they can't afford, and have no intention of paying for. They say they'll see what happens, and hope that in the meantime, no one else is taken advantage of and scammed.

"I'm ashamed that people know that I was that eager to let them scam me like that, because I always thought that I had a pretty good mind, but I've about decided I've lost what little mind I've got," said Laroue.

Laroue says they are currently seeking the help of a third lawyer.