Troubleshooter

Man learns his '4-wheel-drive' isn't

Friday, October 05, 2012
Jeep Commander

Jeep Commander (WTVD Photo)

A Triangle man bought a 4-wheel-drive SUV so he and his family could drive on the beach and go fishing. But when he got stuck in the sand and needed a tow, he learned that he didn't actually have the 4-wheel drive he thought he purchased.

The Jeep Commander that Pete Oakley bought said right on the side, "Trail Rated 4x4." The vehicle order form states 4-wheel-drive and Pete said that's what he was told he was getting.

"The salesman and the salesman's manager and the finance guy all told me it was four-wheel-drive," Pete said.

After he bought the Jeep Commander from Hendrick Kia of Cary, Pete said he was excited to head to the beach and test out his new ride.

"Paid our money to drive onto the beach, and soon as we left pavement, it sunk.  After getting towed out, getting back to hotel room, I climbed up under it to see if it was malfunctioning or something, and that's when I realized there were no components to make it a 4-wheel-drive," Pete said.

Then Pete headed back to the dealership.

"He stated it was a typo that it should have stated 4-door.  I could understand if it was on one sheet of paper, and if it wasn't on the Jeep or the other sheet of paper. Maybe a typo, plus, I was verbally told many times it was 4-wheel-drive," Pete said.

The dealership attempted to remedy the situation, but Pete wasn't happy with their offer.

"He stated he would buy the vehicle back for $12,000 which was payoff. Of course I told him I had more than $12,000 in it because I already made payments and I had a trade in," Pete said.

Plus, what Pete really wanted was a 4-wheel-drive vehicle. With no resolution, Pete got in touch with me. I called the general manager of Hendrick Kia of Cary and they contacted Pete soon after.

"They rolled out the red carpet when I went up there," Pete said. "They switched it out for a 4-wheel-drive for the same price."

Pete now has his 4-wheel-drive SUV and he is ready to head to the beach.

I left several messages for the general manager to see how the situation could have happened in the first place, but he didn’t get back to me.

Pete said the explanation they gave him was that there was a typo in the paperwork and that it should have said 4-door, not 4-wheel drive. They didn't explain why the emblem on the Jeep stated 4x4 Trail Rated.

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