South Carolina resident William Clark's standoff with a dealership he accused of abusing his 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS while in for service has ended in a settlement, with Clark and the dealership saying the Camaro was bought back and that the profits will be donated to charity. But judging by the feedback he received -- and we as well -- Clark's story hit a nerve.
Best Chevrolet of Easley, S.C., says in a statement to Motoramic that the Camaro will be auctioned for the March of Dimes. For his part, Clark says the dealership bought the Camaro back at more than Blue Book value -- with Clark saying his proceeds will also be donated to charity.
But Best Chevrolet also offers a defense of sorts to Clark's secret recording, which an attorney for the dealership had called "misleadlingly edited" and pushed to have taken down. While Clark captured tire-squealing driving by the technicians at Best Chevrolet and their discussion of making him pay for a new clutch, the dealership contends Clark drove the Camaro just as hard once it was in his possession.
"A car of that style needs to be driven hard to test for the problem he stated. It is a high performance car and is not likely to be damaged in such a way," the dealership said in a statement. "In his own words, his vehicle already had been damaged at another location."
Indeed, Clark did say another dealership had damaged the Camaro at some point -- which is why he hid an audio recorder in the door pocket. After getting into a standoff with the dealership that nearly escalated to a lawsuit, Clark says the dealer's buyback offer was generous, and he has taken the audio off YouTube.
Judging by the nearly 4,000 comments on our story and emails to Motoramic, Clark isn't alone. Untangling mechanical problems with a car can be a fraught process for both sides; one look at the Reddit thread of "Just rolled into the shop" provides a glimpse of how some owners abuse and neglect their vehicles for years. The tough economy has made people more likely to hold onto their old clunkers, leading to more fights at the service desk over what's urgent versus what's affordable.
Instead of secretly recording every person who touches your car, we'd suggest doing some extensive vetting before taking your ride into a shop; many sites offer reviews of dealerships and independent mechanics, not to mention the Better Business Bureau. It's better than spinning your wheels after the fact.