The Crooked Chevrolet Dealer Story
A true story about a crooked Chevrolet Dealer and a crooked Insurance Company
Written in 1995 and rewritten 10/02/2015 unedited
In 1984, I had purchased a new Corvette, It was a Silver car with a silver interior, and it had special four speed overdrive manual transmission in it.
Around 1988, the transmission went bad and as the car was out of warranty I had decided to rebuild
the transmission myself. I had a local gas station remove the transmission, and I rolled the car across the street from the gas station and into the yard of a storage building that I owned. The yard had a six foot concrete wall and a tall locked gate. On top of the concrete wall was razor sharp concertina wire running the whole length of the wall and also on the top of the locked gate.
I thought the car would be safe there for a few days while I worked on the transmission. However when I went to get the car, I found that someone had broken into the yard and they had smashed the front windshield, they had reached in and opened the Corvette’s door. Then using a big screwdriver or tire iron they had attempted to take the cars dashboard apart, especially trying to remove the cars Bose radio.
It was a heartbreaking scene with all the broken glass and the damage to the dash board in their attempt to take the radio out.
The car was fully insured, so I called the insurance company to report the incident. They said they would have an insurance adjuster stop by. They also told me to have the windshield fixed so there would not be any possible water damage should it rain. We pushed the car inside the building and I called a glass company. The glass company came and vacuumed out all the glass and replaced the windshield.
Once the car had no glass on the seats I had time to sit down and survey all the damage. While they had attempted to remove the radio, I noticed that they had scratched a piece of plastic on it.
As promised the insurance adjuster came by and wrote up the damage. He then spoke enough English to instruct me to bring the car to a specific Chevrolet dealer. I won’t mention their name because they are still in business in Miami. I did exactly as I was instructed.
After two weeks the Chevrolet dealer called to say the car was ready to be picked up. I went there, sat in the car and it appeared they had replaced the all the plastic parts on the dashboard, and everything looked excellent but I noticed the small scratch was still in the Bose radio. So I assumed that they had not replaced the radio.
When I got back to my office, I looked at the Chevrolet dealers invoice to the insurance company. Among the many items it said one new Bose radio $1300.00.
Well in 1988, $1300.00 was a lot of money, so it kind of bothered me that the Chevrolet agency was lying. So I called my insurance agency and I told them the Chevrolet dealer was lying, and they hadn’t replaced the Bose radio. She said that wasn’t possible because their representative had approved it, he said it was new, so as far as the insurance company was concerned it was new, and they would pay the $1300.00. I suggested to her that possibly the insurance adjuster was in collusion with the Chevrolet dealer. She said no, her company had total confidence in him, so I could see I was getting nowhere.
I called the Chevrolet dealer and asked for the Service Manager, and I left a short message regarding the radio having not being replaced. He returned my call the next day and said he had checked with his service people and they had indeed replaced the Bose radio with a new one, it was an obvious lie, so I asked the service manager where the old radio was. He said it went out with the trash, and I replied that no one ever put a Bose Corvette radio in the trash.
I was getting pretty upset with how bold the Chevrolet people were at lying.
It just happened that my next call was to my real estate attorney Roy Lustig, and in the course of conversation I told him about how the Chevrolet agency was charging the insurance company for a new Bose radio. Roy being a Corvette aficionado himself, said that the problem could easily be resolved as all Corvette parts have a serial number. All I had to do was find what the serial number was on the original radio and verify that the one in the car was either the same or different.
His idea was a good one, but I didn’t want the expense of removing the radio to prove the serial number was the original. I was just mad that the Chevrolet agency and the adjuster were in collusion and screwing the insurance company, who didn’t seem to mind at all.
But I had to give it one more try, and I called and spoke to a senior manager at the Chevrolet agency, I told him I had checked the Serial numbers and the radio had never been changed, and that’s how I found out why he was a senior manager, because he was the biggest liar of all.
He called me back and said, “Yes you are right, the original radio had been sent out for repairs and reinstalled. He said that the $1300.00 charge to the insurance company was a typographical error and it would be changed immediately, I think the insurance company is still waiting for the correction to appear, but it’s only been 27 years.