Couple says NJ car dealership cut them a bad deal

HAWTHORNE, N.J. — Eric and Marge Zymet were in the market for a used car when the saw an ad for a 2013 Nissan Murano SL for $16,487 at Hawthorne Nissan in New Jersey.

They went to the dealer, test drove the car and loved it.

They negotiated a price of $16,00 and, even better, were told it was a certified used car, meaning it had passed a thorough inspection. On the contract they signed, it said CERT, for certified.

A week later they were told to pick up the car, but when they arrived they said the deal was off.

Marge Zymet says she believes "the dealership at the last minute realized the car was underpriced and didn’t want to let the car go for what we had a contract for."

The Zymets contacted What a Shame at PIX11 and we went with them to Hawthorne Nissan, which has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.

I spoke with General Manager Gary Cohen.

"You sold then a car with a contract and then refused to sell the car and I wanted to find out what’s going on?" I asked him.

"I didn’t sell the car. I took over the dealership. The deal was not consummated. We refunded the deposit," Cohen said.

Cohen said the car was not fit to be sold, but Eric Zymet said, "You told me the car was certified. You told me to come down and pick it up."

"I never told you that," Cohen replied.

Cohen said he didn’t know about the contract that said CERT on it, but insisted he couldn’t legally sell the car because it didn’t pass inspection.

But when the Zymets arrived home, they went back online and found Hawthorne Nissan was advertising the same car, but the price had gone up to $22, 377, almost $6,000 more than the original ad.

"You raised the price on the car after you refused to sell it to them," I said to Cohen.

He responded: "I can do whatever I want with the price of the car."

"You guys just wanted to make more money on that car. Isn’t that the bottom line?" I asked.

"Not at all," he said.

Cohen said the car was no longer on the premises because he had to wholesale the car because it wasn’t fit to be sold. But the Zymets showed me the car on the lot across the street.

What a Shame!

If you have a story for me, email WhatAShame@PIX11.com or contact me on Facebook or Twitter.