Car Dealer Arbitration Agreement

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sport
Posts: 11258
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Car Dealer Arbitration Agreement

Post by sport »

The last time I bought a new car, the sales agreement included an arbitration clause. It stated that if I ever had a claim against the dealer, it would go to arbitration rather than me suing them. It seemed that there was no advantage for me to agree to this, so I refused. That caused some turmoil and they brought in some higher level managers to discuss it. They finally relented and I crossed out that passage in the contract. I expect the next time I buy a car to encounter the same situation.
Does anyone else object to this arbitration clause? If so, what did you do about it? Should I be concerned about such a clause?
With the shortage of cars, I am afraid that such a refusal would cause them to not sell me a car, even after we agreed on a price.
Would this be likely to occur?
Random Poster
Posts: 2762
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:17 am

Re: Car Dealer Arbitration Agreement

Post by Random Poster »

What kind of claims would you envision having against the dealer? And does the arbitration clause have any exclusions or carve-outs for items/issues that it doesn’t apply (or, for that matter, does your state have preemptions that invalidate such a provision?)

And does the clause apply to your assignees? (I suspect not, so what would keep you from assigning your claim, or the car, to a relative and letting them sue the dealer directly?)

Of course, I suppose that you could always sign such an agreement as-is, and then sue them anyway, whether outright or by including something that the arbitration clause doesn’t apply to. Contracts get broken all the time; why certain clauses within them are somehow seen as inviolate makes no sense to me.
Most experiences are better imagined.
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