Can a dealership ask for money after delivery?

I bought a truck 3 weeks ago. I asked for the window trims to be replaced with black ones as they were chrome. The salesman got a
price but then said he could get a mechanic at the dealership to do it for a case of beer. I went to pick up the truck when it was ready
and he asked if the finance department said anything about the trims. They hadn’t. He then said good and not to worry about it. Now,
two weeks later, he sent me a text saying the finance department is saying I owe 697 for the trims. Do I have to pay this?

Asked on April 7, 2016 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If an authorized representative--the salesman--said that you did not have to pay for them, the dealership cannot charge you after the fact. That's the law. Practically, if he is prepared to lie (such as to save his job) and you have nothing in writing (even text messages) about the arrangment, it may be hard to prove that a dealership gave you almost $700 of trim for free, because that goes against common experience with dealerships (they charge for everything). If they sue you for the money, they could win, if the salesman lies and is a believeable witness, and you have nothing but your own testimony to rely on.

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