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Results: Chrysler | Ford | General Motors | Honda | Kia | Nissan | Toyota

Calgary Dealers
March 28, 2015

In October 2014, APA mystery shoppers visited 22 new car dealerships in the Calgary market to shop for new vehicles. The APA shoppers used ads for popular vehicles from seven carmakers. Visits were recorded on W5’s cameras and monitored by a retired auto dealer. Overall, only three of 22 dealers earned a PASS rating. Price misrepresentations were higher and deceptive practices more prevalent and more sophisticated than when the APA last shopped for new vehicles in Alberta, back in 2002-2003.

Mandatory extras are much higher and more creative than APA has seen in previous dealer surveys, frequently over $1,000 in total for dubious charges like "Vehicle Protection", “Tire Security” and “Post-delivery Inspection.” Some dealers tacked on charges for overpriced or unnecessary accessories like block heaters and wheel locks. Several dealers were offering "free" trips to Las Vegas with a vehicle purchase. According to experts, the trip price of about $400 is built into the marketing cost for the vehicle. Salespeople were sometimes at a loss to explain what the additional charges were for, and what value a consumer was receiving for their money. A couple of salespeople candidly admitted the charges were extra profit to cover the dealership's overhead.

Rustproofing, paint and fabric protection charges were the highest the APA has seen, totalling $1,200 to $2,698. Misrepresentations about the manufacturer’s corrosion warranty were common. A Toyota dealer said there is "no warranty" for corrosion on their vehicles. A Nissan dealer said it's only three years (it's five years) and that Nissan "never pays." Not one of the Honda dealers mentioned that Honda Canada recommends not applying additional rust protection.

All-in pricing

In Alberta, as well as four other provinces, an all-included price is required by law in dealer advertising. Almost all the ads shopped by the APA in Calgary left out important information concerning additional charges added on at the dealerships. Nissan's advertised price for the base Rogue applies to the vehicle in only one colour, but that is not the colour of the vehicle in their ads! Every colour except black incurs a paint surcharge not mentioned in several Nissan ads of $135 or $300. Based on what sellers told the APA shoppers, modern lubricants and fuel injection systems that make cold-weather starting a sure thing do not appear to have reached Calgary new car lots. Several dealers selling the Honda, Kia and Toyota brands added mandatory charges above their advertised prices for a block heater.

Cashback could mean you pay more

The term “cashback” took on a new meaning in Calgary. The Chrysler dealers advertising a cashback were not referring to a discount on the price. Instead, the consumer would receive cash “back” by financing a loan for a larger amount than the actual price of the advertised vehicle. This loan from the consumer to him or herself triggers additional sales tax as well as interest charges, because it is treated like part of the vehicle purchase. According to one dealer, lending institutions are well aware of this practice.

Advertised vehicles not available

Vehicles featured in advertisements were frequently not available. T&T Honda said there weren’t any of the advertised CR-Vs in Alberta. Nissan dealers had the most consistently incomplete ads as they featured impossible-to-find or rare base models, usually in just one colour (black for the Rogue, blue for the Micra).

Smarter does not mean honest

Dealers visited by the APA were more rigorous about filling out paperwork that contradicted their offside verbal representations and appeared to legitimise extra charges than in previous APA surveys in Alberta. Several salespeople said they were subject to oversight by AMVIC, the dealer regulator. AMVIC's sales training promotes competence and honesty, but the APA believes it may be contributing to smarter deceptions and paperwork, instead of more honest retailing. APA supports sales training, but to truly be effective, it must be supported by enforcement of retailing standards.

Sunridge Nissan altered the sales agreement so the APA shopper no longer had the option of backing out of the deal, AFTER she had signed the contract "subject to approval." When the APA shopper asked to have the agreement changed back to include her original condition, the seller answered that it would not be possible because that would set a "legal precedent.” Later in the sales process, the business manager at Sunridge Nissan suggested the shopper finance the purchase through the dealership even though she didn’t need to. He told her she could pay the loan off in a month or two and his staff would collect the financing commission from the lender.

What you can do

Most salespeople were not familiar with the details of their dealership’s vehicle promotions. Bring a copy of the dealer or manufacturer ad for the vehicle you are looking for with you.

Read the fine print: in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba (as of July), and Quebec, a dealer ad for a new vehicle must include all charges. This is called an “all-in” price.
In Alberta, if you are faced with additional charges above the advertised price, try to obtain a print-out from the dealer and report the incident to AMVIC, the provincial dealer regulator at www.amvic.org

Use the list below to pass on or negotiate down the prices of the extras.

 

The APA’s review of dealer extras

The additional products and services sold by Calgary-area dealers carried mark-ups as high as 400 percent. The products were overpriced and several are of little or no value. In most cases, Calgary dealers visited by the APA added mandatory extra charges for these items. In Alberta, if they are mandatory, they must be included in the advertised price – that’s the essence of “All-in” pricing.

Common extra charges

Nitrogen gas in the tires: regular air is already 80 percent nitrogen. Many tire retailers will fill a tire with pure nitrogen for free or for a small charge of up to $8 a tire.

Road hazard warranty for tires: Sometimes bundled with the nitrogen and the Alberta tire levy of $20, this coverage pays part of the cost of replacing a blown tire. The coverage costs the dealer about $60 for all four tires on the small cars the APA shopped, to about $100 for an SUV. The road hazard warranty is more valuable on vehicles with large, expensive-to-replace tires.

Wheel locks: dealers frequently charged almost as much for the locks as the value of the steel wheels on the base models the APA shopped! The locks cost the dealer $50 to $60 for four and make it harder to steal alloy wheels. Wheel locks are not effective for steel wheels with a design that does not have recessed wheel nuts.

Block heater: not a requirement with modern lubricants, especially synthetic motor oils. If you value the quicker warm-up time and lower stress on the starting system and engine when cold, the cost to the dealer is $100 to $150.

Antitheft etching: dealer-applied etching often consists of hastily applied stickers that won’t deter a thief. Cost to the dealer of GLOBALi, a brand frequently offered in Calgary, is $60 to $100 per vehicle.

“Free” trip to Las Vegas for two: Cost to the dealer is about $400, which is built into the marketing budget for the vehicle.

Extended Warranty: If you want extra-cost mechanical protection on a new vehicle, the APA recommends one offered by the vehicle manufacturer. The dealer mark-up on the warranty is limited to about 30 percent by the manufacturer; it can exceed 100 percent with aftermarket plans, which is why some new car dealers push them. The automaker plan is accepted across Canada by all franchised dealers selling the brand and usually has fewer restrictions than an extended warranty offered by a third-party warranty company. The APA recommends a full coverage plan with a small or zero deductible per repair visit.

Vehicle Protection Packages:

Dealers offered several applications under this umbrella. These include:

Stain protection for the upholstery ($195-$495): most cloth seats are treated with a stain repellent at the factory. You’re duplicating the factory fabric treatment and adding a warranty. Cost to the dealer is $60.

Invisible paint shield ($495-$698): similar to car wax, it will protect the paint for a few months after the purchase. The APA has learned that because it is “invisible,” the application is frequently incomplete when the service department is busy. Cost to the dealer is about $125, for the labour to apply it and a warranty.

Undercoat ($295-$495): a tar-like substance applied to the underbody that can trap moisture. Cost to the dealer is $50 to $75.

Rustproofing ($495-$698): dealer-applied rustproofing is overpriced and of uneven quality. The APA believes you will obtain better value from an independent rustproofer. Cost to the dealer is about $125 with the warranty.

Electronic rust protection ($495 to $1,195): the technical claims made by some dealers visited by the APA about their electronic black boxes were debunked many years ago. Estimated cost to the dealer is $75 for the box alone, to $250 for the box with a warranty.

 

Updates

March 28, 2015. 22 dealerships found not compliant in AMVIC undercover investigation. AMVIC found 22 new car dealerships not following the Alberta's vehicle advertising regulations. Full Article

 

Read the report | See the results
Results: Chrysler | Ford | General Motors | Honda | Kia | Nissan | Toyota

The Results of APA's Investigation

Chrysler

Crowfoot Dodge Chrysler
20 Crowfoot Rise N.W.
Calgary, AB
T3G 3S7
403-241-0300

 

2014 Dodge Dart pass
PASS

The only dealer to match both the advertised price and $39 weekly payment in their ad. Tricky ad copy asks if you want a new car fast, but fails to mention that the Dart has an in-service date four months earlier. A same-day purchase would qualify the buyer for a free trip to Las Vegas for a 2 night stay, expiring in 2017.

 

Eastside Dodge
815 36th Street N.E.
Calgary, AB
T2A 4W3
403-273-4313

 

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan CVP fail
FAIL

Dealer advertised Grand Caravans in stock for $20,998. The fine print reads "Advertised prices include all fees but not taxes". The dealer quoted additional charges on top of the advertised price of $549 and an additional $890 for a pre-delivery inspection; these charges are in addition to $1,890 for Transport and Preparation.

 

Renfrew Chrysler Dodge
1920 Pumphouse Rd. S.W.
Calgary, AB
T3C 3N4
1-888-620-0855
1-888-433-7090

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan CVP fail
FAIL

The APA shoppers inquired about the advertised “up to $10,000 cashback”. The seller says that the banks can finance up to the original retail price before markdowns and price reductions. However this is not a conventional cashback offer, as the buyer is financing this "gift" to themself and will be paying sales tax on the cash loan amount. The shoppers would be financing the cashback by declaring an inflated value for the vehicle. “The banks know that." (This is a corruption of the term “cashback” which usually means a discount on the cash price of the vehicle from the automaker.) The APA shopper requests more details on the price increase over the ad amount. Salesman: “This price still has to have GST and then $798 finance back end, the AMVIC fee and tire tax.” There is also a documentation charge of $698 added to the advertised price. The seller says that if the shoppers go to Airdrie, the extra fees are included in the price of the vehicle. “With us, you know exactly what you’re paying." (A novel statement: the seller appears to be saying that extra fees charged above the advertised price are superior to all-in pricing.) The advertised trip for two to Las Vegas is for three days and two nights within the next two years for anyone who buys a vehicle.

 

Varsity Chrysler Dodge
665 Goddard Avenue N.E
Calgary, AB
T2K 6K1
403-730-4000

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan CVP fail
FAIL

Advertised ALL OUT CLEAROUT EVENT for a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan at $20,998 - Fine print: All payments include taxes and fees except GST. SelIer states "It's a promotion from Chrysler Canada, that’s why it’s $20,998 plus taxes and fees.” There is a $545 documentation fee, AMVIC fee of $6.25 and $20 tire levy (all charged in addition to the advertised price).The seller says warranty coverage is bumper-to-bumper for 3/60 and 5 years/100 000 km on the power train. There is “no warranty for rust,” only a warranty for paint of 5 years/100,000 km. (Incorrect, Chrysler offers five years on rust-through and three years on paint.)

 

 

 

Ford 

Cam Clarke Ford
1001 Highland Park Blvd. N.E.
Airdrie, AB
T4A 0R2
1-866-490-8175

 

2014 Escape SE 4WD fail
FAIL

Ad states "You pay $ 28,391 or lease for $329/mth for 48 mths at 0%." Fine print: all rebates incl. Costco and winter tire rebates to dealer-GST extra. It appears that the all-inclusive price does not apply to a cash buyer. The APA shopper who is not a Costco member will have to pay $29, 391 + $725 admin fee + taxes.

 

Maclin Ford
135 Glendeer Circle SE
Calgary, AB
T2H 2S8
403-252-0101

 

2014 Ford F150 Super Crew XLT fail
FAIL

Online dealer ad: "Own only for $32,085. Plus eligible Costco members receive an additional $1000 on most new Ford vehicles." Ad has a disclaimer: "Wise buyers read the legal copy." Salesperson was knowledgeble. Shoppers were given a breakdown of the price and fees: The advertised monthly payment of $299 and $2575 down payment did not include taxes and an administration fee of about $700.

 

Woodridge Ford
11580 24th Street S.E.
Calgary, AB
T2Z 3K1
403-253-2211

 

2014 F150 FX4 Crew Cab 4X4 fail
FAIL

Ad promises "Over 420 in stock now, from base to fully loaded...Woodridge has your truck." Just one example of the advertised FX4 pickup like the ad, and the seller needed more than half an hour to find it -- the truck was orange. Fine print reads "all offers include taxes and fees but exclude GST. The Woodridge plan $0 down at signing plus $2250 annual contributions starting October 2015." Tricky promotion requires three customer downpayments totalling $6,750 after signing, that must be calculated from the fine print in the ad. The salesman says, “I imagine you don’t know how $399 works... how this works, this is what we call our Flex Plan. To achieve this price for the first year, Ford pays $2,250 the first year. Each year after the first year there is an annual contribution. You inject another $2,251 in order to get $399. If you don’t, the payment goes up to $587 tax-in." The advertised price and payment include the $1,000 discount for Costco members which the APA shoppres don't qualify for. “With Costco out, the price is $451 taxes-included.” Disclosure hard to obtain.

 

 

 

General Motors

CMP Chevrolet Buick GMC
1313 36 Street N.E.
Calgary, AB
T2A 6P9
403-207-1061

2014 TRAX 2WD LS fail
FAIL

ROCKTOBER blowout. TRAX 2WD LS 38 to choose from $51 wk-0% for 84 months. MSRP $20,395 YOURS ONLY: $19,000 You save $1395 -$500 student bonus. Fine print says:" Prices do not include GST....Sale prices include GMC loyalty bonus, truck bucks discount. Offer applies to the owner of any car in Canada." The advertised Trax is a base model with a manual transmission and no air conditioning.
Extra fees not in ad, misleading student discount offer in ad, promised price reduction from MSRP has conditions not clearly specified in the ad. Weekly payment of $58 with taxes works out to more to more than $1,200 above the advertised payment over the term of the loan.
The seller has some difficulty locating a vehicle equipped exactly as in the ad, and getting the numbers is a painstaking, arduous process.The price includes $875 in fees which are not included in the advertised payment of $51 a week. The $1,395 discount from MSRP advertised in the Sun already includes a $500 student discount, although the ad appears to say the student discount is an additional bonus. The GM loyalty bonus is mentioned in the fine print, but its value is not. To qualify for all the savings in the ad, you would need to be a recent graduate currently driving a qualifying vehicle.

 

Shaw GMC Chevrolet Buick
4620 Blackfoot Tail S.E.
Calgary, AB
T2G 4G2
403-243-4200

2014 Sierra 1500 4X4 4DR Double Cab fail
FAIL

Cash price $27, 998 or $169 B/W for 96 months at 3.99 %. Extra fees of $848 not in the advertised price, but they appear to be included in the advertised payment.The seller is familiar with the promotion and knows the truck offered for sale.The salesman has very good product knowledge and answers all of the APA shopper’s questions accurately, sometimes offering more information than requested to complete an answer. The seller carefully quizzes the shopper to determine his eligibility for potential GM rebates. “What are you driving? Do you have a Pontiac? Have you graduated from a course? (nice touch) It turns out the dealership’s advertised price is only for owners of General Motors pickup trucks, who qualify for a higher GM rebate. This is mentioned cryptically in the fine print of the ad- "Visit Loyalty.SHAWGMC.com for eligibility." The seller explains that bi-weekly is more than twice a month, “Basically it’s two more payments a year.” (nice touch).The corrosion warranty covers rust perforation coming from the inside (good info).

 

Shagannappi GM
4720 Crowchild & Shagan-
napi Trails N.W.
Calgary, AB
T3A 2N2
403-536-3226
403-288-0444

2014 Chevrolet TRAX AWD pass
PASS

The dealership has five vehicles that correspond to the Trax advertised in that day’s newspaper in a selection of colours conviently displayed right next to the showroom. Ad reads MSRP $28,140-sale price $25,680 and financing for 0% for 84 months-includes loyalty discount of $750. $152 bw/84 months payment. Fine print reads all pricing payments include fees, GST extra. Ad omits important information regarding the 10 year warranty: The seller says the power train is guaranteed by the dealership against failure on condition that all service is performed according to schedule at the dealership (the ad doesn’t say that.) The advertised price is with fees included and with deductions already made for GM vehicle owners; the bonus is also available to shoppers who own a competitive make vehicle. If the shoppers drive a Pontiac, the bonus is doubled. The dealership can do the deal on the terms in the ad with no extra charges.

 

 

 

Honda

Calgary Honda
11700 Lake Fraser Drive S.E.
Calgary, AB
T2J 7J5
403-253-6531

 

2014 Honda Civic LX CVT & 5MT fail
FAIL

Online dealer ad: The Civic LX was advertised at $19,990 MSRP with freight & preparation included. The ad did not specify it was a manual tranmission car. Seller knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the product. No pressure to close, provided printed information readily. The seller made several misleading representations about the dealership's charges:
a) There’s two fees to the government, A/C tax and the tire levy (both are supposed to be included in the advertised price, not added to it).
b) Freight and PDI are the pre-delivery mechanical inspection, “required by law”. (Not true for a new vehicle)
c) “There’s two things Honda requires us to provide… It’s not an option with a Honda. We live in extreme environments. Block heater, mud flaps, locking wheel nuts.” The APA shopper points out that the Civic has inexpensive steel wheels that don't require locks. The seller says “We can take off the LWNs (Locking Wheel Nuts).” (Later) “A block heater is required by Honda. We’re in an extreme weather area… in order to protect your warranty, from Honda’s standpoint. (Honda does not require a block heater to maintain the warranty.)
d) Security and Documentation “We put invisible security etching on the car… a couple of spots on the frame. 5 yrs supplementary theft insurance. The program pays $5,000 above your insurance,” in the event of a write-off... These two things, etching & doc fees together are $499."
f) “The PPSA fee is new… introduced 4-5 months ago, a new thing. The banks have been charging, and Honda is no longer absorbing it." (possible correct information)

 

Honda West
55 Glenbrook Place S.W.
Calgary, AB
T3E 6W4
403-226-0221

2014 CRV LX 2WD pass
PASS

Online ad for The Deal Hunter Event featuring a CR-V LX 2WD, price reduced from $27,685 - $3,000 rebate = $24,685.The seller performs a competent demonstration of the CR-V covering various features. There is no upsell, “If you don’t need the bells and whistles, the LX is for you. We have one or two in stock (this is the advertised deal that the APA was unable to obtain anywhere else). The salesperson says “I may be able to give you a better deal” than the advertised price. (This was the ONLY dealer in 22 visits to offer a vehicle below the price in their ad.) He provided the following $27,685 retail, $401.47 block heater, $498 Security Package which includes a tire and rim road hazard warranty, security etching and warranty, 7-day vehicle exchange and loyalty rewards package. When the APA shoppers question the extra fees, the seller goes to see his manager to have them waived and obtains a further reduction on the ad price. Regarding the corrosion warranty, the salesperson correctly says Honda offers 5 years for structural corrosion of the underbody. There is no attempt to upsell additional dealer rustproofing.The seller reviews the 7-day exchange policy with the shoppers: a full credit is offered against the purchase of another in-stock vehicle if the shoppers don’t like their purchase. There is a limit of 500 km. They had one or two such exchanges in the last couple of years. There is no pressure to close a deal.

 

T&T Honda
888 Meridian Road N.E.
Calgary, AB
T2A 2N8
403-291-1444

2014 CR-V EX 2WD and Honda Civic DX 5MT fail
FAIL

The advertised vehicle, a base model Civic DX at $39 weekly on a $0 down lease for 60 months, is available."My price will be $49. I included all the taxes." (The price jump of $10 a week works out to $2,600 over the life of the lease, not justified and not explained by the addition of 5% GST to the payment.) The ad fails to mention exclusions applicable to the “free” gas card, and neither the seller nor manager appeared to know the promotion.
The advertised CR-V is not available. Seller: “There’s two of them I found. It will be a real hassle to get it for you.” Later, he says: “The LX is not available, there are none in Calgary, not even in Alberta. There are two of them – we found one in Toronto." It will cost more to bring it in. There are extra fees not in the ad of $425.25: “The fee is always there… on any vehicle you will buy.” The $425.25 fee includes:
$100 air tax
$20 Alberta government tire levy
$6.25 AMVIC
$299 Etching, which is “optional but highly recommended”
The seller also states there is a "Post-delivery inspection fee." Confusing information on corrosion coverage: “You can buy that. Honda doesn’t offer a rust warranty.” The seller also says: “It depends on how the rust and corrosion… Otherwise rust and corrosion, the finance office will give you the details” (an evasion, this is opening the door to an upsell) “From Honda, 5 years/140,000 km”. (Honda states that “Application of additional corrosion inhibiting materials is unnecessary and not recommended by Honda.” – p. 14 of the Honda Warranty Guide).The APA shoppers challenge the charge for the block heater not in the ad. The manager responds, “I cannot take it out. The price of the block heater is $225.” The advertised free oil changes are from T & T, not Honda, and conditional on performing all scheduled maintenance at the dealer, which is not mentioned in the ad.

 

Village Honda
7663 110th Avenue N.W.
Calgary, AB
T3R 1R8
403-239-3900

2014 CR-V LX  fail
FAIL

Seller offered a 2014 CR-V LX registered as sold four months earlier. Seller correctly said that the Honda warranty began at the registration date. Extra fees of $499 admin & etching not in the ad. Seller says admin and etching is included "to prevent theft.” (etching perhaps, but certainly not the admin component). An oil and filter change for life are offered by Village Honda. To benefit from the free oil changes, “you have to follow the schedule, not just come in for oil changes. Village Honda gives it, providing you do your service with us... Etching is compulsory; it’s part of a whole package.” A block heater is “included in the quote. We put it in just in case you need it.” He correctly presents the corrosion warranty as 5 years/unlimited, and there is no attempt to upsell additional rust protection.

 

 

 

Kia

Eastside Kia
2256 23rd Street N.E.
Calgary, AB
2TE 8N3
1-877-575-6418

2015 Rio LX & 2015 Forte LX fail
FAIL

The ad for the Rio states "Own it for $39 weekly or choose great cash offers." The Forte carries a very low advertised cash purchase price of $12, 999. The fine print reads “All prices include delivery and destination up to $1,665. Other fees and certain levies including tire levy and $100 A.C. where applicable. Excludes licence, registration and insurance, other taxes and variable dealer admin. fees up to $699. Other dealer charges may be required.” (The fine print opens the door to extra charges with no restrictions.)
Although versions of the ad have been running for days in the local papers, the seller says “We haven’t seen this ad before. This rebate just came out.” The manager, is not familiar with the ad either. Every car sold by this dealership commes with a Value Added Package costing $1,495. The APA shoppers challenged this hefty extra charge not indicated in the advertised prices for the Rio and Forte. The seller says “We can negotiate on the price a little bit. It’s already on the car.” The seller is accurate regarding the warranty, answering 5 years comprehensive, and “It comes with rustproofing from the factory."

 

Kia City
100 Glendeer Circle S.E.
Calgary, AB
T2H 2V4
403-243-9997

2015 Rio LX & 2015 Forte LX fail
FAIL

The ad for the Rio states "Own it for $39 weekly or choose great cash offers." The Forte carries a very low cash purchase price of $12, 999. The fine print reads “All prices include delivery and destination up to $1,665. Other fees and certain levies including tire levy and $100 AC. where applicable. Excludes licence, registration and insurance, other taxes and variable dealer admin. fees up to $699. Other dealer charges may be required.” (The fine print opens the door to extra charges with no restrictions; prices are not “all-in” with this disclaimer.) The salesman says the dealership has one base Rio like the ad, and that they sell quickly. Additional charges include $399 DOC fees and $499 Security Group (The $898 total is higher than the $699 extra charges in the Kia ad, but presumably lower than “other dealer charges may be required”, which could be any amount.) The dealership includes the $499 Security Group charge in all quotations, but the salesperson says it can be deleted if the shoppers don’t want it. Very knowledgeable seller, whose manager says, "Why are you asking me? You know better than I do!" The salesman correctly points out that with small cars like the Rio, the price discount for a cash buyer is often cheaper than 84 month financing, even with zero percent financing. “I’d rather show you some good cash deals than payments” (nice touch). There was no pressure to buy, and the seller did not request personal information.The larger Forte advertised at $12,999 also incurs the extra charge of $898 for the DOC fees and Security Group, not in the ad price.The Security Group includes a block heater, wheel locks (not necessary with the steel wheels on the LX) and a one year glass breakage warranty.

 

 

 

Nissan

Royal Oak Nissan
7690 110 Ave. N.W.
Calgary, AB
T3R 1R8
403-241-1040

2015 Micra & 2014 Sentra fail
FAIL

Ad "Introducing the all new 2015 Nissan Micra (NIOW IN STOCK) starting at $ 9998 +$1400 destination = $11, 398. & 2014 Nissan Sentra selling at $16,588." The Micra in the ad is not in stock, but the dealer can order it. The better-equipped Micra shown the shoppers costs $3,500 more. The advertised Sentra S was not available -- it had been sold. The price quoted for a better equipped Sentra SV was $17,288 + air tax $100, nitrogen charge and $525 dealer admin. Charges not mentioned in the ad.

 

Sunridge Nissan
3131 32nd Avenue N.E.
Calgary, AB
T1Y 6J1
403-291-2626

2014 Rogue SV & 2014 Rogue S AWD fail
FAIL

The ad price of $25,268 applies only to a Rogue in black. Every other colour carries a paint surcharge. The seller provides the following information on additional charges not in the advertised price for the Rogue:
$145 includes paint/wheel locks and nitro
$300 Service Contract discounted (this is a contribution to dealer overhead for service the customer is paying on behalf of the dealer -- the only dealer in Calgary to apply such a charge)
$425.25 which includes the $ 20 tire levy $6.25 AMVIC charge and security etching & AC charge, and a $399 administration fee.
The total extra charges are among the highest observed. Dealer alters the vehicle sales order after shopper signs it, to make it binding on the buyer. Dealer recommends the APA shopper collude with them to get the lender to pay the dealer their commission for writing up a loan the shopper doesn't need (recommends the shopper finance the purchase and pay it off within a couple of months). Misleading information on Nissan’s factory rustproofing; the dealer says it’s for three years and Nissan “never pays.” when a vehicle rusts through. Dealer attempts to upsell an expensive suite of paint, fabric and rust protection products.

 

Stadium Nissan
2420 Crowchild Trail N.W.
Calgary, AB
T2M 4N5
1-888-495-0189

2014 Rogue SV 2WD CVT fail
FAIL

Advertised vehicle not available. Ad price applies to the Rogue only in black; all other colours incur a paint surcharge. Availability of the advertised 2014 model is very limited. “You can’t get one.” There are no 2014 SL’s with front-wheel-drive. The seller substituted a more expensive vehicle in inventory and there were additional charges not in the ad price.
“All colours have an extra charge except black.”The shoppers attempted to obtain an itemized price several times. Finally, the salesperson provided the price for the advertised front-wheel-drive Rogue SV with the following extra charges:
$ 300 paint (all colours except black, not mentioned in the ad which features a red Rogue).
$ 589.25 dealer charge (not in ad)

 

 

 

Toyota

Country Hills Toyota
20 Freeport Landing N.E
Calgary, AB
T3J 5H6
403-290-1111

2014 RAV 4 LE 2WD & 2015 RAV 4 AWD fail
FAIL

2014 RAV4 (no price listed), for $99 semi-month at 0.9% with $3,999 down payment. Dealer ad promoting a 10-10-10 sale featuring:
• 10 year oil & filer program
• 10 months deferred payments
• 10 cents savings on every dollar OR
• scratch and win up to $2,000
• OR win up to 10 m months free gas Ad fails to mention that the 10th anniversary offers cannot be combined and some are not available with the advertised vehicle.
The seller quickly tells the shoppers the advertised RAV4 is a two-wheel-drive model and it's their last one in the promotion. The price of the RAV4 is $26,380.56. “The only thing I have to check is if there are any accessories on it. – a roof rack, wheels; it might cost a bit more... This is your down payment with air tax, tire tax and the AMVIC fee. It’s a lease through Toyota. All vehicles in Alberta get a block heater. It’s mandatory (a misrepresentation), a charge of $120 included in the price.”
The dealership is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Regarding the 10-10-10 promotion in the ad, the seller says its either/or. The ad reads as if the offers can be combined. On the RAV4, they are offering free oil changes for 10 years, conditional on performing all scheduled maintenance on time at Country Hills Toyota or South Pointe Toyota (the ad does not specify that “free” oil changes carry this requirement).
The advertised 10 month payment deferral and 10 cent savings on every dollar are not offered on the RAV4. The advertised promotion regarding a $100 gas card appears to promise $100 of free gas per month for 10 months -- it doesn't apply.The Toyota warranty is 3/60 comprehensive and 5/100 on the power train. Regarding the body: “There is no guarantee without (dealer applied) rustproofing. I haven’t seen that many rusted Toyotas.” If they buyers want rust protection the business office offers a protection package “in the $2,000 range”, including a rust module, which is an electronic device installed in the engine bay. (Misrepresentations, as Toyota offers 5 years for corrosion perforation. Beginning of an upsell here.) The shoppers inquire about "other fees" of $140 or $130 not in the ad. “That might just be the DOC fee. All these prices are included.” Personable, low-pressure salesperson. No pressure to close – told shoppers to call back anytime to confirm if the vehicle is available if they’re interested.

 

South Pointe Toyota
7000 11500-35 Street SE
Calgary, AB
T2Z 3W4
403-567-8888

2014 RAV 4 XLE & 2014 Tundra SR 2WD Double Cab fail
FAIL

Dealer ad reads "Public Notice", as if a liquidator were running a sale. High extra fees not in the advertised price for the Tundra: AMVIC $6.25, Security registration $695, $120 a/c & tire tax and $495 admin. A block heater at $415 is included in the advertised price. Expensive "Supreme" vehicle protection package costing $1,998 includes paint protection, sound shield, fabric/leather protection, and rust inhibitor. The "Executive" protection package costing $2,698 includes an electronic module priced at $1,095 that was not recommended by the sales manager.

 

Stampede Toyota
2508 24th Avenue N.E.
Calgary, AB
T1Y 6R8
403-291-2111

2014 RAV 4 LE AWD fail
FAIL

The bold print in the ad has relatively complete information. The dealer has a red RAV4 that corresponds to the ad. The seller has good knowledge of the RAV4, but is not familiar with the four-month payment holiday in the ad. The seller mentions a lease acquisition price that is higher than the fine print in the ad.The cash price seems equal to the ad. There is a documentation charge of $688: “Half the money goes to the Motor Vehicle Dealer Association, MDA, and also GST.” according to the seller (the only dealer to make this misrepresentation.)

 

 

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