Chevy Dealer has Man Arrested After Mistakenly Offering Him a Really Good Deal…


We all know what happens if an auto dealer manages to talk you into a bad sale, but what's the scenario when a customer walks out of a showroom with a truly good deal?

Well, it depends, but in the case of Danny Sawyer, the 40-year-old man was arrested and placed in jail for four hours before being released on bond!

Sawyer's strange story begins when he traded his 2008 Saturn Vue for a black 2012 Chevrolet Traverse on May 7 at Priority Chevrolet of Chesapeake, Va. The next day, however, he changed his mind and returned to the dealership to exchange the black Traverse for a blue-colored example of the same car.

The dealer didn't have an issue with the request and sales manager Wib Davenport agreed to cancel the sale on the black model and make a new transaction for a blue Traverse.

Sawyer left the dealership happy and took the car home before he set off for a cruise. Upon arriving back from vacations on May 15, he found numerous letters, messages and voice mails from the dealer's staff.

When he called back, Davenport informed him the dealer's staff had made a mistake and that the blue Traverse was actually worth some $5,000 more than the $33,957.55 black crossover he had previously exchanged .

Sawyer claims that the sales manager told him to come back to the dealership to sign a new and costlier contract that reflects the regular price of the vehicle, something that he declined to do saying that he had already paid the car's price in full.

The owner said he continued to receive calls from the dealership for several weeks until the police showed up at his house on June 15 and arrested him after the dealer had filed a police report alleging that the SUV had been stolen!

Now, even though the charges were dropped, Sawyer has filled a $2.2 million lawsuit against the dealer (plus legal fees), alleging, among other things, malicious prosecution defamation, abuse of process, negligence and fraud.

Priority Chevrolet President Dennis Ellmer eventually admitted that his company was wrong. “I owe Mr. Sawyer a big apology,” Ellmer told the Virginian-Pilot. “It is my plan to let him keep the $5,600 and to make Mr. Sawyer right. I can’t tell you how I plan to fix it, but it is my intention to make it right.”

However, an apology is not sufficient for Rebecca Colaw, Sawyer's attorney, who said that while she appreciates Ellmer's response, he will have to do more than that…

Story References: Time & ABC News




AstonMartin said... »October 09, 2012

$10 Million is more like it.  That Chevy dealer is so going to lose this case.  The victim should build a bigger garage now in prepartion as he'll never again have to choose the color of a vehicle because he'll be able to buy any and all of them. 

Spamism said... »October 09, 2012

He should only get what he is entitled to from the damages incurred from his arrest.

$2.2 sounds more like a get rich quick scheme, which is not what a lawsuit should be; a ticket to living the high life.

Herd said... »October 09, 2012

Just another sue happy weasel rolling the dice for early retirement. Go USA.

Lumpy said... »October 09, 2012

I think 2.2 mil is a high, but this Dealer needs to be made example.   Malicious prosecution defamation, abuse of process, negligence and fraud, are serious offenses that should make all customers there weary.  I bet  a few hundred thousand and nondisclosure and of course the free truck.

Florin Nicoara said... »October 09, 2012

I'm 99% sure the dealer did this on purpose.  I worked for a car dealer for a while and I've seen every trick in the book, and also something similar happened to my dad when he bought a new car.  From my experience there is no such thing as a HONEST car lot, new or used.  Everyone at the dealership I worked at was an alcoholic or drug addict and half of them had criminal records.  The top earners were straight up con men who jumped dealerships every six months.  Car sales is one of the most despicable industries in the world and I'm glad this dealer is getting sued and I hope they get burned. 

wookiee said... »October 09, 2012

while I'm not interested in outrageous lawsuits for "damages" etc..., only Sawyer knows what impact this had on him.  imagine being arrested in front of your children (and the neighbours) and spending who-knows how long in jail (hopefully Bubba is gentle) just because the dealer sold you the wrong car...

he might have even been fired because of it.

Evolix said... »October 09, 2012

 What are you talking about, that dealership should be slapped with a hefty law suit. Bunch of scum bag sobs, if you ask me 2.2 million is getting off light. The fact is they shouldn't be allowed to sell anything and be put out of business. Every time Sawyer applies for a job if the application asks if he has ever been arrested he will have to reply yes.

Louis Phillips said... »October 09, 2012

This seems to be a problem with chevy dealers ive noticed. the dealership was in the wrong this harrassed the guy, publicly humilated him and his family when he was arrested, possible could have cost him his job do to being arrested, and the fact that he had to lose days of his free life to be sitting in jail for their mistake. so I feel 2.2million is a decent amont. 10 million is a lil much i agree but i think anywhere from 2.5-5.0 million would be better. It's not tlike this will go off his record. regardeless of whaty happened he is now listed as an auto theft. this is why i think he deserves at lease 2.5million at minimum.....and that's after GM pays his layer(s) also. I had a problem with my chevy dearler in 2010 with the new camaro.guy at dealership said they werent letting anyone test drive the camaros. it was bullshit since someone just drove up from test driving one. he was clearly judging me for being 22 at thre time and wanting to take a V6 6-speed manual out for a test run. being mad i pulled out $4000 cash that was going to be my down payment and his eyes light up and before he could anything i looked him dead in the eyes and told him he just fucked up and he can shove the camaro up his ass then turned and left. he called me for weeks b4 finally giving up on me not answering him. needless to say i havent been back since. i've bought an 03 ford ranger with the money that would have been down payment and also just resently bought a 2012 Ford Focus. guess he did fuck up cause that could have been 2 cars that i could have purchased that could have been chevy instead of ford.

CaliDesigner said... »October 09, 2012

Most applications only ask if you have been convicted, not arrested, so that shouldn't be a problem. I believe he is right in suing the pants off that dealer, because they probably routinely do shady business practices and need to be taught a lesson and put up as an example. All of those dealers refusing ebay auction wins need to take notes.

NE1BUTU said... »October 09, 2012

So is this the scenario...

Buy a car by giving a dealer what he asks for for a vehicle, tens of thousands of dollars. Get it tagged and insured. Get handed the keys and drive it home uneventfully. Then get harassed for weeks by the dealer who demands you give them more money when the transaction was already completed by both parties. Then a cop car pulls into your neighborhood, up to your house, arrests you and pulls you out of your home in front of your family and neighbors. In handcuffs, they stick you in a patrol car. They impound your vehicle. They put you in jail for theft. 

If that's what happened, this guy is going to get at least 2.2 million. At least. Breach of contract. Harassment. Grand theft. False imprisonment. Making false statements to authorities. Among other charges. I'm no lawyer, but I do know that you cannot do this to people. 

aaronbbrown said... »October 09, 2012

 It's called false prosecution, and it's against the law.  It seems likely that person who filed the police report lied and committed a felony, they could very well be subject to perjury charges.  This was a civil matter, and provided that there's nothing unusual about the contract he signed, or addendum to the contract that he agreed to when he swapped vehicles,  that car was his property as long as he made the payments. The dealership had no right to take criminal action against him, and they knew that.  The dealership will in all likelihood lose in court if the guy has a good lawyer, and they should pay through the nose to prevent them from pulling this crap on other customers.  Very stupid move on the part of the dealership's general manager, the owner could lose their contract with GM over this.

Akash Gura Goredo said... »October 10, 2012

 You're speaking from experience? With Bubba... :-D

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hearsetrax said... »October 10, 2012

after reading all the previous comments ..... I agree give the poor goober his $ 5million and put this poor excuse of a stealership on notice that a nother stunt like this and they would be closed down  

guest said... »October 10, 2012

Go for it man(!) . . . get as much money as you can.  SCREW that dealership(!!!)

wrong wrong said... »October 10, 2012

yah the dealership needs a HUGE penalty, they had a man arrested for theft, based on their wrong doing. Not only does this go on his record obviously, and its something he will have to go through the process to have expunged but it sends the message that a dealership can recant their offers at a whim.  Im not summer about millions but they need a huge payout for such foolishness, thats the bottom line. 

wrong wrong said... »October 10, 2012

Wrong, when they do a background check this incident will show up. Whats the likelihood of "oh I was wrongly accused they arrested me for no reason" not sounding cliche and either way that hurting his chances.  Its 2012 jobs do morethan just believe what you put on an for real

Tlspncr said... »October 10, 2012

see he was right person to do it too cause i woulda beat him within an inch of his life after he got outta work on some ski mask shyt and then I woulda hit them with a $10 million dollar lawsuit

Ben said... »October 10, 2012

he ignored the dealer's calls and kept the car, he knew what he was getting into, that seems like stealing to me 
what is so difficult to go back to the dealership?and i cant believe they are letting him get away with 2.2million, this is just ridiculous

FanFan said... »October 10, 2012

BS. What if he was raped in jail. Not cool.

What if someone decided to call the cops and have them arrest you for no reason - imaging them knocking at your door right now. Get real.

FanFan said... »October 10, 2012

What! So because of thier mistake he had to fork out an extra $5k for the colour? And then instead of swallowing their mistake they have him arrested.

Haven't you ever taken responsibility for anything?

Louis Phillips said... »October 10, 2012

you a dumbass dude. ur prolly the guy who sold him the fucking car.

Billy said... »October 10, 2012

 There was no reason to continue contacting the dealership. He did, and found that they were trying a hail mary.  He had a properly executed contract, full stop. The dealer upped the game by lying to the police.   Why the police took action we will probably find out when a white shirt gets fired.

Would the police go arrest the sales manager it I paid $5000 over sticker for a Aveo, then noticed I got screwed?

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