Apple Carplay Bait & Switch/False Advertising Auto Dealer Fraud Class Action - Alfa Romeo Stelvio Forum
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post #1 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Apple Carplay Bait & Switch/False Advertising Auto Dealer Fraud Class Action

Here's the deal:
1. Leased a Stelvio in May 2018. I only considered cars with Apple Carplay. All advertising at the time showed Stelvio will have Apple Carplay as an option
2. Both Salesman and GM told me the Apple Carplay software upgrade is coming next month and they will reach out.
3. Hear nothing the following month so I follow up the month after assuming they overestimated the upgrade date. Find out my salesperson is no longer with the dealership and leave a message with the GM. No call back.
4. Happen to have a recall appointment the following month. I ask the Service Advisor if the Apple Carplay upgrade is ready. He checks my VIN and says he's not sure, but his computer shows my VIN as not "upgradeable" to Apple Carplay. I ask for the GM. He's with a customer but I can't wait so I tell service to have him call me. I also leave a message with GM directly.
5. GM calls me back a few days later. He tells me he is going to check with corporate to find out what the deal is because "that's what they told us" basically admitting he thought my Stelvio was upgradeable.
6. Two weeks later I still haven't heard from him so I follow up. He tells me "corporate hasn't called him back." Ridiculous. So I ask him for the number and said I'll call corporate myself. Turns out it's only FCA (parent company) customer service! I explain my situation anyways and during the call (recorded) she tells me that although she understands my situation, it's not entirely the dealership's fault because and I quote "we came out late with some information". Then she says all I can do is write a letter to the VP of Operations.
7. So I write my letter to the VP of Operations as well as the President of Alfa Romeo,Timothy Kuniskis, demanding one of two options. Either retrofit Apple Carplay in my current Stelvio or get me into a different Stelvio with Apple Carplay.
8. A couple of weeks later someone who works for the president calls me and says she is going to work with the dealership on a solution to try and get me into a different Stelvio with Apple Carplay using "employee pricing". Long story short, there was no solution as the dealership couldn't work anything out because of negative equity!
9. So I spoke with several attorneys on my options. And at this point, my only solution is to never drive an Alfa Romeo again. Like most of us, I signed an arbitration agreement with the dealership saying I agree to handle all disputes via an arbitrator versus in court.
10. So the first option is arbitration. However, before I go to Arbitration, attorney advises me to try and work my only solution with the dealership directly.
11. So I email the two GM's and of course the Dealer owner emails me saying he'd like some time to work a solution. I reiterate I am only interested in getting out of my lease contract and returning the car and give him one week, since it's now December 2018.
12. Dealership owner emails me back saying he has a couple of options for me that his dealership and Alfa Romeo corporate put together, but my only acceptable option is not one of them. Now they want to work something out. The fact that they have two options for me shows they know what is at risk when I go to arbitration. So I am moving to Arbitration.
13. Why am I posting this? Because of the other option my attorney wants to do. Class action against both the dealerships and Alfa Romeo for auto dealer fraud and false advertising. I already committed to leading it. If interested, shoot me an email at [email protected]. Just need your full name, when and where you purchased your Alfa Romeo and a quick paragraph describing what you were told about Apple Carplay being in your car. Momentum has already started!
14. In the meantime, I'll keep you all updated on my arbitration....
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post #2 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 01:48 PM
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Here's the issue:

Your DEALER promised you the upgrade NOT Alfa Romeo.

I agree with every point, and that Alfa is dropping the ball here like they forgot they had one. Doesn't change what happened.

With the dealer being a representative of Alfa it does seem like you have a case against them, however a class action against Alfa would mean that Alfa misrepresented themselves, not the dealer.

Before I got my car I asked the dealer, Alfa of Ontario said "We don't know if it will be upgradable." So I went on Alfa's website and used thier chat to talk to a rep and got the same answer. Still bought the car knowing I may not get CarPlay or Andy Auto.

Most likely your dealer is covering thier butt here and Alfa is providing support. I am not a lawyer, but would go get a second opinion before giving one a blank check to start something...

And yes..I have sued auto manufacturers, VAG (Volkswagon Automotive Group) to be specific. (My lawsuit resulted in the recall and reprogramming of all DSG equipped VW vehicles in North america. It was a serious pain in the butt just to get them to take back a 1st year VW Eos I kept breaking the second cog of gears on..the next model year the VR6 was not avalible in the car anymore..no joke, big case took almost a year just to get to court) it is not as easy as you think...they have the lawyers Trump can't afford on staff so fighting you costs them nothing.

As a background, 6 months in service over 2 years, and the final offer was to replace the car with the newer model which was a 4cylinder not a V6 yet cost more. I actually spent a day with VW's head tech in the US and showed him how a certain combination of hard braking and acceleration through turns would confuse the programing and cause internal breakage like clockwork. Still had to sue to get my money back, caused a massive recall..but it wasn't a class action...and all said and done I actually lost about 5k after lawyer fees and the cost of removing the aftermarket audio system as well as associated fees for my "enjoyment" of he vehicle. At least I got out of the car. Oh, and I was in California which has some of the best consumer protection laws in the US.

Wish you all the best and hope it doesn't cost you money to get out of your car. Agree the dealer should NEVER have promised you something they couldn't do, and think you may want to contact others who purchased thier car there as a class action against the dealer, if they made the same promise to others..that sounds like a class action lawsuit.

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post #3 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 03:29 PM
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Also feel it is important to add....

That the dealer made you sign an agreement to arbitration was the only warning needed to know you were about to have a problem. They probably did that because they KNEW they were lying to you and wanted the protection.

For those of you shopping,

Arbitration agreement = leave the room. Do not sign. If they won't give you you're check back, put a stop payment on it and walk out. These agreements are becoming more and more common, however not every dealer uses them, walk out, go to another dealer. If the deal isn't as good at the 2nd place....just remember, the 1st dealer is lying about something, so really it is better.

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post #4 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 04:34 PM
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As a non American, I find it a bit odd that you would go to such extents of trouble/hassle/cost just because you can't get your iphone to work seamlessly with your car...
Is it really worth it to you?
Or are you just in it for the money, hoping to get a jury to award you some ridiculous amount of compensation?

I mean, seriously - the dealer made you a promise based on what they thought was true, turns out it wasn't, and now you're churning out headlines about Bait & Switch and Fraud and Class Action?

I thought we left kindergarten years ago....
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post #5 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 06:16 PM
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The trouble in my view in all this is - why isn't it upgrade-able? - yes I know there are threads on hardware and software incompatibility, but these are low cost IT challenges in the scheme of things - many of us have said we'd fork over the money for the upgrade and some have already purchased better stereos that probably allow this connectivity - why isn't getting a HW/SW upgrade an option given all the feedback Alfa has received from this forum alone?

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post #6 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmitten11 View Post
If interested, shoot me an email
No thanks. Love my car, knew it didn't have Carplay, knew dealer was unsure of what the future would bring. Kind of implied it was likely, but if it was a deal breaker for me I'd have waited to purchase. The infotainment system was the last thing that attracted me to this car.

Worst case, I'll figure out how to strap my ipad mini to the screen and bluetooth in. Maybe one day they'll input my VIN and it will come up compatible for the $250 upgrade, not sure I care that much about it. To each his own...
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post #7 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 10:34 PM
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Are you ready for some facts and if it's possible or not? What's the build date on your car? Can you also provide the software version of your infotainment. If you're lucky and you have the newer hardware, it's about a $400 job and dealer just doesn't want to fork up the money. All it requires is a hub install (about $200 USD in parts) and then about 2 hours of labor to program it. Build date of my Giulia is 07/2017 and I had the newer hardware in the infotainment. After some pressure to the dealer guess what? Wala! AA and CP working
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post #8 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttaidapos View Post
Are you ready for some facts and if it's possible or not? What's the build date on your car? Can you also provide the software version of your infotainment. If you're lucky and you have the newer hardware, it's about a $400 job and dealer just doesn't want to fork up the money. All it requires is a hub install (about $200 USD in parts) and then about 2 hours of labor to program it. Build date of my Giulia is 07/2017 and I had the newer hardware in the infotainment. After some pressure to the dealer guess what? Wala! AA and CP working
Would you be more specific?
Do you have part numbers?
Instructions?
Thanks!

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post #9 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttaidapos View Post
Are you ready for some facts and if it's possible or not? What's the build date on your car? Can you also provide the software version of your infotainment. If you're lucky and you have the newer hardware, it's about a $400 job and dealer just doesn't want to fork up the money. All it requires is a hub install (about $200 USD in parts) and then about 2 hours of labor to program it. Build date of my Giulia is 07/2017 and I had the newer hardware in the infotainment. After some pressure to the dealer guess what? Wala! AA and CP working
Lets hear more!
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post #10 of 130 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremycronin View Post
As a non American, I find it a bit odd that you would go to such extents of trouble/hassle/cost just because you can't get your iphone to work seamlessly with your car...
Is it really worth it to you?
Or are you just in it for the money, hoping to get a jury to award you some ridiculous amount of compensation?

I mean, seriously - the dealer made you a promise based on what they thought was true, turns out it wasn't, and now you're churning out headlines about Bait & Switch and Fraud and Class Action?

I thought we left kindergarten years ago....
What does your nationality have to do with it? As an American, not all of us are sue happy. 30 seconds after I sat in mine the dealer said this car was built before xx so it does not have CP. I said bummer, and bought it.
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