Have you ever been ripped off in a car deal? I know, that’s like asking, “Have you ever owned an automobile?” There are plenty of scam artists out there who take advantage of you if you buy or lease a car, rent a car, get a car repaired or sell a car to someone else.
But now you can fight back — or at least that’s what we hear. A major network is producing a new series called "Catch a Car Guy" that features scam artists "who rip people off: mechanics, salespeople, distributors,” casting associate Eileen Kennedy tells me. “We are currently looking for the ‘victims,’ anyone who has been scammed and wants revenge, or at least their money back.” In each episode, an alleged scammer is lured onto the set and confronted about the lemon car — or the lemon work.
Metal Flowers Media, which is casting the show, wants to connect with people who are trying to get their cars back up to speed. The casting folks want motorists who are mad as hell about being mistreated by the automotive man. According to Kennedy, "Essentially, under the watchful eye of an expert, they will try to get to the bottom of the problem, and help the owner get his or her car back on the road."
I remember back in the '70s I did a story on the owner of a Dodge Aspen wagon who took matters into her own hands and put giant lemons on the roof and painted anti-dealer slogans all over the sides. She got action, finally. The Haggler at the New York Times performs similar a service, though not for cars, in my experience.
The Pontiac Aztek was designed by a GM committee. It didn't kill the division, but it helped. (Photo: Andy_BB/flickr)
For the pilot, Metal Flowers Media is looking for an angry subject in the Los Angeles area, but the show will be national, so you may as well tell them about your situation. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They need your name, age, city, phone number, a short paragraph about yourself (and significant others and family if applicable), and as much information as possible about the shady car situation you were involved in.
Even if you don’t end up on the show, you should know your state laws. Here’s a handy guide to state lemon laws. And here’s a list of some famous lemons. (I would argue that the Edsel wasn’t really a lemon, just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but you can’t argue with the Yugo, the Pontiac Aztek and the DeLorean.)
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