Beware of Auto Express Alfa Romeo of Erie


have you had this issue when a car was shipped to you? what happened after? did you have to eat the shipping fee?

i feel the same way, and have always told them upfront not to put any stickers on the car, and no one attempted so far after i specifically asked for it.


I would say this is the exact reason to avoid a place. All of your transactions have been smooth and good, but how does a dealer act when things aren’t perfect?
The fact that this dealer is refusing to make things right shows me they are a dealer to avoid.


I have not shipped a car from a dealership so I can’t speak from experience. I don’t want to armchair QB but I would want photographs from the dealer of the car dated on pick up, and some kind of notarized confirmation that the car was inspected and had no damage prior to shipping.


I’m not an attorney but I would think that by the time delivery is made you already “own” the car as your paperwork has already been processed by the dealer. In essence you’d be refusing your own property and sending it back to the dealership for potentially more damage en route. Once it gets back to the dealership I’m unsure as to how you’d have any more leverage for them them to do the right thing; the docs and leasing agreement have already been signed and you’d be responsible for the payments. Any one care to chime in from a legal perspective?


From the dealer perspective, and playing devil’s advocate, how does he know something else didn’t happen to the car on the 950 mile trip? Not saying OP had any problems on the ride home, but let’s say he got rear ended and didn’t say anything, and now, an assumed PDR repair is a bigger deal. OP should have refused delivery, asked for a different car, or gotten a We Owe from the dealership.

If the dealer were local, this probably wouldn’t have been a big deal. That said, while you can get a better deal casting your net far and wide, and traveling, this is one of the pitfalls of doing so.


I’m not an attorney either. That said, I buy something from Amazon, and the box is ripped and smacked up…I can send it back or refuse delivery. I totally get a car transaction is a bit more complex than that, and maybe I’m wrong, as I’ve never been in that situation either.


OP - A few questions.

(1) Did you sign all of your paperwork in-person at the dealership when you picked up the car, or did you sign everything by mail prior to arriving to the dealership?

(2) Was a We Owe slip provided for the damage prior to driving home? If not, why not?

(3) Are the photos/video of the damage you took at the dealer date/time stamped?



Interesting trick for anyone to use, every photo taken with a smartphone has metadata hidden in it which includes stuff like date/time, gps location, etc. You can extract it easily by searching for EXIF metadata and uploading the photo.


I agree with this accessment. When I bought a car from an out-of-state dealer, the car was mine when the shipper picked it up. I also paid for the shipping, so refusing wouldn’t be an option as the shipping company wouldn’t and isn’t required to take the car anywhere else.


All of the lease paperwork was signed by me in person at the dealership when I arrived.

The mid-aligned body panels were not noticed by me until after the paperwork was signed and when I was about to hop into the Stelvio on the dealer lot for the ride back to Kansas City. My problem is that I did not insist that the dealer provide me a “we owe” prior to leaving, which I didn’t feel I had to do given the dealers’s high praises on this forum and because we were thinking at the time that this was going to be a $100-200 PDR fix. I didn’t know about the previous damage/repairs until I got back to Kansas City and took it to the PDR shop immediately upon getting back to town.

The dealer salesperson took photos of the damage, so yes, they have a date and time record.


FWIW I used this same company to lease one of my Alfas. The deal was okay relative to what I could obtain locally at the time and the car was delivered in a fairly timely fashion but there were a couple of issues that made the experience less than stellar. One was a small tax issue that took them a couple of attempts to get right (but to their credit they finally resolved it) and the second had to do with the condition of the vehicle upon delivery. The tires were overinflated to the point of being ridiculous however that was an easy fix. The other was in regards to some road rash on the vehicle’s left rear quarter panel which, to my mind, was quite significant given that this was purportedly a new car. I never addressed the latter issue with them nor did I have any confidence in any expectation for them to make it right so I simply dealt with it on my own. Perhaps they would have rectified the aforementioned to my complete satisfaction…I’ll never know… but given how they handled this situation re: the OP’s new car I’m thinking I was right in my assumption.


So you’re screwed if your car is damaged in shipment? Or do you go after the shipper’s insurance? How do you prove the shipper caused the damage vs the dealer letting it off the lot damaged?


Not necessarily. If the transport company noted the damage on their receipt upon pickup your recourse would need to be taken up with the dealer. If the transport company has a clean bill of lading upon receipt of the car and you receive the car with damage you’d subrogate against the transport company. On the few occasions that I’ve had a car shipped from the dealer the transporter was quite thorough in notating even the most minor damage upon receipt from the dealer.

Either way, both of these scenarios can prove to be distasteful and can sully that new car experience. Both cases can be rendered moot, however, by simply picking up the car yourself, inspecting it thoroughly before delivery and refusing to sign anything until you’re satisfied.


The shipper does a quick walk-around when they pick it up and is responsible for anything that happens to it after they picked it up.


What I would say here, pragmatically is that without you having physical possession of the original photos time and date stamped (and even location stamped) showing the damage the day you took possession, you have limited recourse. Your recourse is already limited legally because you did not demand a We Owe slip. If you had pictures you could at least make an argument that they knew about it, but even then, you deciding to take it and drive home with no other action documented really hurts your case.

This is an unfortunate circumstance and unfortunately, legally, the dealer really doesn’t have to do anything. You signed the papers before inspecting the car closely, did not demand a We Owe slip, and then drove home 1000 miles. At best, anything they do is to prevent damage to their reputation.

Be glad this is a lease and not a car you own.

Just my $.02.


Also, there is an AskLegalAdvice sub over on Reddit. May be worth posting over there, for a set of eyes from those in the biz.


I always tell them to remove or not put it on, if it’s not there already.


For those that have asked to see photos, see attached. You’ll probably have to zoom in, but you’ll see that the rear bumper covers appears to be fastened with 4 bolts, one in each corner. The top 2 bolts were completely missing, so it appears the bumper cover isn’t safely attached to begin with. According to the body shops that looked at the car, there is also evidence of dirt in the clear coat and a different paint texture on the rear bumper area, which according to both of them, is clear evidence of a previous re-spray at the very least. Both of them are dumbfounded as to why the bumper cover wouldn’t have been re-installed properly.


It’s an FCA product…I wouldn’t be dumbfounded by any missteps in repair/service/customer satisfaction/etc.


Exactly. Have you seen the issues that the new Wrangler is having, and FCA’s slapdash mobile welding fix for it, on a brand new car?