Ford Dealer Sued for Allegedly Sneaking $43,000 Into Super Duty Sale, Forging Signatures
Days after driving the new pickup home, the customer says they received documents showing a total amount owed 60% higher than expected.
A Ford dealer in Charlotte, North Carolina, is facing a lawsuit after one customer alleges it used falsified signatures to increase the financed amount of their vehicle by nearly $43,000. Alex Gallardo claims Mark Ficken Ford didn't provide him or his wife with copies of the relevant paperwork until days after driving home a new Super Duty pickup. Upon receiving them, he supposedly spotted a drastically spiked interest rate that, along with other add-ons, would result in paying $117,000 for the truck over the course of the loan term.
The Gallardos say they originally agreed to a total purchase price of $74,155.42 that included taxes, tags, and fees. They then paid $5,000 down, thus lowering the amount financed to $69,155.42. After signing on a 72-month term at a claimed 4.69% APR, their expected monthly payment was $1,100. They reportedly left the dealer in the Super Duty without copies of signed documents, but after receiving a packet days later, they spotted a retail installment sales contract they say they'd never seen before. It specified an 11.68% APR and, to Gallardo's alleged surprise, he says his name was forged to approve it all.
Not only that, but it allegedly listed additional services that the Gallardos didn't sign for such as gap insurance, a vehicle service contract, and an "ultimate titanium" plan. The Gallardos explain they did verbally agree to a maintenance plan but didn't sign any paperwork for it. According to the lawsuit, on the day of signing the initial documents, the salesperson said they were closing for the day and that any additional maintenance plan documents would be prepared at a later date.
The Gallardos were more than frustrated with the unexpected price increase, so they took their complaints to the dealer, who allegedly offered to buy the truck back. However, the Gallardos weren't interested.
“All that time would’ve just been wasted. All that time invested into looking for a vehicle, going to the dealership, taking time off work; so, what they were offering wasn’t a real solution for both parties involved,” Alex Gallardo told WSOCTV.
The Gallardos' next step was taking legal action. The lawsuit alleges that the dealership intentionally misled the family to trick them into paying for unwanted services. In the lawsuit, the Gallardos are looking to have the loan balance and any installments to the dealership canceled, as well as damages and attorney fees paid.
Mark Ficken Ford did not respond to The Drive when contacted for comment.
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