Family sues, claiming car dealer added roughly $40,000 to price, forged their names

CHARLOTTE — A family is suing a south Charlotte car dealership claiming they had a deal in writing but that the final paperwork listed roughly a $40,000 different cost than what they expected. In addition, they say someone forged their names on the contract.

Alex Gallardo says the truck he bought from Mark Ficken Ford runs great, but he and his wife are suing the dealership over the financial side of the deal.

“It’s overwhelming. It’s frustrating. It’s very tiring,” Gallardo said.

According to Gallardo, he and his wife signed the paperwork, but the dealer did not give them copies of the documents. He says the business gave him a sales contract several days later, one he and his wife hadn’t seen before.

That contract listed a higher interest rate and expenses Gallardo says they didn’t agree to such as gap insurance. The Gallardos also claim someone forged their signatures on the form.

In addition, the Gallardos say the vehicle was supposed to cost around $74,000.

They also agreed to a service plan and maintenance plan, which would have added some extra cost, but they never actually signed anything official for the two plans.

But the contract said they were now on the hook for $117,000, which is almost 60% more than what they thought they were paying.

“Big difference,” Gallardo said.

He says they complained to the dealership, and it offered to buy back the vehicle, but the Gallardos didn’t like that option.

“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,” he said.

“(It) left us no choice but to seek legal counsel,” he added.

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The couple’s lawyer, John O’Neal, says, “It falls far short of trying to make it right and giving the Gallardos the deal that they anticipated.”

The dealer told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke, “Client satisfaction is our number one priority every day. We are simply not able to discuss pending litigation.”

Advice from Action 9 no matter where you buy a car:

- Don’t leave without the documents, including the final price, interest rate, and monthly payments.

- Some things you buy have a three-day right to cancel but cars don’t unless the contract says otherwise.

- Make sure the contract says you get your money back, including your down payment, if the dealer breaches it.

(VIDEO: American Car Center closes dealerships suddenly, customers left with questions)