Dealership "writes-off someone's Ferrari 458 and lies about it"
San Antonio residents are currently gripped by a story that sounds like a Grand Theft Auto plotline. Local businessman and developer Ryad Bakalem and his wife Diane bought a lawsuit against Ferrari of San Antonio claiming they totaled their 'near mint' Ferrari 458 and then attempted to defraud them in order to turn a profit.
The trouble started innocently enough — the Bakalems took their white 2014 Ferrari 458 Spider to the dealership to sell on consignment. An agreement was made to list the car for $239,000. The car sat for three months until temptation proved too much for Larry Leadfoot (not his real name) who was employed as a porter for the Ferrari dealer.
According to police reports, Leadfoot took the Ferrari on 'a non-approved drive path', losing control and crashing the prancing horse through a chain-link fence. The damage was extensive enough that the Ferrari was deemed to be 'totaled'. That should have been the end of it, but this is where the waters of truth start to turn muddy.
According to the Bakalems, the dealership never informed them of the accident. Instead, on the day of the crash they received a call from the dealership informed them they had an interested buyer who was offering $220,000, approximately $19,000 shy of the asking price. The Bakalems refused the sale but over the next four days, the dealership continually pressured them, the lawsuit alleges.
After the high-pressure tactics didn't work, paperwork was sent to Diana Bakalem that revealed Ferrari San Antonio to be the buyer. Not even one hour later, the news of the crash was revealed. General Manager Grenville Lewis disagrees with their version of events, claiming that the agreed asking price was actually $231,900. An interested buyer had offered $220,000 prior to the as-yet-unwrecked Ferrari which the couple agreed to.
After the accident occured, Lewis is adamant that he informed the clients about the fate of their Ferrari and then offered to buy the vehicle off them for $210,000. He slammed the Bakalems for 'attempting extort the dealership for more money', while the lawsuit claims that Ferrari San Antonio attempted to defraud the unfortunate Ferrari owners, keeping the commission themselves and claiming a tax credit. The suit alleges an eye-watering $1,000,000 in damages.
To further complicate matters, it appears the insurance company never actually wrote the Ferrari off. The consignment contract lists the vehicle on the Bakalems insurance and not the dealerships. The Ferrari is still under finance, leaving the Bakalems to make payments on the crashed 458 under the a decision is reached in court.
Would you have refused $210,000 for a crashed 458? Or would you have taken the money, bought a second hand GTC4Lusso and this sweet remote controlled La Ferrari instead?