ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A local car dealership is apologizing to a customer after she caught them taking her car for a little spin. That little spin was a big no-no, and she happened to catch it on camera.
Dorothy Martin’s 2011 Ford Fusion, a hybrid, gets great gas mileage, but she’s not happy about what’s on the odometer now.
“I thought that was a completely inappropriate use of my car,” Martin said.
Martin brought her car to Rich Ford Friday to fix a door handle and seat warmer. On Monday, she picked up her camera-equipped sedan.
“I noticed that my dash cam had been recording,” she said.
Martin cued up the video and saw the Fusion exit the garage at Rich Ford, leave the parking lot and make a short drive, eventually pulling into the Circle K at Wyoming and Constitution. The two technicians get out, walk into the convenience store and come out with soft drinks.
“I don’t understand why they even felt the need to do this,” she said.
The technicians drive Martin’s car back to the dealership. In total, it’s roughly 1.3 miles roundtrip. While the employees followed the rules of the road, they didn’t follow the rules at Rich Ford.
“Them going to get a Coke in a customer’s vehicle is not excusable,” said Paul Bartlett, parts and service director at Rich Ford.
“I agree with the customer, I’d be upset as well. They trust us with their vehicles, and we should take a lot more care than to do something like this,” said Bartlett.
Bartlett says the two technicians have a combined 45 years experience. They’ve been written up, and everyone at the dealership knows this is a violation of policy.
Rich Ford offered to refund Martin over $900 dollars for the work, but she refused. “I did not take that because to me, this isn’t a monetary issue,” Martin said.
“I will never take my car there, and until they actually do something in management and make it publicly known that this will never happen again, I think all of Albuquerque should be aware,” Martin said.
Bartlett reiterated, “We’re embarrassed, and we’re very sorry for what we caused for this customer.”
“These employees really shouldn’t be working there at all,” Martin said. “The video proves what they did, and a written corrective is not the answer,” she added.
While the dealership can’t say how many times employees have taken cars for unauthorized spins, after Martin’s video, the dealership knows it won’t be happening again.
Rich Ford also mailed a gift card to Martin in the mail.
See the dash cam video: