Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sleazy Tactics

In a free market, competition is the name of the game. When you stumble, your competitors are always ready to jump in and take advantage. That's the way it is.

Toyota has stumbled, and it is the right - the responsibility - of the other car manufacturers and dealers to do their best to gain from the situation.

However, this week we have witnessed a new low when one of my competitors crossed the line and boldly lied to the consumers in our community. Napleton Nissan in Riviera Beach sent out a mass mailing of phony "Toyota Recall Notices" to thousands of people in our area.

This sales solicitation came in an official looking envelope, complete with the red Toyota logo and typeset. The return address said it was from "Notification Headquarters."

Inside the envelope there is more false information about the recall and Toyota vehicles that were not even affected are listed.

It goes on with even more deceptive offers. They say they will buy back your Toyota for "Original Base MSRP." They neglect to mention that "Original Base MSRP" does not include the price of any options added, manufacturer's delivery fee ($775), or the dealer fee added by most dealers. They go on to explain that this value will be further lowered by the mileage of the vehicle and incentives you received when you bought it. In other words, it's business as usual.

The letter is signed by Napleton Nissan's general sales manager, Bret Macy.

Napleton Nissan should be ashamed of themselves for sending out such a deceptive and misleading solicitation. I cannot say I'm surprised; their newspaper ads typically assume the same style, but, as I said, they have reached a new low.

You can view the actual mail piece by clicking here.


  1. Earl I am astonished but like you not surprised at all. I got a letter from theses scumbags and I turned purple I was so mad. You have been out in front of this recall hiccup doing the right thing day in and day out. This Napleton and his henchman Macy are the worst of the worst. I want you to know Earl, that you have a guy like me in your corner: mad, retired, and nothing else to do but tell everyone I know and meet what kind of slime Napleton is! Oh - and I am not alone.

    Keep fighting the good fight sir.

  2. Wow, that's low (and desperate). You should sue them.

  3. You said it Earl it's just competition. Don't complain about it. Is it unethical? That's up to all us customers to judge. If you're right, you win and he loses. I bought my cars from you because your people were nice and honest. Your crusades... well they keep me interested and we'll leave it at that!

  4. Mr. Stewart I read about this in the Palm Beach Post. It is completely despicable. I think they have harmed themselves with this move. No doubt that you will come out on top. Please keep doing what you're doing.

    PS you look great on TV and my 90 year old mother has a big crush on you!

  5. Earl you have my support.

  6. I called Napleton's and tore into them! I think they may be realizing this was a big mistake!

  7. Is just marketing campaign like any other.. But changing the subject, I worked at a Toyota Dealer and really feel sorry for all the families I sold cars to. Reality is that we need to be honest as well and say that the real truth is that Toyota knew about these problems and let people die to keep their word of "moving forward", now they should be saying "trying to stop".

  8. I suppose you would feel better if you sold them a GM or Ford? in the last 20 years Toyo has had 569 recalls. GM had 3,498. Ford had 2,691. Chrylser had 2,419. That's bold statement that Toyota knew. I suppose that's not just your brilliant opinion, your involved somehow in the investigation, right? I will keep my family in Toyotas as long as they keep making them. They are the best quality and safest on the road of ALL brands. You seem to like conspiracy theories Anonymous, how do you like this one: Government Motors looks better the worse the press and Detroit Congressmen make Toyota look.You think there is a little conflict of interst here? The federal government who owns Toyo's chief rival is grilling Toyo in congressional hearings! What is wrong with this picture? It's just another exaple of an intrusive and humungous government getting involved where it shouldn't. I'm surprised Earl has held back!

  9. Don't believe what I say, I'm just going by this article from ABC News and the investigation already started.. This is the article: go to this site and you'll feel what I felt.
    So again, don't believe me, I'm just another concerned person on this tragic story. I truly hope Toyota didn't know anything about this. "Nothing against any particular person, entity or dealer", this is BEYOND dealers, mailers, marketing campaigns, etc.

  10. OK, so you're just a concerned citizen? Right! First of all is a web domain created by Randy Visser, the general manager of Serra Nissan in Birmingham, Alabama, that links to a You Tube video. See Randy here:

    I hope Mr. Serra - who also owns Serra Toyota in Birmingham - doesn't find out what his boy is doing behind his back!

    Secondly, ABS news has been broadly criticized for their over-dramatized and ovver-hyped coverage of the recalls by independent groups and media, including Consumer Reports. Here's a good article about that;

  11. I see now that you are taking this personal. Next thing you'll say is that Obama is causing this right?. Face the truth!. as I said this is beyond consumers, dealers, marketing or mailer pieces.. These are people's lives, please take this seriously. I am not following who said or what was said, I'm going by the facts announced by Toyota on the news and the Real People's Testimonies. People that have lost their lives! Is it a Nissan Dealer causing this? is it a lie just to hurt Toyota dealers? is it Obama going on blogs like this? or is it the Truth?

  12. You're right. The media reaction and political response has been measured and proportionate. There has been no hype. Nothing has been over-dramatized. No one has tried to take commercial advantage of Toyota's plight by unethical means (Napleton's fictitious recall notice was above-board and welcomed by our community). Michigan Representatives Bart Stupak and John Dingell will not get any votes from the laid-off GM workers in their districts after appearing on TV grilling Toyota executives. Non-ad accepting Consumer Reports did not say that the assault on Toyota was unwarranted and amounted to an overreaction. Countless people are dying every day and are being terrorized by clumsily built and unreliable Toyotas.

    I think I got it.

  13. Dear "I see now that you are taking this personal (sic)".

    This quote from your posting gives you away, "I'm going by the facts announced by Toyota on the news and the Real People's Testimonies. People that have lost their lives!"

    First let me say I don't think you have any quotes from the "people who have lost their lives". What you do have are lots of anecdotal quotes from people whose motives and facts are suspect. To quote from Business Week's February 9th issue by Ed Wallace, "Most of the stories in the media will be proven to have come from opportunists trying to cash in on lawsuits, lawyers trying to influence potential jury members, attention-seekers, or less-than-competent-drivers".

    You said that you are "going by the facts announced by Toyota on the news". Here's a fact announced by Toyota on the news...Regarding the sticky accelerator pedal, "there have been less than 20 (I repeat twenty} confirmed incidences, none of which resulted in an injury. This is confirmed by the NHTSA. There are 2.3 MILLION vehicles in the recall. If you do the math, your odds of having a sticky accelerator pedal in a Toyota are 1 in 115,000!"

    Go to the US government website, and you will see that your chances of being "struck by lightening" are 1 in 6,250!

    This means that your chances of being struck by lightening are EIGHTEEN times greater than having your accelerator stick on your Toyota.

    How can any reasonably intelligent, objective person come to the conclusion that driving a Toyota is unsafe?

    I await your answer.

    Earl Stewart

  14. Forbes lists the most dangerous vehicles of 2010: Chevy Aveo; Chrysler PT Cruiser; Mitsubihi Galant; Mercury Grand Marquis; Cadillac STS; Jeep Wrangler 2 Door; Jeep Wrangler 4 Door; Nissan Titan. Yes, that was a NISSAN Titan!

    Hmm, did anyone else notice there were NO Toyotas on that list? Oh, this DID come out after all the Toyota hooplah began.

    Let's keep it real folks and recognize shamless opportunism when we see it.


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