1 WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TRADITIONAL DEALER ADD-ONS VS The FitzWay Our Response to Statements by Consumer Advocates and Other Industry Experts
2 WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TRA Dear Customers, This brochure has been prepared to hep you understand the issues concerning the purchase of deaer add-ons and to address the statements made by industry experts. Most of the experts wi say that deaer add-ons are overpriced and unnecessary. We beieve that the experts say this because sometimes deaers wi increase pricing for deaer-instaed options, oan rates and extended warranties to make up for their ow advertised or quoted sae prices (a.k.a. bait and switch). The consumer reay doesn t find out about the high prices for these add-ons unti after they ve agreed to buy the vehice. In cases ike this, we agree with the experts. This is a business practice that is both unfair and wrong! We don t aow this. To combat these tactics, the "experts" advise consumers to arrange financing through their own bank or credit union and to never buy deaer instaed options or extended warranties. We disagree! We think a better way is to shop and compare a of the prices and rates before agreeing to anything. These incude the price of the vehice, deaer options, accessories or warranties, and the interest rate and ength of oan. A good idea is to have a copy of your credit report with you so the deaer can quote you accurate interest rates and terms. (Credit reports are inexpensive. Contact Equifax at , Experian at and TransUnion at for a copy of your credit report.) Deaers have many ending sources. By using the deaer s arge network of financing options, you may be surprised to find a rate comparabe to or ower than your bank or credit union. But know the interest rate before you agree to buy the vehice. We encourage you to shop and compare our charges. Our oan interest rates and prices for add-ons are posted in our showroom and on our Internet site (www.fitzma.com). We aso offer discount prices for extended warranties. This brochure incudes prices for our most popuar add-ons which are aso posted in our showroom. The foowing is additiona information on deaer add-ons aong with exampes that hep iustrate the price/vaue benefit to ook for: Vehice Accessories - If you buy a genuine factory accessory (that is permanenty instaed by your deaer) before you take deivery, you get the same warranty on that accessory as on the rest of the car. VIN Etching is ridicued by many consumer experts but it s recommended by the Maryand State Poice and the Montgomery County Poice who say it is a deterrent to the professiona car thief. Our price is $69 instaed which is much ower than most deaers wi charge. Our Paint Seaant (sometimes caed an Environmenta Protection Package by deaers) from DaimerChryser costs $159 and guarantees you won t have to wax your car for three years. The experts say you shoud wax your car 3 times a year. The cost savings are obvious! You owe it to yoursef to shop and compare the price of the vehice, any add-ons and the financing at the same time. That s how you know you re getting the best dea! We truy beieve that if you become a better shopper, then you wi want to buy from us. The Experts Say Don t Buy The excerpts beow are from very popuar sources of information. These experts say don t buy deaer add-ons, but in our view their objections appear to be reated to what they say are outrageousy high prices typicay charged by deaers and the assumption that the manufacturers warranty is sufficient. Any product regardess of what it is shoud be priced commensurate with its utimate vaue. We fee strongy that if a deaers priced their products and services as we do, each of these experts woud change their opinion. AOL AUTOS, January 2003 In the Finance and Insurance Room. You wi move to the Finance and Insurance (F&I) room to sign contracts. Review the contract carefuy and avoid high priced extras ike rustproofing, and road safety kits. Check your new vehice for scratches and dents before taking deivery of it. CNN/MONEY, January 2003 Beware of the eeventh hour: Signing for your new car usuay takes pace in a rush, said Ashey Knapp, researcher at Autoadvisor.com, and that s no accident. Many deaers wi purposey heap decisions on you at the ast moment, usuay regarding pricey extras: whether to buy an extended warranty, foor mats, car aarms or tinted windows.
3 DITIONAL DEALER ADD-ONS VS THE FITZWAY Excerpts from 6/20/02 Wa Street Journa Artice Did You Overpay for Your Car? States Sue Deaers Over Fees by Karen Lundegaard In the Driver s Seat Beow are some of the most common add-ons sod by car deaerships: Products: Loan What It Does: Provides financing over a fixed term. Question To Ask/What To Look For: What is the interest rate they are offering vs. what you can get from your bank or credit union? What are they charging you to hep you get the oan? (That figure is usuay tacked on to the interest rate without you knowing it.) Products: Extended warranty or service contract What It Does: Covers cost of repairs. Question To Ask/What To Look For: A new cars, and some used cars, come with a manufacturer warranty. What does the additiona coverage offer beyond that? If you miss an oi change, is the next repair covered? Products: Maintenance Pan What It Does: Essentiay, a pre-paid oi-change pan. Question To Ask/What To Look For: How many oi changes are you paying for, and what is the tota cost? Products: Theft etch What It Does: Deaership puts number in windows as theft deterrent: if car is stoen, owner gets $2,500 or $5,000. Question To Ask/What To Look For: Not considered much of a deterrent. Essentiay added theft insurance that many consumer experts don t think is worthwhie. Products: Tota oss protection or GAP What It Does: If car is stoen or totaed, pays the difference between car s current vaue and oan baance. Question To Ask/What To Look For: Often recommended for ease, though not necessariy if buying, especiay if you make a big downpayment. Products: Chemica protections What It Does: Seat protectant seaant, sound-proof materia. Question To Ask/What To Look For: Manufacturers do much of this anyway on new cars; manufacturers often don t recommend sound-proofing. Suits Target Warranties, Loans, $6,000 Theft Pans; What to Watch Out For Some top car-deaership chains have aegedy been sneaking hidden fees into auto oans and charging customers for add-ons they either didn t know they were buying or had specificay said they didn t want....these (charges by State reguators) are being eveed against some of the most respected payers in the industry. And the victims... incude doctors, awyers, poice officers even judges. State reguators have fied awsuits against a handfu of top deaerships... (t)he suits focus on oan rates, extended warranties and theft-protection pans, among other things. The spread of these practices refects how itte most customers know about the more compex addons pushed by deaerships. Most customers, for exampe, have itte idea how much extended warranties shoud cost and where they can buy them for ess or even whether they need them at a. (Many consumer experts beieve they are unnecessary for new cars.) Sonic, which is being investigated by two state agencies and faces six civi suits invoving two Cearwater, Fa., deaerships, says it is cooperating with the government. Deaerships are seizing on this ignorance...(t)he most common scam: charging as much as $6,000 for theft etch, in which a number is etched on the car windows to deter theft and, if the car is ater stoen, the owner is paid severa thousand doars. Cost to (deaership) ony $37, according to Jeffrey McGrath, deputy district attorney in Los Angees County, who handed the case. (One pubicy owed deaership) AutoNation, for exampe, earned an average of $725 a vehice from such extras in the first quarter of this year, up about 113% from the yearearier period. In a typica scenario, the saesperson asks the buyer how big a monthy payment they can afford. If the buyer says $350, for exampe, the saesperson wi pack the monthy payment with products and services unti it reaches that price never teing the customer that they have quaified for a oan with monthy payments of, say, $270. Consumers need to be very aware of what they are getting and what they are paying for it at the deaership. Car saespeope themseves say most buyers never read this materia: some customers even sign pages before a doar figures have been written in by the seer. (Some deaerships) and others, meanwhie, are giving customers prepackaged ists of products and prices. But such ists don t necessariy sove the probem. The prices are bunded with the oan and appear to the customer as a ump-sum monthy payment, forcing them to do the math to figure out how much the extras are. One tip: Get oan quotes from your bank or credit union before you go to the showroom. If you d rather borrow through the deaership, it s best, experts say, never to base your negotiations on the size of the monthy payment. Instead, te them the tota you want to pay for the car and hagge over that figure. Simiary, with add-ons, tak totas not monthy instaments. An Excerpt from Tricks of the Trade, CONSUMER REPORTS, Apri 2003 Be wary. The deaership s business manager may try to se you undercoating, rustproofing, fabric protection, extended warranty, windshied etching, etc. They re generay worthess or overpriced. The detais: These additiona charges usuay incude protection you don t need, incuding etching your Vehice Identification Number (VIN) on windows to deter thieves, rustproofing, and fabric protection. Approximate deaer cost: $90 for a three services. The cost to you: $1,000 or more. Usuay the charges are printed right on the form, as if you have no right to change them, says author Sutton. One CONSUMER REPORTS car buyer was asked to pay $159 for VIN etching and $189 for gass, battery, and tire protection, though no one had expained those services. The prep fee is suppose to cover the deaer s cost to gas up the car and get it ready for you. What you shoud do: Refuse to pay these fees; put a ine through the items on the bi of sae. Vehice bodies are aready coated to protect against rust. Uphostery is typicay treated at the factory. Some states require deaers to offer VIN etching, but you can do it yoursef with Kits you can buy onine for $25. Get used to saying, I m not going to pay that, Sutton says. You be surprised how quicky they back off, especiay if you threaten to wak out. EDMUNDS.COM, January 2003 Shoud I buy rustproofing, fabric protection packages, paint seaant, and other deaer-instaed items? Of course not. Most new cars are covered against rust perforation for severa years and up to 100,000 mies. Want to protect your fabric? Go to an auto parts store and buy a can or two of Scotchguard. New cars have cearcoat paint, which offers protection from the eements. A itte ebow grease and a jar of carnauba wax wi keep the finish protected and ooking great. By investing a itte time and effort into your automobie, you can save hundreds on these highy profitabe deaer protection packages.
4 WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TRA The Experts Say To Rey On The Factory Warranty. Here s What The Factory Warranty Says... Most manufacturer s don t warrant your car won t rust... They warrant you won t get a hoe from rust, for 5 or 6 years or up to 100,000 mies. The foowing are excerpts from the Warranty as stated in the Toyota Vehice Owner s Manua and is typica of most manufacturer s warranties. Corrosion Perforation Warranty This warranty covers repair or repacement of any origina body pane that deveops perforation from corrosion (rust-through), subject to the exceptions indicated under What Is Not Covered on pages Coverage is for 60 months, regardess of mieage. For information on how to protect your vehice from corrosion, see the section entited Corrosion Prevention and Appearance Care in the Owner s Manua. Page 11 of the Warranty Booket continues... This warranty does not cover damage or faiures resuting directy or indirecty from (among other things): Lack of or improper maintenance Airborne chemicas, tree sap, road debris (incuding stone chips), rai dust, sat, hai, foods, winter storms, ightning and other environmenta conditions TOYOTA VEHICLE OWNER S MANUAL Note: Chevroet warrants against rust for 36 months/36,000 mies and against perforation (a hoe from rust) for 6 years but caps mieage at 100,000. VW has perforation warranty for 12 years regardess of mieage. The Experts Rarey Te You About... The Required Maintenance To Keep The Factory Warranty In Effect In order to keep your warranty in effect, Toyota recommends that you take certain preventative maintenance steps to protect your car. Foowing are a few of the recommended practices. GENERAL MOTORS EVEN SUGGESTS CERTAIN PRODUCTS BE USED TO PROPERLY MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE... GM Vehice Care/Appearance Materias Description Usage Protecting Your Toyota From Corrosion The most common causes of corrosion to your vehice are: Road sat or dust contro chemicas wi acceerate corrosion. High humidity acceerates corrosion. Wetness or dampness to certain parts of your vehice for an extended period of time. High ambient temperatures can cause corrosion. To hep prevent corrosion on your Toyota, foow these guideines: Wash your vehice frequenty If you drive on sated roads in the winter or if you ive near the ocean, you shoud hose off the undercarriage at east once a month to minimize corrosion. High pressure water or steam is effective for ceaning the vehices underside and whee housings. Wash the underside of the vehice thoroughy when winter is over. Check the interior of your vehice. Water and dirt can accumuate under the foor mats and coud cause corrosion. Use mud shieds on your whees. If you drive on sated or grave roads, mud shieds hep protect your vehice. Keep your vehice in a we ventiated garage or a roofed pace. Do not park your vehice in a damp, poory ventiated garage. Washing your car. The foowing cases may cause weakness to the paint or corrosion to the body and parts. Wash your vehice as soon as possibe. When having coa tar, tree sap, bird droppings and carcass of an insect. To prevent water spots, dry the vehice using a cean, soft cotton towe. Do not rub or press hard you might scratch the paint. Waxing your Toyota. Appy wax once a month or if the vehice surface does not repe water we. Wax the vehice again when water does not bead but remains on the surface in arge patches. Ceaning the Interior Viny Interior The viny uphostery may be easiy ceaned with a mid soap or detergent and water. Carpets Use a good foam-type shampoo to cean the carpets. Leather Interior The eather uphostery may be ceaned with neutra detergent for woo Toyota Vehice Owner s Manua Poishing Coth Wax-Treated Interior and exterior poishing coth. Tar and Road Oi Remover Removes tar, road oi and asphat. Chrome Ceaner and Poish Use on chrome or stainess stee. White Sidewa Tire Ceaner Removes soi and back marks from whitewas. Viny Ceaner Ceans viny tops, uphostery and convertibe tops. Gass Ceaner Removes dirt, grime, smoke and fingerprints. Chrome and Wire Whee Removes dirt and grime from chrome Ceaner whees and wire whee covers. Finish Enhancer Removes dust, fingerprints, and surface contaminents, spray on, wipe off. Swir Remover Poish Removes swir marks, fine scratches and protects finish. Ceaner Wax Removes ight scratches and protects in one easy step, no wiping necessary. Foaming Tire Shine-Low Goss Ceans, shines and protects in one easy step, no wiping necessary. Wash Wax Concentrate Medium, foaming shampoo. Ceans and ighty waxes. Biodegradabe and phosphate free. Spot Lifter Quicky and easiy removes spots and stains from carpets, viny and coth uphostery. Odor Eiminator Odoress spray odor eiminator used on fabrics, viny, eather and carpet Cavaier Owners Manua Genera Motors Corporation 8/02/02
5 DITIONAL DEALER ADD-ONS VS THE FITZWAY Compare Our Low Prices Propery priced, add-ons can be extremey vauabe in extending the ife of your vehice and hep reduce repair costs. The Wa Street Journa June 20, 2002 Artice Prices Consumer Reports Prices Prices Gap Loss Protection $499 $399 Extended Warranty (service contract) $699 $300 Lojack Security System $699 $595 Vehice Care Program $329 See our Buyer Protection Pan VIN Etching $395 $69 Environmenta Protection Pan (paint seaant) $499 $159 VIN Etching, Rustproofing, Fabric Protection $1,000 and more $367 Prices are subject to change without notice. Oftentimes, deaers wi under-price their vehices (to get you into their showroom) and then over-charge for add-ons to make up the difference for the ow price they ve quoted. The price comparison (at top) and the foowing information show that Fitzgerad AutoMa pricing is far ess expensive than what the experts report. DaimerChryser UNDERCOAT $ 159 If you don t have the time or equipment to wash the undercarriage of your car or you don t want to spend a sma fortune for someone ese to do it, we recommend our undercoat product. This thick, back, waxbased formua protects the underside of your vehice against road sat, dirt and road debris that can chip away the factory coating. This can cause rust and damage to the underside of your car. Comes with a ifetime warranty. $ 179 DaimerChryser RUST INHIBITOR In our opinion, there is no such thing as rustproofing! Most rustproofing services advertised refer to a tar-based product that both the manufacturer and we don t recommend. In the appication, hoes must be dried to propery appy the materia and often are not seaed propery or drain hoes become cogged causing water coection and utimatey rust. Our wax-based product creates a cear, waterproof, permanent bond; guaranteed against corrosive eements that can cause rust through from the inside out. Comes with a ifetime warranty. RUST INHIBITOR/UNDERCOAT PACKAGE (if done at same time) $ 299 LOJACK STOLEN VEHICLE POLICE RECOVERY NETWORK WSJ PRICE $ 699 OUR PRICE $ 595 The LoJack Poice Tracking Computer can receive a signa that identifies your vehice and eads poice directy to the stoen vehice. GAP LOSS PROTECTION WSJ PRICE $ 499 OUR PRICE $ 399 GAP pays any remaining baance due on your oan or ease after the payment from your insurance company in the event that your car is stoen or totaed. Shoud a baance be eft over after your insurance pays the market or cash vaue, a you wi have to pay is your insurance deductibe. EXTENDED WARRANTY/ SERVICE CONTRACT WSJ PRICE $ 699 OUR PRICE $ 300 Even if you can afford to sef insure, at a very ow price these are vauabe. This exampe is a sma car, power train ony. Most are much more expensive. DaimerChryser PAINT SEALANT WSJ PRICE $ 499 OUR PRICE $ 159 A tough protective seaant appied to your car that wi save you the expense of waxing your car for 3 years! Shines to a briiant, deep, wet-ook whie enhancing the cear coat on today s two-ayer paint finishes. $ 119 DaimerChryser FABRIC PROTECTION A resin-based formua appied to the fabric that makes spis bead up aowing easy cean-up by vacuuming or wiping with a gente ceaning soution. $ 69 VIN ETCHING A vehice identification system that eaves a permanent record on your vehices windows. Both the Montgomery County and MD State Poice say that VIN etching is successfu in deterring professiona thieves.
6 WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TRA The Utimate Deaer Add-On... Saves You Money On Repairs Not Covered By The Factory Warranty. The Fitzgerad Lifetime Buyer Protection Pan Lifetime Loaner Car The main deaer add-on we offer is our Lifetime Buyer Protection Pan, a pan that incudes both a ifetime oaner car and a preventive maintenance inspection program. This program is incuded in the Fitzgerad Vaue Price on every new and used vehice at a cost of $395. And, you aways have the option of choosing to purchase the pan or not! The Fitzgerad Lifetime Buyer Protection Pan was designed in part based on an American Automobie Association 1992 research study that cited the Fitzgerad Buyer Protection Pan Incudes a inspections isted and (4) $35 vouchers per year. These services performed whie you wait. A bets and hoses are inspected quartery. Recommendations for repacement are based on condition. Engine timing bet repacement is recommended at or before the interva that the manufacturer recommends. Fitzgerad Auto Mas uses oi that meets or exceeds the API cassification required for your vehice. The viscosity is seected based on manufacturer s recommendations for our oca cimate conditions. We foow the manufacturer s recommendations. Your oi and fiter coud be changed four times a year (every 3,750 mies or 3 months). We agree in most cases. The eve and condition of a fuids are checked quartery. Recommendations to fush the cooing system and repace antifreeze are made as needed. Wherever possibe, we group recommendations for cooing system fushing and hose repacement. The transmission fuid is inspected quartery for proper eve, condition and eaks. Recommendations to repace fuid and fiter (if equipped) are based on the manufacturer s maintenance schedue or the condition of your vehice. Your vehice is inspected for abnorma oi and fuid eakage quartery. As your vehice becomes oder, our Assistant Service Managers wi hep differentiate between eaks requiring repair and norma seepage. This heps you save money. CONSUMER REPORTS SAYS DON T BUY Savy Tips From ATD; How To Lengthen The Life Of Your Car. Consumer Union Insider, January 1998 Most new cars start to show major wear and tear when they reach the 80,000 mie mark, according to David Champion, director of CU s [Consumer Union] Auto Test Division (ATD). Rubber components, such as fan bets and hoses, are usuay the first parts to go on the typica car If your car has an overhead camshaft bet it s especiay critica that you repace it reguary If the overhead camshaft bet breaks, your car coud require a compete engine repacement. Choose the correct oi for your vehice. The owner s manua wi recommend the proper viscosity for your car. Don t waste money on expensive synthetic ois. Change the car s oi and fiter every 5,000 to 7,500 mies. CU s tests have found that most newer cars don t require oi changes every 3,000 mies. expensive oi and engine additives may actuay damage your engine. repace antifreeze every two years in hot cimates, every three to four years in more temperate areas. Repace the transmission fuid and fiter if your vehice has one every 36,000 mies. Check your car s engine once a week for oi eaks and dirt.
7 DITIONAL DEALER ADD-ONS VS THE FITZWAY inspection of over 113,000 vehices and the reasons for cas for roadside assistance. We aso took into account the services necessary to hep you maintain your new or used vehice in accordance with the manufacturer s requirements and recommendations. Excerpts from the artice How to Lengthen The Life of Your Car shown beow are from the Jan. 98 issue of Consumer s Union Insider. In it you see each maintenance item addressed by the author is covered by the Fitzgerad Lifetime Buyer Protection Pan. Next to each point in the artice is the coverage provided by our Pan. Remember, proper auto maintenance is critica to the performance of your vehice, and it doesn t have to be expensive! DEALER ADD-ONS. BUT THEY ALSO SAY: Run your car s air-conditioner for about 5 minutes each month Run your car s heater for 5 to 10 minutes a coupe of times during the summer Watch for brake-fuid eaks. Check tires twice a month for abnorma wear. Rotate tires every 7,500 mies Severa times a year, check battery terminas for gooey, white deposits. Wax your car three times a year in summer, fa, and spring Lubricate door hinges and ocks with a penetrating grease or graphite ubricant spray once a year. Hose down the underside of your car severa times during the winter, especiay if you frequenty drive in snow and your car is exposed to road sat, which can cause corrosion. Pay specia attention to whee arches and rocker panes. For both routine servicing and major repairs on cars ess than six years od, take the vehice to the deaer. A deaership empoys peope specificay trained to repair the cars it ses. But avoid being taked into costy additiona checks and repairs before getting a second opinion from a trusted technician. Fitzgerad Buyer Protection Pan Incudes a inspections isted and (4) $35 vouchers per year. These services performed whie you wait. We wi advise you on any signs of abnorma condensation during the quartery inspections. Ask us if your vehice operates the air conditioner refrigeration components whie using the defroster. On the cars that don t, this tip is even more important. A brake hydrauic ines are inspected quartery for eaks and damage. Tire wear, condition, and infation are inspected quartery. Aignment and whee baance are recommended as required. Tire rotation is recommended as appropriate, usuay every 7,500 mies. The battery and cabes are inspected quartery. We wi recommend this service as required. See our Paint Seaant option. (above) Door hinges are ubricated quartery and atch mechanisms are ubricated twice yeary as part of the manufacturer recommended maintenance. See our Rust Inhibitor/Undercoat option. (above) We absoutey agree. Our mission is to earn your trust.
8 Remember, when considering deaer add-ons YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO PURCHASE THEM OR NOT! At Fitzgerad Auto Ma, there are no rip-offs, and no surprises, and we don t se snake oi! Whatever you decide, we wi aways be friends! North Bethesda Rockvie Pike North Bethesda, MD Dodge, Subaru, Hyundai North Bethesda 5501 Nichoson Ln. North Bethesda, MD Buick, Pontiac, GMC Gaithersburg N. Fredrick Ave. Gaithersburg, MD FitzWay Used Car City Toyota Service and Parts Gaithersburg N. Frederick Ave. Gaithersburg, MD Toyota, Scion, Chryser, Jeep, Subaru, Hyundai Frederick 114 Baughmans Ln. Frederick, MD AUTOMALL DC Metro: Chevroet, Cadiac, Dodge, Mazda, Vokswagen, Saab Frederick 5640 Buckeystown Pike Frederick, MD Suzuki, Used Car Wheaton Georgia Ave. Wheaton, MD Dodge, Suzuki Germantown Amaranth Drive Germantown, MD Germantown Used Cars Chambersburg 1436 Lincon Way East Chambersburg, PA Toyota, Scion, Nissan NextCar A Vehice Rentas For Reservations Ca Or Onine at Annapois 34 Hudson Street Annapois, MD Batimore: DC Metro: Cadiac, Vokswagen Annapois 1930 West Street Annapois, MD DC Metro: Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki Cearwater US Highway 19 N. Cearwater, FL Chryser, Jeep, Subaru, Suzuki Cearwater US Highway 19 N. Cearwater, FL Hyundai For comments or questions emai us at D1003 rev