A Dodge dealership in the US accused of selling a custom order Challenger SRT Demon 170 out from under an American soldier serving in Iraq has announced it has terminated several employees after the saga came to light.
He had reportedly arranged for family members to pick up the vehicle in early January, however it turns out there was no vehicle to pick up.
Mac Haik Dodge in Flowood, Mississippi allegedly sold the solider’s custom-built F8 Green Demon 170 to another customer for a sizeable markup. The dealership denied the claims and reportedly said the soldier’s car was never ordered in the first place.
A customer who reportedly purchased a Demon 170 finished in Triple Nickel from the same dealership also had his car sold to another customer.
The customer of the Triple Nickel Demon 170 reportedly drove eight hours to see his car but was instead offered the soldier’s F8 Green Demon 170 which was pending delivery.
The serviceman reportedly agreed to pay a US$50,000 (A$74,500) markup for the Demon 170 when he ordered his car.
StellPower reports the unknowing customer agreed to a larger markup for the soldier’s car and after some negotiation with the dealership, the alleged resale of the F8 Green Demon 170 was signed.
It wasn’t until the customer posted his new purchase to a Facebook group – of which the solider coincidentally was a member – that the customers realised what the dealership had done.
The solider reportedly went back and forth with the dealership over a resolution about the matter however StellPower reports none of the dealer’s solutions were acceptable.
Dodge boss Tim Kuniskis heard about the incident after members of the Brotherhood of Muscle reached out to him on social media, and got in contact with the soldier to see what he could do.
The customer who took delivery of the F8 Green Demon 170 reportedly arranged to return it to the dealership, however the vehicle had accumulated mileage during the customer’s brief ownership.
While the dealership wasn’t able to provide a solution, Mr Kuniskis stepped in to make things right.
He reallocated a vehicle that was assigned to the company’s top sellers and put it through the Jailbreak process for free, which will see it repainted to a colour of the customer’s choosing by an upfitter.
Additionally, the soldier will pay Dodge’s recommended retail price for the vehicle.
That’s not all. Members of the Brotherhood of Muscle also reached out to Jay Leno about the incident and StellPower reports Mr Leno asked to help and has offered to host the delivery of the soldier’s vehicle at his garage.
“Many other owners and the guy who purchased my original vehicle have reached out and offered their own solutions,” the serviceman told StellPower.
“I’ve had many people offer up their own cars to me for purchase. The guy who purchased mine even offered to spend more money to buy another one if I wanted to buy mine from him. The brotherhood is real.
“All those options were well received, and I was grateful for everyone’s willingness to help but it wasn’t on them to fix. It should have been on the dealership to fix.”
Mac Haik Flowood confirmed it has fired its general manager, sales manager and the salesperson involved in the transaction, apologising publicly for the debacle and thanking Butter Da Great for reporting on it.
The original F8 Green Demon 170 is now back at the dealership, and Mac Haik Flowood says it’s not available for sale to anybody except the soldier – and if he decides to pass on the car, they’ll wholesale it and donate all the proceeds to a charity of the soldier’s choosing.
It has also confirmed it will sell its allocation of Demon 170s at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).
“We’ve made some BIG mistakes that affected multiple people, good people that didn’t deserve to be in the middle of this,” said the company on its Facebook page.
“To the service member who came in months in advance to sit down and order the car, to the other good-hearted people who had the rug pulled out from under them. We apologize.
“No amount of “I’m sorry’s” can un-do what’s already been done, we know that, but rest assured it will never happen again.
“None of the employees involved in the situation represent our core company values, and that’s why they are no longer with us.
“We are also grateful for the YouTubers and social media influencers who helped bring this story to our attention in the first place.
“Thank you to “Butter Da Great” for breaking the story and calling on Dodge to make it right, and thank you to “TK” for making sure we followed through on all of our promises!
“Without you, this may have been swept under the rug, and the dishonest people in their positions of power would’ve been left there to do it again.”
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon 170 has 764kW of power and 1281Nm of torque. It can sprint from 0-60mph (96km/h) in 1.66 seconds.