We are continuing our coverage on what seems to be the story of the year. As we announced a few days ago, Mr. Ken Tanisaka has won an Ebay auction for a brand new BMW M3. The auction ended at $60,000 which turned out to be a great deal for Ken, but in the same time, a huge headache. The story has become so popular over the internet that many websites, blogs and forums had a record number of visitors(including your own BMW Blog).
Today, many news stations, such as CNN, MSNBC, Chanel 8, have requested interviews with the representatives at BMW of Lincoln, Nebraska. Since the things evolved so fast and a large scale, lawyers from both parties have been involved. In our previous update, we shared with you that BMW of Lincoln agreed to sell the car at the Ebay auction price but…under certain conditions.
He got the dealership to remove two conditions Fil Catania tried to impose on the deal on Monday. The first condition was that I agree not to sell the car for 2 years. They agreed (through their corporate counsel in Arizona) to drop that one. The second condition was that I agree to confidentiality and that I do something to stop the press from contacting the dealership and say something nice about the dealership. We got that one dropped, too.
I was told to arrange to make the deposit with Fil Catania at the dealership today (and was given a 4 hour deadline). To my dismay, Fil Cataniam, the GM, used my call as an opportunity to berate me, telling me CSNBC, etc.,. etc., were calling the dealership again. In my call to him, he also refused to take my credit card! In essence, he has rejected the deal corporate counsel for the parent company had worked out with my lawyer last night.
Do you think this was over? Not even close.
So I am ceasing communication with the dealer for now. My lawyer drafted the letter that appears below (he has dealt with Mr. Herbert Klein, general counsel for BMW NA in the past), which he faxed earlier today to BMW NA..
Also, other dealerships have been calling me, offering not only support, but greart deals on M3s! As much as I would love to take one of them, I don't know tif they are real offers or not, and I simply want BMW of Lincoln to live up to its obligations to me.
Honestly, I do not think this will be over soon and out of this whole game, the BMW dealership will be suffering the most.
Here is my question to you and other dealerships, regardless of the brands: was it really worth it all these negative publicity for a $5,000-$6000 loss?
My opinion: No, I would have gladly acknowledged my mistake and I would have been better off in a long run.
And finally, here is the letter Ken has sent to BMWNA
March 26, 2008
Herbert L. Klein, Corporate Counsel
BMW of North America
300 Chestnut Ridge Road
Woodcliff, New Jersey 07677-7731
I represent Ken Tanisaka in connection with his dealings with BMW of Lincoln.
No doubt you have heard of the controversy that became viral on the Web this weekend.
Ken and I had worked out a “no preconditions” deal in which BMW of Lincoln
was going to treat him as any other customer and sell him the M3 sedan at the winning
bid made by Ken on eBay. ($60,000 plus a $399 title or document fee.) Mike Maledon,
counsel for the parent company that owns BMW of Lincoln, instructed me to have Ken
call Fil Catania, the general manager of that BMW store, to provide credit card
information and place the deposit. Mike had told me that Ken had 24 hours (from last
night) in which to make the deposit.
When Ken called Mr. Catania, Ken was subjected to an abusive lecture and told
it was his (Ken’s) responsibility to make the press go away. Mr. Catania refused to take
a deposit from Ken, effectively reneging on the deal that was reached yesterday, in which
BMW of Lincoln, through Mike Maledon, had agreed not to impose an impossible
condition that Ken “control the press.”
Can you help us? As you may be aware from the blogosphere, thousands of
BMW afficionados are asking “What is BMW NA doing about this?” I think that’s a fair
question. And, once we get this straightened out, perhaps BMWFS can also step up to