Wrecked 2012 Camaro ZL1
Patrick Rall's picture

Georgetown Chevrolet in Delaware Totals Owners 2012 Camaro ZL1 - Refuses to Replace It

An interesting and unfortunate story out of Delaware is spreading through the media where a customer’s 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was totaled by a dealership employee who had taken it for a joyride and now the dealership is refusing to replace the car – instead working to sell the owners of the wrecked ZL1 the chance to buy a different used ZL1 from the dealership that killed their prized Camaro.

The story of the wrecked 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 #1635 starts back on December 15th 2013 when a service advisor at Georgetown Chevrolet broke into the closed dealership and stole the keys to ZL1 in question. The car had been dropped off earlier in the week by owners John and Debbie Hooper for some warranty paint work and they were assured that the car would be locked up for the weekend. It was locked up for the weekend but that didn’t stop Georgetown Chevrolet employee Eric Peterson from entering the dealership while they were closed and stealing the Hooper’s Camaro ZL1 for a joy ride. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Peterson proved to be a better thief than he is a driver and while on the joy ride in the 2012 ZL1, he lost control and hit a utility pole. The Camaro ZL1 owned by the Hoopers was destroyed around 4:47pm and according to a local paper, Peterson was fired on the spot for stealing the customer’s Camaro.

Sounds crappy right? Well, at least it is a Chevrolet dealership so they wont have a problem repairing the Camaro ZL1 to a like-new status? Right? Evidently not. Georgetown Chevrolet – which is part of the First State Chevrolet group – informed the Hoopers that they would work to find the couple another, similar 2012 Camaro ZL1 for them to buy. That’s right…the dealership expected the owners to pay for the replacement to the car which was totaled by a rogue employee while in the dealership’s possession.

According to John Hoopers’ posts on Camaro5, the couple waited until January 6th (22 days) for the dealership to get in touch with them when they found another 2012 Camaro ZL1 for them to buy. When the Hoopers got to the dealership, the car was black like their car but it had sunroof which they did not want, 34% more miles than their totaled car, different wheels than the totaled ZL1 and non-GM badging on the front and back of the car. Through CarFax, the Hoopers also found out that this was a two owner car (they were told that it was a one owner car) which had been involved in an accident so Georgetown/First State Chevrolet expected this couple to pay for a car that was used and previously wrecked because one of their employees totaled the couple’s ZL1. The couple refused this “deal” as they didn’t find it to be an acceptable replacement for their wrecked Camaro but the dealership and its insurance company has refused to do anything else for the couple.

If this all sounds like sensationalized forum chatter, it should be known that this whole ordeal has been reported by a handful of local news sources in the Delaware area and the service advisor Eric Peterson was charged by the police for the accident. In the end, the dealership was entrusted with the Hoopers’ 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and one of their employees totaled that car. Then, rather than just running it through their insurance to purchase the couple another ZL1 that is a true replacement for the car that the business allowed to be totaled – the dealership is trying to score a sale out of the situation. This is exactly the kind of crap that prevents so many people from trusting their local dealership with their vehicle because – as this story has shown – big business with a powerful insurance company can literally destroy your car with no repercussions.

The folks at Jalopnik spoke with the general manager of the thieving Chevrolet dealership and he reiterated that they had done exactly what was instructed by their insurance company and that the Hoopers could either take the deal or not. The slimy GM went on to explain that because the couple wanted more cash due to the differences between their wrecked ZL1 and the used/wrecked ZL1 found for them but the dealership and their insurance company both refused to accept that demand. As it stands right now, the Hoopers are without a 2012 Camaro ZL1 and it doesn’t appear that Georgetown Chevrolet or First State Chevrolet will be making this right anytime soon…while the Hoopers continue to make payments on a car that was literally stolen by a dealership employee.

With any luck, all of the bad publicity for Georgetown Chevrolet and First State Chevrolet will encourage the low class dealership to man up and replace the Camaro ZL1 which their employee destroyed but regardless of what happens – this should serve as a stark wake-up call for anyone who lives in the Delaware area. It is important to know what kind of company you are doing business with and a dealership that totals cars and refuses to replace them is surely one that I would avoid.

Source: Jalopnik

Image: Camaro5.com

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Great story. One would expect a NEW ZL1 given the situation.
This is exactly the kind of thing which makes some people angry to the point of violence. There is nothing right about this at all. But nowadays, insurance companies hold all of the aces - they can and do pretty much anything they please without regard to the effects on people's lives. I hope the Hoopers can find a good attorney who is willing to fight this. I would also look into forcing the thief to help make restitution. But I'm sure that the dealer and their insurance company have already considered all of this and found ways to sleaze out of paying anything. Makes me sick.
Whoa. Hold on a minute. I am on your side in general, but you go way over the line saying the thief should be held accountable. That is pretty close to hate speech. How would you feel if you found out that the person who "used the car without permission" and "entered the premises after hours" was in some way disadvantaged. Please keep this kind of hurtful sentiment to yourself. Children might be reading this for goodness sakes.
Yes, the thief should be also accountable.. he was a thief and has nothing to do with 'hate speech'.. he broke into a locked business, stole a vehicle and crashed it.. how is that not a thief.. some way disadvantage my ass.. he saw the car and wanted to drive it so he stole it after hours.. A thief! pure and simple!!
I agree! The car owner should go to the local city hall and apply for a picketing permit and begin picketing the business.
Why would you ask permission to protest something?
Permits = permission. You don't need permission to exercise your natural rights.
Why all the hurtful labels? Don't you think we should take into account the feelings of the person who crashed the car after taking it without permission? Perhaps he was a victim of income inequality. Asking people to take responsibility is a slippery slope.
What?! Your premise of consideration for the arrested and fired individual is ludicrous and borders on serious stupidity.
What are you talking about? You are being rediculous. How is saying the thief should be held accountable hate speech and offensive to children. The guy is a thief. He stole the car. The dealership and their insurance company are thieves too. No matter what financial trouble the guy has does not condone what he did.
"you go way over the line saying the thief should be held accountable. That is pretty close to hate speech." are you stupid? but hey man, you are totally right. A criminal should not be held accountable for their actions. What if their under privileged? That completely justifies their stealing of a car. In fact all poor and homeless and "disadvantaged" people should be allowed to do whatever they want because their situation is so dire. the rest of us are advantaged and are not allowed to do such things, but those hwo are less fortunate should be held to a lower standard of citizenship. HAHAHAHA idiot. total idiot.
Sarcasm often doesn't translate well, John. As can be seen by the responses here. :)
So sorry he expects people to be held accountable for their actions.... He STOLE it. he WRECKED it. he PAYS for it. why does that not make sense to you... maybe he cant afford it. Well what if the couple who owned the car cant afford to buy another one... should they still need to figure out how to make it work and pay for it?
Years ago in Utah, I had a friend who got shafted by a dealership when her car was screwed over by a mechanic in their shop and totaled. The "mechanic" was doing a simple oil change, but forgot to put new oil in, so she drove off the lot without oil in the engine and it quickly seized. The dealer tried to say it wasn't their fault because she drove away in the car. Long story short, they wouldn't pay and had lawyered up to avoid paying for anything. She got her car replaced through her own insurance, but what the dealer didn't know was how peeved she was and how many friends she had. We organized a protest on three of the biggest car sales days of the year, each in succession. On those days, we had signs and a large group (20 or more) of picketers walking the sidewalks around the dealerships deterring customers from entering the lot by yelling about how much of a clip joint the place was and how horrible their service was. Likely cost the dealership more than the car would have in lost sales. All legal, all within the grasp of anyone who wants to do it. Plus it got a lot of news attention, of course.
Go to court!! The company did NOT, in good faith, offer you an identical replacement. And I would sue the guy who broke into it, also.
I wonder of they asked there insurance company to intervene?
Happens a lot more than you would even believe, if you have a muscle car or a high performance motorcycle you better work on it yourself because if you leave it with a 10 $/hr grease monkey, they will likely give it the beating of a lifetime once they are out of your site.
posted to my Facebook and believe me I have HUNDREDS of friends on the Eastern Shore....what goes around comes around.
This is another prime example of how skewed our society has become. The revered "Private Sector" receives undeserved consideration in legislative, judicial and financial matters, while consumers are treated as nothing better than cash-flow resources. There is no genuine competition in the market these days, because businesses don't have to offer better products or services, to thrive under prevailing conditions.
That is insane the couple should have a brand new zl1 hand delivered to their home by the dealership owner himself and an apology should be giving to them as well for their trust being violated. Under the circumstances you would assume it would be a no brainer 100% dealer error if the guy didn't wreck it he would have returned it to the dealer after running the puss out if it and the couple would have got it back like that so how many peoples cars did this guy take or are they going to say it was the first and only one cause I don't believe that
@ John Goreham. Since when is wanting to hold someone accountable for their actions hate speech or stepping over the line. Children should read about that so they know that there are consequences for their actions. You sir are a moron. There is a little real hate speech for you and don't care if anyone is offended. But where I come from you are accountable for your actions. AND if the guy has the time to sneak into the shop after hours to take the car how disadvantaged could he really be. The nonsense that comes from some ppl. Both the dealership and the employee they fired are responsible.
I had a similar experience with a dealer but they didn't wreck it. A car jockey/runner in the service dept stole a key belonging to my car, then while we were out of town, stole my car from my house. The car interior was trashed and it was towed to an impound lot by the police. We had to pay the impound fee and have it cleaned (disgusting things were in it). There were no broken windows and the car was locked/alarm was set when we left. Although our neighbors described the thief and id ed him as the employee at the dealership said tough luck!
I used to sell Chevrolet vehicles, and believe me, if the dealership I worked at ever did this, they would have made it right. This couple needs to contact General Motors corporate with their complaint, on an attorney's letterhead would be ideal, and get corporate involved. They are not going to want their name smeared due to one unscrupulous dealer, and they will essentially tell the dealer to make it right or lose the right to sell GM products.
Update! For those who missed it, the General Motors got involved and the Hoopers are getting a new 2013 Camaro ZL1. http://www.torquenews.com/106/stolen-and-wrecked-chevrolet-camaro-zl1-saga-has-happy-ending-owners