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It’s Called Personal Responsibility, People…

March 15, 2007

I was browsing my usual auto industry sources this morning when I came across the following, and decided I had to comment.

Bipolar Michigan Woman Sues Dealer For Taking Advantage of Mental Illness to Sell Her a Car

She went in for an oil change, but came out with a brand-new car.

Now a Michigan woman is suing the auto dealer, saying it took advantage of her bipolar disorder to sell her the $32,000 vehicle.

Amy Berner tells the Detroit News she suffers from "impulsivity and
difficulty in decision-making," and the dealer used that to get her to
sign a $444 per month lease for a Mazda CX-9.

Berner says she had gone to the dealer for an oil change for her car, which she had bought just six months earlier.

Berner’s husband says the dealer agreed to take the car back if it
got a doctor’s letter detailing Berner’s condition. He says the letter
was sent, but the dealer delivered the CX-9 anyway, and left the keys
in the mailbox.

Suburban Imports of Troy says it can’t comment on the suit because it hasn’t received any legal papers yet.

Boy, I can’t wait until I do something stupid and get to blame it on a mental disorder!

Sorry, lady, but I fail to see how the dealer took advantage of your bipolar disorder to sell you a car.  Unless you flat out told them, "I’m bipolar and given to impulsive behavior", and they proceeded to use that to sell you the car.  Otherwise, you are just one of many customers who go in for an oil change and end up leaving with a new car.

It is not their fault that your decision making was impaired – kudos, by the way, for getting behind the wheel of a car while in such a condition – and besides, they’ve agreed to take the car back with a doctor’s note.  That’s pretty decent of them.

So here’s my advice.  Suck it up.  Either get a doctor’s note, or kick back and enjoy your CX-9 (nice ride, by the way).  But don’t sue the dealership, and don’t play attention whore by pimping your story to the press.

Final thought.  Given the sad state of the national savings rate, rampant credit card debt, and overall tendency toward conspicuous consumption, maybe the U.S. population in general suffers from bipolar disorder and the attendant tendency toward impulse buying…

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