Mar 2, 2008, 3:27 PM
Post #1 of 19
Last week I had my 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo stolen off the lot of the dealer in San Diego where I had taken it for some warranty work. I am going to post the various things that happen from that event until the whole situation is resolved and/or I kill myself from frustration. The actions I take may be stupid and contradictory or they may be brilliant. I will not claim they are THE way to deal with the situation, but they will be what I am doing to deal with it.
How To Deal With A Having A Car Stolen
Can't Post | Private Reply
1. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE. ALWAYS HAVE YOUR STICKER REMOVED BEFORE YOU LEAVE MEXICO.
When I got to the aduana outside Sonoyta and was standing in line to clear the car, the people ahead of me were having a problem because they did not have their title. Since I had not yet received my title from South Dakota, it dawned on me that I would not be able to get a new sticker upon my return if I had it removed. Since I was going for a few days, driving about 40 miles into the US, taking the car to the dealer for repairs, loading a few items to bring back, and then returning, I decided that the risk was minimal and went on to the border - Stupid me.
2. When the car was stolen, we immediately filed a police report. This is essential to any resolution to the situation. Since it took place in CA, our situation is probably different from one who might have their car stolen in Mexico.
3. The dealer at first tried to stonewall us and claim that they had no responsibility for the theft. They told us we would have to wait 30 days and then they would deal with us and most likely reject any claim we might make. Since three of their employees saw the theft take place in an area out of bounds to any but employees and, contrary to company policy, they had left a set of keys in the car, we pointed out that their non responsibility clause - probably unenforcable in a court of law - was trumped by their negiligence in this matter. This, and the threat of an attorney, changed their attitude and they are negotiating with us about replacing the car with a like car or making a financial settlement.
We may have to resort to an attorney, and have consulted with one who is prepared to represent us, but if we do retain him, we will likely end up paying him most of what we settle for. We hope that the situation can be resolved amicably. The attorney agrees, but tells us to constantly remind them that we have an attorney just foaming at the mouth to file a suit. Currently my wife is in CA dealing with the dealer and his attorneys, with whom she seems to have a good rapport.
4. I have met with an agent who will help me process the papers to send to Mexico City to get the car removed from my record so that we can import the replacement car. We have decided to wait at least a week before filing these papers. Our thinking is that if our car is recovered intact, we do not want to have such papers on file. Further, I have been informed by the agent and several other people that filing the papers may never get the car removed from my record without a lot of further dealing with Mexico officials. We realize that any results from this effort will be achieved long after we need to have a new car brought here.
5. Because of the above, we have to either get our 1998 Mercury SUV taken out of the country or get it nationalized in order to replace it with whatever new car we get unless we get a cash settlement and can use the money to buy a Mexican plated car. Since having a Mexican plated car is much more desireous than having a US plated car as far as I am concerned, I am starting the process tomorrow to get the Mercury nationalized. This is a desirable outcome regardless of what happens with the other car - or even if we don't end up with another car.
Therefore, tomorrow I will go to the Guad airport Aduana and try to start the process to get the Merc converted. If that fails, I will go to a border crossing and find an agent to handle the matter. Normally, it would probably be easier to do that, but with the current situation, nationalizing at the border may be somewhat chaotic. Of course, if nationalization of all cars except 1998s ends tomorrow, then it may be a piece of cake.
This is one of the problems in dealing with all things in Mexico including this nationalization situation. I was reliably told Friday by the authorities in Tijuana who deal with importing cars that there was a nationalization program going on currently that ends March 17. Today, I find - thanks to song_of_joy who posted an article on another thread that I started, that only 1998 cars will be allowed in as of tomorrow. Since the only effects on me are the increase in value of my car if the article is correct or the long lines at the border if the aduana official is correct I will have to find out the truth because my actions will be different depending on the situation. My car is a 1998 and is not an import from Japan, which would make it illegal to import.
Summary: So the current situation is: Our 2005 Jeep is gone. We hope to get it back, but if not, we think we'll be reimbursed soon by the dealer. We have two cars on our record and to bring a new one into the country will have to get our Merc nationalized. We will make efforts to get the Jeep off our record, but that is not critical as it is a long term project.
AS THIS SAGA DEVELOPED AND WENDS IT'S WEARY WAY TO A CONCLUSION, IF ANYONE HAS BETTER SUGGESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO PM ME OR TO POST YOUR THOUGHTS. AS I SAID ABOVE, MY SOLUTION MAY NOT BE THE BEST OR YOUR SOLUTION, BUT I'M REPORTING WHAT I'M DOING AFTER TALKING TO A LOT OF PEOPLE AND DOING WHAT RESEARCH I CAN. I HOPE THIS WILL NEVER BE OF VALUE TO YOU AND YOU NEVER HAVE A CAR STOLEN.
(This post was edited by Bloviator on Mar 2, 2008, 3:47 PM)