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Car dealership information privacy?

whallyden

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I bought a new car a few months ago from a large local dealer in a routine transaction that included a trade-in. Last night I received a voice mail (on my cell) from the buyer of my trade-in seeking some specific information about the car's service history. I have to assume that the dealer disclosed my name and number to the buyer -- which doesn't smell right at all. Is this common? If not, how should I proceed?
 

Z-Class

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That is really unprofessional for the car dealership to do. I wouldn't say anything to the guy who called you and I'd call the dealership and tell them that they can't give out your personal information for any reason whatsoever.
 

Hombre Secreto

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Did you read carefully what you signed?
 

ter1413

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Last 2 posts are spot on!
 

Harold falcon

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Originally Posted by whallyden
I have to assume that the dealer disclosed my name and number to the buyer

If the dealer did this, it was very unprofessional, but it is possible the buyer came by the information outside the dealer. Carfax history reports or motor vehicle titles (which are often public records) might disclose this information, which is where the buyer might have got it.
 

whallyden

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I had suspected these sources as well, but a quick internet search seems to indicate limited access to personal information.

Originally Posted by harvey_birdman
Carfax history reports...might disclose this information, which is where the buyer might have got it.

From Carfax:

"U.S. Privacy Laws "” The U.S. Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) of 1994, among other laws, restricts the use of personal information such as name and address, to specific purposes. It has therefore always been CARFAX's policy to focus its reporting on vehicles, not people."

Originally Posted by harvey_birdman
...motor vehicle titles (which are often public records) might disclose this information, which is where the buyer might have got it.

From the Iowa DoT:

"The Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act, Pub. No. 106-69, }350(b) or 18 U.S.C. 2721, and Iowa Code 321.11 prohibits the disclosure of personal information about any individual from a motor vehicle record to the general public without written consent of the person to whom the information pertains."
 

whallyden

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Originally Posted by Hombre Secreto
Did you read carefully what you signed?

I'm nearly positive I did not sign a release of my personal information. I'm going to swing by the dealer to get a definitive answer.
 

BP348

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Last car I bought I was looking through the car and found a business card stuck in the back pages of the owners manual. I showed it to the salesman and he took the card and informed me that the personal information of the previous owner was confidential and they were not allowed to disclose that information to the buyer. He was pretty embarrased that the card wasn't found when they cleaned the car after taking it in as a trade.

Thats how it is here in TX.
 

Xericx

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Tell them to call the dealer. You sold them the car. You don't have any information.

Report dealer to local BBB and DMV or whomever handles that kind of stuff. Just write a short 2 paragraph letter outlining what happened.
 

lee_44106

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Did you wipe clean ALL personal information from the car itself (such as in the Navigation system....etc). I've seen people put in their home address for ease of navigation and then do not wipe the hard drive clean
 

JayJay

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I'd be pissed if a dealer had a prospective buyer contact me. I've had dealers ask permission to do this, and I've always denied it. I keep detailed service records and pass them on to the dealer with my personal info removed, but I will not discuss the car after it's no longer in my possession. I'm not a car salesperson.
 

Steve Smith

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Here is what COULD have happened:

1. You trade in vehicle to dealership. Dealership has title.

2. Dealership sells to wholesaler or used car retail dealer. This involves an endorsement on the back of your title.

3. Retail buyer buys car for cash and gets your old title with its string of endorsements. This is one of the items he needs to take to DMV in order to get his title and tags.

4. The title has your name and address on it.

5. Retail buyer opens phone book, looks you up, and calls.

No law was violated by anyone in this scenario.
 

MrG

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Originally Posted by Steve Smith
Here is what COULD have happened:

1. You trade in vehicle to dealership. Dealership has title.

2. Dealership sells to wholesaler or used car retail dealer. This involves an endorsement on the back of your title.

3. Retail buyer buys car for cash and gets your old title with its string of endorsements. This is one of the items he needs to take to DMV in order to get his title and tags.

4. The title has your name and address on it.

5. Retail buyer opens phone book, looks you up, and calls.

No law was violated by anyone in this scenario.


I was with you until point five. OP explicitly stated that he received the call on his cell phone. Does your local phone book list cell phone numbers?
 

Tck13

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The last car I bought (a couple of months ago) had service information in the owner's manual with the name, address, phone, etc. of the last person that bought the car, the salesman information, etc...

This car had one owner, came off lease, was sold to an auction, delivered from Connecticut to Pennsylvania, fully serviced and then sold to me.

I figured that out just by the pprwrk in the glove box which was left in the owner's manual.

I doubt that the dealership gave out your personal info but I guess it's always possible and it wouldn't hurt to double check. I'd assume that the person just got your information from pprwrk somewhere in the car or in a transaction somewhere when he bought it.

Maybe the guy that bought it works for an auction or another dealership and has questions about your car and saw your info. This happens all of the time as dealerships don't always sell cars to the public, they'll auction them off or sell them to other dealers that would do better with them. Those guys would have easy access to your info.

I wouldn't worry about this guy calling you. In fact, why not call him back and ask him where he got your info? Also, why not just tell him about your car? He can't do anything to you because of your car and it might be helpful. It's always nice to know what the story is behind a car.

Or not...
 

Steve Smith

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Originally Posted by MrG
I was with you until point five. OP explicitly stated that he received the call on his cell phone. Does your local phone book list cell phone numbers?


I skimmed the OP and didn't retain that it was a cell call. However, much of this thread has been questioning how this outrageous breach of privacy could have occurred. I am just explaining what happens with a vehicle title after the vehicle is sold.
 

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