Car dealer gives refund in thousands of pennies

Courtesy USA Today

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A woman who filed a complaint against a car dealership here was surprised when she went to pick up her refund: It was mostly in loose change.

Irena Mujakovic had bought a 2003 Saab from Holiday Motors in January that ended up with transmission problems. Holiday Motors of North Florida first repaired the vehicle for $300 and sold her a warranty.

But when the transmission went out again, the dealer charged her an additional $400, saying its warranty didn't cover labor. The student said she had to borrow the money to pay the bill, but she also went to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, whose investigators directed the company to give her a refund that she tried to get earlier this week.

"There were some one dollar bills but mostly pennies, like two full bags," Mujakovic said.

Ed Di Miranda, who runs the dealership, said the money, about $400, was the cash he had on hand, about $85 in coins and the rest in dollar bills. He emptied containers where he keeps spare change because business has been slow.

"I'm doing what the DMV asked me to do," Di Miranda said. "It is legal tender."

Mujakovic was angry, leaving the bags of cash at Holiday Motors because she said she didn't have time to count every penny.

Di Miranda said the incident occurred because he inadvertently omitted a clause in Mujakovic's warranty contract.

"The warranty did not cover labor, and I failed to write that in," he said. "That was her loophole."

Mujakovic still doesn't have her money; Di Miranda said the bags of cash are waiting for her at Holiday Motors.


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