Enraged Customer Crashes 'Lemon' Van Into Auto Dealership

Unemployed man furious after dealership wouldn't take back vehicle, he says.

ByABC News
July 21, 2011, 2:13 PM

July 22, 2011— -- David Cross took road rage to a whole new level.

Angry and upset that a Portsmouth, N.H., auto dealer wouldn't take back the used van he purchased on Monday, Cross got behind the wheel of the "clunker" Tuesday night, hit the gas and returned to the dealership after dark on a mission. He said he crashed the van into six cars parked on the Portsmouth Used Car Superstore lot that were up for sale.

"I hit six cars," Cross, 42, of Salisbury, Mass., told ABC News. "None of them were under $20,000. I used the lemon they sold me to move another van they wouldn't drop the price on. I pushed that car into the woods."

Now, Cross faces six felony counts of criminal mischief and a charge of driving after having his license suspended. It was suspended, he said, for falling behind on child support payments.

Cross understands and accepts the fact that he was wrong, but feels he made a point.

"I couldn't take it," he said. "I know I did wrong. I felt I was backed into a corner. Give me my money back. Just friggin' apologize and admit your fault. They should have told us face to face that that there were problems with the van. Let us know. And when we find out it has issues, take the van back or give us something comparable."

The Portsmouth Used Car Superstore put out a statement saying that Cross' wife bought the van, despite the fact that it had more than 100,000 miles on it.

"The buyer purchased the vehicle 'as is,' with a salvage title and signed an 'unsafe motor vehicle form,' as well as several other required documents indicating the vehicle was unsafe, uninspected and 'as is.' The purchaser declined to have her mechanic inspect the vehicle," the dealer said.

Angry Car Buyer Crashes "Lemon" Into Dealership

Cross said his wife paid $2,000 for the car on Monday, July 18, but he claims that she was told by the salesman that the vehicle was safe.

"He told us he wouldn't put his wife in an unsafe car, and he wouldn't put our family in an unsafe car," Cross said.

When the family took the vehicle to their mechanic, they said, they discovered that the van had numerous problems, including a broken odometer and a broken speedometer.

An Internet search showed that the van had been in a wreck, Cross said, and the family's insurance company told Cross that it could not insure the vehicle.

"It was a piece of crap," Cross told ABC News. "That's what my mechanic told me. He told us to take it back."

Cross said he went back to the car dealer and tried to work things out.

"All we wanted was the money back, the money for our down payment," he said.

According to Cross, the salesman and two managers wouldn't work things out with him.

"The manager told me, 'We won't take it back. You're stuck with it,'" Cross said.

He tried working out a deal for another van without luck, Cross said.

"I was completely shocked they would sell us a car with a broken odometer and not take it back," he said. "From now on, I am calling New Hampshire the lemon state."

When Cross and his wife returned home, the stress of the situation began to get the better of him.

"I just couldn't take it anymore," he said. "I have been unemployed for three years. I am a struggling man with a family, just trying to get by. We had bought used cars before and didn't have an issue."

He went to sleep for a few hours and woke up with the car still on his mind. While his wife was sleeping, Cross came to a decision.

"I wasn't going to let this guy do this to me," he said. "I drove to the dealership and started hitting $20,000 cars."