Once you trade in your vehicle to the dealership, you typically don’t have much power over where it ends up. And that’s usually not a problem, unless your truck ends up in an ISIS propaganda picture with your company’s decal still pasted on the doors.
That’s exactly what happened to Texas plumber Mark Oberholtzer, who sold his company’s F-250 truck to a Ford dealer in 2013. While he tried to remove the company’s decal before the transaction, a salesman allegedly told him to leave it to the dealership to handle so as not to ruin the original paint. But the decal was never removed, and the truck was shipped off to Turkey before it somehow ended up in the hands of ISIS in Syria. Now, Oberholtzer is suing the Ford dealer for $1 million after his business suffered from some extremely bad publicity.
In late 2014, a terrorist tweeted a picture of the truck, which ISIS had transformed into a mount for a giant anti-aircraft gun. Unfortunately for Oberholtzer, the truck still has his company’s name and phone number clearly displayed on the doors. After the picture went viral, Oberholtzer received death threats and hundreds of harassing phone calls, the lawsuit alleges. Things got so bad that he eventually shut down his business for a week.
According to court records, Oberholtzer had experience selling other company trucks to dealerships and was accustomed to having them take off the decals. Oberholtzer’s lawsuit claims the dealer is guilty of gross negligence and invasion of privacy.
Source: New York Daily News,