Toyota is currently taking legal action against Sally Shafton, an 81-year-old widow, for fees connected with her husband’s early cancellation of his lease, The Los Angeles Times reported. The reason behind his early cancellation? Death at 83 from prostate cancer.
Bob Shafton leased a Prius from a Manhattan Beach, Calif. Toyota dealership nine months before he died. Sally told the L.A. Times that a salesman assured Bob if he died it might interrupt the lease. After he passed in December, Sally contacted Toyota Financial Services to describe the situation and inform them that they could pick are available up the car. A few weeks later, a Toyota employee arrived to her home and took it back.
Sally thought the lease was over and done with until she received a bill from Toyota seeking $2,352.72 from Bob’s estate. Bob owed three years worth of lease payments, or $27,470, on the Prius when he died. After taking it back, Toyota position the barely used car up for auction, where it sold for $23,800. Bob’s estate was expected and legally bound to pay for the difference, along with a $225 charge for retrieval and $83 for reconditioning the car.
Recondition? Shafton exclaimed to the Times. It was a brand new car that we’d had for only nine months. And Bob was so ill he rarely drove it.
Sally was contacted by the law practice Weltman, Weinberg & Reis on behalf of Toyota. While Sally herself is not really on the hook, as she wasn’t about the lease, Toyota seems determined to get their $2,352.52 from her dead husband’s estate, which is everything Bob and Sally had built over 60 years.