This is the first story in our three-part series that looks at the extraordinary growth in mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts for everything from jobs to cell phones to medical care. Check out Part Two and Part Three.
Six years ago, Jon Perz bought a used blue Ford Escort from Mossy Toyota in Pacific Beach.
During a test drive, Perz said he noticed a jarring vibration emanating from the car’s bowels every time he stopped at a red light or a stop sign. He said the salesman told him not to worry, that the engine’s idler needed a minor adjustment, and that he could bring the car in any day for a quick fix. Satisfied, Perz signed a contract to buy the vehicle for a cash price of $7,995.
As he drove home to Hillcrest, Perz noticed the vibration again. A couple days later, he brought the car back to Mossy for the adjustment. But when he picked it up, he said the car was still shaking violently. That’s when he started to get worried.