By on December 14, 2015

jihadf250

Many car buyers don’t like it when car dealers put hard to remove dealer decals on their new cars. Now a Texas plumber is suing a dealer for not removing decals advertising his plumbing business from a traded-in truck.

When Mark Oberholtzer, who owns Mark-1 Plumbing in Texas City, Texas, traded in his Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup on a new truck at AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway in October 2013, he says he started to remove the decals — but a dealer employee stopped him.

Oberholtzer now claims, in a $1 million lawsuit recently filed against the dealer, that a salesman said removing the decals would blemish the paint and the dealer had “something better for removal”.

A little more than a year later, Oberholtzer’s secretary alerted him to a photograph of his truck that had gone viral. Ansar al-Din, one of the Islamic jihadist groups fighting in Syria’s civil war, had tweeted out a photo of the truck complete with Mark-1’s name and phone numbers — but the truck was now equipped with an anti-aircraft gun mounted in the bed manned by masked jihadis. The tweet was accompanied by the message “‘using plumbing truck against regime in #Aleppo”.

The suit alleges that, “By the end of the day, Mark-1’s office, Mark-1’s business phone, and Mark’s personal cellphone had received over 1,000 phone calls from the around the nation. These phone calls were in large part harassing and contained countless threats of violence, property harm, injury and even death.”

Oberholtzer claims his secretary was so frightened by the threats that she refused to come in to the office, and that Oberholtzer and his family went to McCallen for more than a week to escape the barrage. While in McCallen, Oberholtzer says that he called the dealership and was told dealer personnel never touched the truck before it was shipped to Dallas. A vehicle history report shows the truck was sold at auction in Texas in November 2013 and shipped from Houston to Turkey by the end of that year.

The day after the jihadi photo of the truck went viral, “The Colbert Report” had its final episode before Colbert took David Letterman’s seat at CBS. The December 18, 2014 episode led with a segment titled “Texan’s Truck in Syria”. That episode was seen by almost 2.5 million viewers.

In addition to media attention, traditional and social, Oberholtzer was visited by agents of the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, whom he claims told him “there are crazy people out there” and to “protect himself”. As a result, Oberholtzer now carries a gun.

The plumber claims that harm to his business and his life from the jihadi pickup photo still continues a year later. “Whenever ISIS commits an atrocity that is reported nationally,” the phone number listed on the side of the jihadi truck starts ringing, the suit alleges.

It’s an interesting lawsuit. Normally, I’d say that Oberholtzer is suing the dealer because Americans have long been litigious, he feels damaged and that’s the only party he can sue. He can’t exactly sue Ansar al-whatever. However, the dealer’s employee did stop him from removing the identifying marks from the truck and the salesman did imply that they’d remove the stickers. It wouldn’t be the first time a salesman at a car dealership promised something that didn’t happen and Mark the plumber just might get some sympathy from a jury.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

157 Comments on “Texas Plumber Sues Dealer After Traded In Truck, With His Advertising, Ends Up With Syrian Jihadis...”


  • avatar

    You’d figure he would have removed those decals long before the truck set tire on dealership property. At least that’s what I would have done or even paid a detailer to do beforehand.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Well, on a financial basis, the dealership can do detailing work cheaper than you can hire somebody, and better than most DIY’s. I don’t consider it unreasonable for him to expect the dealer to follow through on their promise to remove the decals, and it’s true that unless this was an easy-to-remove decal, it’s not unlikely that an owner trying to remove it might damage the paint in the process.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I don’t think he figured THIS would be the outcome…

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Although I agree, we don’t know how the transaction went down. He might have been unsure if he was replacing the truck that day. If he was told that dealership “experts” will remove the decals, they did do him a great disservice. Stupid by the dealer too. If they would have cleaned up the truck a bit they also would have probably received a bit more money for it at auction.

      Either way, this case is definitely more valid than most lawsuits we here about.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Says he was taking the decals off at the dealership and someone actually stopped him.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m pretty sure that AutoNation is in a better position to understand auction values of a given vehicle than are you.

        It’s safe to bet that it was a high-mileage truck or otherwise not worth retailing, otherwise it would not have been sent to auction. The sticker would not make any difference at a dealer auction.

        The suit probably has no chance. The dealership would have bought it as-is.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          Yes, because every time a car gets traded into an AutoNation dealership they hold a board meeting deciding what they’re going to do with it. They are one of the most hated dealership groups, and aren’t exactly known for the high level of talent in their managerial positions. I’m sure it was a high mileage truck, but that doesn’t change the fact that if they had one of their $8/hour detailers perform a quick cleanup on the truck they would receive more money at auction. I’m not saying they had to go full CPO detail, just remove the vinyls, blend the paint behind them with the rest of the faded paint, and a quick wash and vacuum. Although what do I know, I’m sure you have way more dealership experience than me, right?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It wasn’t worth their time and effort to remove it, so they didn’t. It’s a wholesale auction, so nobody much cares.

            Whether you or anyone else dislikes AutoNation has nothing to do with anything.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            It’s got everything to do with it when you imply that Auto Nation is some supreme car dealership being that is infallible in their used car operations. If you can’t get employees who know what they’re doing, it leads to stupid mistakes.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Nobody claimed that AutoNation was “supreme.” But it’s safe to assume that it is in a better position than you to manage its auction inventory.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Whats hilarious about this exchange is it keeps continuing even though Pch clearly stated the facts of the matter twice.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            He hasn’t stated a single fact. Obviously it was worth their time, because paying a detailer who makes close to minimum wage to remove those decals would have prevented this costly lawsuit. Even if they successfully defend it, the legal fees will be substantial.

            Not doing a quick cleanup cost them money period. I knew a used car manager that would buy peices of junk at a wholesale auction during slow periods of time. Then he would have his detailers perform a quick cleanup, and he would sell it at the same wholesale auction. He said it he would earn a few hundred from each car, enough to be able to pay cover employees that would otherwise be be idle.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “It’s safe to bet that it was a high-mileage truck or otherwise not worth retailing, otherwise it would not have been sent to auction. The sticker would not make any difference at a dealer auction.”

            I worked auctions, this is a fact.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            I never argued that it should not have gone to auction. I said that having your minimum wage detailer perform a quick cleanup will have a positive on impact the price that thing will go for. I’m sure you’ve seen this yourself. If you can get a few hundred dollars more out of it, it’s worthwhile considering that at a very high estimate it’ll cost you $20 to have the quick cleanup performed. A couple of the better used car managers I’ve worked with would take the car around back, and take it 20 minutes later and park it for the truck to pick up.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Dealers don’t waste their time and money on reconditioning inventory sent to auction because they can’t monetize the results. Used car dealers, BHPH lots and the like won’t pay extra for shinier paint and Armor-All on the tires.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            There is a detailing and autobody repair service available at Manheim for a fee. I honestly don’t recall the fee but it was enough that indy dealers brought help along to quick wax paint and “super seal” the tires literally when the cars were in line (super seal was this pink tire shine we bought in 55g drums, I never found out its real name). Appearance matters but it matters less for (1) commercial vehicles and (2) as the cars age (what really matters most is being “front line ready” which is more than appearance but I digress). We did not run many commercial vehicles, but say a 95 Econoline at the time was only worth X with the miles it had/condition it was in. There are only so many vans at a sale and of those only so many in a certain condition, mileage, and price range. You’re really not going to get $300 more for a plain white panel example vs one which said Heyl’s Florist or Verizon (incidentally Verizon does now remove its logo but the paint is so white you can still easily see the logo). This truck was an MY03 in 2014 when it was sold, other than quick cheap superficial stuff no one is putting dime one in this thing on the block unless it was damaged and its repair would bring more (ie tailgate, dents, new door etc). Had this been an MY09 someone along the line may have removed the lettering.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            There is a very big difference between a quick 20 minute half assed cleanup and reconditioning. Obviously there is something to be achieved by a half assed attempt at better looks or dealers wouldn’t bother cleaning cars up in line for sale like 28 said. The white workvan mentioned being an exception since it has virtually no value to private individuals, and the next plumber, contractor, pedophiles, etc.. that drives it will put his own sign on over the old one.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            One could look at it from the perspective that removing the decals would improve resale but to be a “devil’s advocate” on this one, trucks procured for the expressed purpose of being shipped to a “Jihadi” war zone would sell for more money with such advertising intact due to the added “PR” value of using an “infidel’s” tool against them.

            It would be highly unlikely that AutoNation would deliberately sell to these groups for profit just like it is unlikely for Toyota to do the same.

            I don’t blame the guy for being pizzed. Unfortunately this shows just how stupid the public can be. All the hate this guy receives indirectly explains why “the Donald” is a front runner.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “You’d figure he would have removed those decals long before the truck set tire on dealership property. At least that’s what I would have done or even paid a detailer to do beforehand.”

      Not everyone is as forward thinking as you are. He clearly tried to do it himself once he’d made the deal and the salesperson is the one who stopped him at the time. I believe he has a valid complaint.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      The big surprise is that the truck is not a Toyota.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    This would be even better if the truck had American flag vinyl wrap to go along with the business information.

    I feel bad for the guy though. As a small business owner, that isn’t exactly an endorsement you want.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      To me, I am just pulling my hair because this is ridiculous to call this plumber with threats because his truck ended up in Syria. Americans in their usual stride – everything is black or white. This is analogous to people leaving messages to VW owners about emissions. No wonder we have so many wackies shooting people in movie theaters. We can’t even make sense on simple subjects like, plumbers don’t sell cars to jihadists.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        There are so_many_stupid people here (the US). They see the truck being used by ISIS, and their thought process goes like so:

        > He sold his truck directly to ISIS > Is a terrorist. > Will call him after I go to church and before I watch NASCAR to threaten.

        Thinking about it, what % of the population in the US should we label as wholly ignorant of how the world works?

        40%?

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        What’s worse for a rural Texas plumber’s business; this or his truck pulling a float in a Gay Pride Parade?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        This. Above all this.

        Hello Mark the Plumber?

        Why yes, yes, the pickup truck is still for sale.

        Yes. Yes.

        What’s your name.

        Sorry, you have a bit of an accent it is a little hard to understand.

        Mohammad Death to America Jihad Dirka Dirka of Caliphate Plumbing of Syria.

        What was that?

        No, no, I don’t know if you can mount a machine gun the bed, but I don’t see why not – it is built Ford tough.

        You want to Western Union me some money and can I ship to Syria?

        Sure! That sounds great!!!

        Is that what people think happened???

        We are a nation of idiots. If I was Daesh I would just find random small businesses on the internet and put their information on the side of random vehicles, knowing that people would lose their $h1t over it. Let the idiots here tear each other to pieces.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          They probably think that Mark drove it there and is in ISIS.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            Telephone goes ring ring..
            – Than you for calling Mark1 plumbing. How may we help you?
            – I have a question – where do your employees go for vacation? . . . because your truck have been spotted in Syria, with machine guns on them. Bastards. Terrorists. You will never see my business again. [hangs]

            Next call
            – I ain’t have no pipe leakin’ but I got to tell you somethin’. You’re mother-f.. muslim terrorist. Why you even come to Texas? Go back to where you came from.

            and so on.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s been a long few months for Mark, hasn’t it? I bet he’s so pi$$ed off. Everyone asks him about it and he gets calls everything some new dummy sees that crap on a Facebook feed, or on Alex Jones’ website.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This simple:

            “Thank you for calling Mark-1 plumbing. We do not endorse the terrorist group formerly known as ISIS. If you know you extension please dial it now. For sales press 1, for service press 2, for emergencies dial 0”

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Built Ford Tough!

    Quaint how they bother to hide those POS’ identity. But I could see a Western legal system finding for the ragheads should they bizarrely come to sue.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s unfortunate that this lawsuit may have some merit because there are actually people in this country stupid enough to see that photo and think a plumbing company is somehow endorsing jihad.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    “…but the truck was now equipped with an anti-aircraft gun mounted in the bed…”

    Ah, the secret fantasy of 6.8% of pickup owners comes true!

    (I hope he wins his lawsuit…)

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It needs to be a factory option.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        ‘Murica!!!!

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I can see it on the Ford Build & Price site now:

          Super Duty Air Defense Package
          -Factory installed Anti-Aircraft Turret
          -Choice of 3 anti-aircraft weapons systems
          -Choice or 2 surface to air missile systems that can be towed
          -Raytheon radar system
          -includes max towing package
          -includes max payload package
          -requires HD suspension package
          -cannot be combined with camper package or 5th wheel hitch kit

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Can I still get the Surface to Air missile package with X-plan?

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Fun fact. During Iraqi Desert Freedom private security companies loved the 3/4 ton Chevrolet Avalanche.

            The 3/4 ton body could take the weight of up armor support. The GM 8.1 liter V8 could lose all its coolant and still run for 50 miles, getting the crew out of the kill zone in a fire fight.

            A 50 caliber machine mounted perfectly in the bed. The midgate created a way to connect the cab to the gun emplacement, enabling a connection between the up armored area and the gunner in the back. Either addition support could be provided, or the gunner or could slide into the cab if need be.

            There were a ton of them used by security firms. I know of two that hit IEDs (smaller ones of course) and were put back into service after repairs.

            ‘merica!!!!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Now I understand what happened. RenCen learned of the Avalanche’s merits and had to discontinue it.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            We used 3/4 ton Avalanches and what I would call “Raptorized” and armored Excursions in fun places I got to go. Both are excellent.

            I am always glad that I didn’t accept an offer from Blackwater/Xe Services/Academi/Constellis. F that.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m sure you are today, esp with the wife and child.

            I am thinking a fair amount of those Academi folks are KIA or MIA in eastern Ukraine, northern Iraq, and probably Syria.

            Not on topic, but over the weekend I came across this AMA you may enjoy: An American in the French Foreign Legion.

            reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/cvjdb/iaman_american_who_joined_and_served_in_the/

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s not worth it. I wouldn’t even do personal security detail in Iraq. However, unlike most Army/Marine Corps units, they least they get to fire first…

            I’ll definitely have to read that AMA

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think you will enjoy the AMA. Its easy to forget what the French are really up too in the world.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Also, I would not want to be in this truck when Apaches and A10s show up. Apaches terrify me. They’d sneak up on our night exercises in Fort Benning, GA.

            Actually, I hope a female Apache pilot rains hellfire down on this ISIS truck.

    • 0 avatar
      wumpus

      So is he suing the dealer for reselling the pickup with his label, or not selling him the truck with the .50 machine gun option?

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      6.8%? Clearly you underestimate the truck owning public. At least from my area.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Enjoy the free advertising, fool.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    867-5309

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I hope he wins the suit. It seems highly justified, as they implied they would remove the markings.

    I hope it has the 6.0L and it self destructs and leaves the jihadists open to attack. I cant think of a more deserving party to be stuck with that headache of an engine.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I’d bet money it’s the 6.2L. ISIS’s used truck buyers know what to look for. This isn’t their first pre-owned truck purchase.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        I cannot get the spark plugs out to make the truck run right – the infidels 5.4 liter V8 engine is a piece of $h1t. Allah is most displeased.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Hahaha. Well it’s better than having to take the body off to fix the 6.0L. Maybe if the plumber already had the fix done…

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Ford will have to do a lot of convincing to get me to stick with them when my SuperDuty eventually needs replacement, exactly because of the Triton 3V 5.4L.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Buying a Super Duty with the 5.4 when both the 6.8 and diesel were available? You only have yourself to blame.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            6.8L needs to be an option in all Ford trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            It’s an amazing engine, but I think for most gas buyers the 6.2 will be a better choice unless they’re towing all the time and MPG isn’t an issue.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I agree. But Ford could make it a 7.8 V10 based on the 6.2L and we would all win. I’d settle for an updated 6.2L being available in the F150 again.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The 6.2 did well, unloaded 15mpg:

            http://special-reports.pickuptrucks.com/2014/08/ultimate-three-quarter-ton-hd-challenge-fuel-economy.html

            However the 6.8 did 12/13 if Fuelly is to be believed (very small sample set though):

            http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/f-350_super_duty?engineconfig_id=108&bodytype_id=&submodel_id=

            Checked F450, the 6.8 does about 8mpg in its small sample set.

            http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/f-450_super_duty?engineconfig_id=108&bodytype_id=&submodel_id=

            6.2 me, sir.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 6.2L is really the way to go. The 6.8L is nice when towing though. It feels like it never runs out of life.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I thought EcoBoost was the new king of towing?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The 3.5EB is excellent at towing when it comes to 1/2 ton trucks. However, the 6.2L Ford V8 and the 6.0L GM V8 are better engines if you are going to tow all day, every day. They are only available on HD trucks though.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The plumber should have removed his decals before trade. Decals or subsequent “paint damage” would have near zero effect on his trade value or the actual valuation of the truck at wholesale. In this case the dealer employee simply got defensive with the property his firm just acquired. He more than likely doesn’t know what will ultimately happen with the truck (at the time) and doesn’t want the paint to be slightly darker on the doors leaving an outline for Mark-I Plumbing when/if the truck is sitting on his front line. Moral of the story: clean up your own vehicle prior to sale.

    How the hell does something go from Houston to Turkey, was this direct? Which firm did the export? Who placed the order for the truck? *crickets*

    Funny how the national security state hasn’t cracked the code a year later… Scooby Doo could have figured this out in a two-parter at most.

    Zoinks! The See Eye Aye is backing terrorists!

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Houston is a huge port, so it wouldn’t be uncommon for something to go directly from there to Turkey.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Speaking of Turkey. Seem that we missed something here. Recently Russia got pissed with Turkey and started to float up all underlying ISIS-Turkey oil business. But isn’t it another instance and prove of Turkey -ISIS dealings? Turkey is buying trucks around the world and send them into Syria. Not directly of course but through proxy companies and individuals.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The whole thing stinks. I have to use visual aides to keep up with who is fighting who.

          http://d35brb9zkkbdsd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/EDITED_conflicts_graph-12.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Notice the graphic is labeled “ThinkProgress”, so I’d say chuck it.

            Here’s a fun article which highlights the fail in society’s future:

            “Millennials want to send troops to fight ISIS, but don’t want to serve”

            http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/12/10/56179/millennials-want-to-send-troops-to-fight-isis-but/

            HOMER: Can’t someone else do it?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I know who it’s by. They aren’t my favorite source, but I like the graphic. The information displayed isn’t wrong, but I’m sure the article that accompanies the graphic is terrible.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’d say its inaccurate as the only alleged monetary or proven monetary assistance is from the Assad government, which makes no sense. No alleged assistance from Turkey, UAE, Qatar, or Saudi Arabia? I’d sooner believe a Civil War infographic labeled “David Duke”.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/iraq-crisis-how-saudi-arabia-helped-isis-take-over-the-north-of-the-country-9602312.html

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          How ’bout those Turkish merchant vessels running a collision course with Russian warships until shots in the water make them veer off?

          Twice now that’s happened and it makes me wonder when the next one will be a kamikaze boat.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yes, yes. Turkish “Fishing boat”. The Russian destroyer was anchored during the last incident. The captain of the Turkish “fishing boat” said that he wasn’t aware of the destroyer being Russian. It doesn’t really matter who it belongs to, it’s best to stay away from destroyers while fishing.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Lots of auction cars in the US go to other countries – it is very common.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Ah but in this case it clearly ended up in the wrong hands. So where is Fedgov on this? Seriously. Doesn’t take long to determine buyer and seller while still in this country, rule out the buyer isn’t a front for terrorism, and come up with a press release stating we will try to prevent this in the future (even thought they won’t). Why hasn’t this happened?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “How the hell does something go from Houston to Turkey, was this direct? Which firm did the export? Who placed the order for the truck? *crickets*”

      Who cares?

      I mean, Turkey in 2013 wasn’t a problem. Turkey *was and is* our ally and a fellow NATO member, and a place there’s no issue in exporting everyday non-military vehicles to.

      The problematic link in the chain, so to speak, is how it got from Turkey to Daesh forces in Syria, though even that might be as simple as “normal commercial sale to a Syrian” and then an acquisition [via money or simply taking it] by the terrorist organization.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Says the man who hasn’t been paying attention to Turkey. The nation has been an issue since Erdoğan became Prime Minister and his AK party started to turn their secularist society into an Islamist one – which kinda defeats the whole thing Ataturk founded the nation upon in 1921. So that’s a bummer. What’s more is until recently Turkey has been expanding economic and political ties with Moscow since Erdoğan was Prime Minister. Before Turkey illegally shot down the Soviet jet, Turkey had been playing both sides of East and West. Then “our ally” got involved with smuggling oil for ISIS who is supposedly an enemy of the US, and before the jet incident the TurkStream pipeline with Gazprom was in jeopardy. The icing on the cake is if there were an armed conflict Europe would be drawn in through NATO *or* fracture, the latter of which would greatly benefit Moscow more than armed conflict itself. Turkey has kinda been a problem for awhile, but of course you knew all of this right?

        “In December 2004, Russian president Vladimir Putin visited Turkey. This was only the second presidential visit in the history of Turkish-Russian relations after that of the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Nikolai Podgorny, in 1972. In November 2005, Putin attended the inauguration of a jointly constructed Blue Stream natural gas pipeline in Turkey. This sequence of top-level visits brought several important bilateral issues to the forefront. The two countries consider it their strategic goal to achieve “multidimensional co-operation”, especially in the fields of energy, transport and the military. Specifically, Russia aims to invest in Turkey’s fuel and energy industries, and it also expects to participate in the modernisation of Turkey’s military.[282]

        In 2010, then-President Dmitry Medvedev described Turkey as “one of our most important partners with respect to regional and international issues”, adding, “We can confidently say that Russian-Turkish relations have advanced to the level of a multidimensional strategic partnership.”[283]

        On 12 May 2010, Ankara and Moscow signed 17 agreements to enhance cooperation in energy and other fields, including pacts to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant and further plans for an oil pipeline from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The leaders of both countries also signed an agreement on visa-free travel, enabling tourists to get into the country for free and stay there for up to 30 days.[284]”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recep_Tayyip_Erdo%C4%9Fan#Russia

        “The tensions between Turkey and Russia come amid troubled negotiations over TurkStream, a pipeline that would have transported Russian natural gas into southern Europe by way of Turkey. Talks for that began to fall apart in October, when Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy company, said it would cut the amount of gas going through the pipeline by half, delaying the pipeline’s opening until the end of 2017. It decided to make the cut in order to divert part of the gas supply to a separate pipeline that would not go through Turkey and that it planned to expand.”

        http://www.ibtimes.com/turkey-buying-oil-isis-after-downed-plane-putin-slams-islamic-states-black-market-2198214

        http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/turkey-leader-erdogans-islamist-rooted-akp-wins-election-n455541

    • 0 avatar

      “How the hell does something go from Houston to Turkey, was this direct? Which firm did the export? Who placed the order for the truck? *crickets*”

      I took a ’99 RX300 with a blown transmission to the sale and it ended up getting exported to Zaire or whatever its called this week. Probably on Mobutu’s Lot of Sese-Savings now.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Hahaha. More good jokes.

        When I was in Kenya, there was, unfortunately, no Rift Valley Motors with a giant inflatable gorilla on the roof.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Delicious pun, although I would have went with “Seko-Savings”.

        There’s only so much which can be done if a shady shell company imports to somewhere like DRC and then exports it again to a war zone. But why hasn’t the Turkish shell company been investigated here in the country? This is a real question for the national security state to answer. Its not as if they will necessarily tell us the truth in any event, but they haven’t even issued a statement I am aware of on the plumber’s truck… isn’t it the FBI’s job to um -investigate- things like this inside our borders?

        Here’s MSM on the Hilux fleet:

        “Questions about the ISIS use of Toyota vehicles have circulated for years. In 2014, a report by the radio broadcaster Public Radio International noted that the U.S. State Department delivered 43 Toyota trucks to Syrian rebels. A more recent report in an Australian newspaper said that more than 800 of the trucks had been reported missing in Sydney between 2014 and 2015, and quoted terror experts speculating that they may have been exported to ISIS territory.

        Attempts to track the path of the trucks into ISIS hands has proven complicated for U.S. and Iraqi officials.

        Toyota’s own figures show sales of Hilux and Land Cruisers tripling from 6,000 sold in Iraq in 2011 to 18,000 sold in 2013, before sales dropped back to 13,000 in 2014.

        Brigadier General Saad Maan, an Iraqi military spokesman, told ABC News he suspects that middlemen from outside Iraq have been smuggling the trucks into his country.

        “We are spending our time to fight those terrorists so we cannot say we are controlling the border between Iraq and Syria,” he conceded. “We are deeply in need for answers.””

        http://abcnews.go.com/International/us-officials-isis-toyota-trucks/story?id=34266539

        So USDoS delivered at least 43 vehicles to Al-Qaeda, err I mean the “moderate terrorists” in 2014. Which means some if not all of those are/were in the hands of ISIS. Winning!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Unless he had something in writing, or the employee or salesman admits to the court they told him they’d remove the sign and then didn’t – it doesn’t seem like he could win this one.

    I think he -should- win, but I also think he should have removed it on his own before taking it to the dealer.

    As they always say, “If you want a job done right, rely on a used car dealer to do it.”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    1. I thought they only drove Toyota Hilux trucks.

    2. I hope Mr Oberholtzer wins the suit. The dealer’s negligence means he is essentially defamed. The vehicle could just as easily have ended up in the hands of bank robbers in Pennsylvania, which would have won him an embarrassing visit from the police.

    3. That is a pretty awesome photo, in a Terminator/Mad Max sort of way.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      They need bigger trucks for stuff like this. Like many fleet customers, ISIS has diverse truck needs.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      I don’t blame the guy for being upset, but his case has little merit. He would have sold the truck to the dealership as-is.

      The moral of the story: Any guarantees and conditions with a dealership should always be put in writing. Never take a car dealer’s word for anything; the dealership will invariably lean on the language in the paperwork, which will almost certainly include a clause that ensures that oral representations that are not in writing are not binding.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Even ignoring the bizarre denouement here you’d think a business owner would make sure to personally remove (or at least oversee) any association between his business and an abandoned clunker.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Hm .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Zackman

    The Texas plumber shouldn’t complain – he’s got free world-wide publicity for his business.

    Reminds me of an old salesman’s adage, which goes something like: “Love me or hate me, just spell my name right”!

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      Up until today I would have agreed that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Now, not so much.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      TEXAS CITY, TEXAS – Mark-1 Plumbing is pleased to announce that it will be expanding its operations that are currently located in the Future Caliphate of Texas to open a second office in Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State.

      “Our experience with serving the needs of American infidels has equipped us well to provide quality plumbing to the servants of Allah in the Islamic State,” said Mark bin Oberholtzer, the owner of Mark-1. “The prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, would approve of our quality service and reasonable pricing. I would bet my head on it.”

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You’re doing funnies today?! That’s rare form for you!

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        “Mark bin Oberholtzer” was a nice touch. Mark Bakr al-Oberholtzer also would have worked.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The terrorists obviously aren’t too bright, otherwise they would be buying the vastly superior midsizers built for the Australian market, peace be upon it.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I heard that Nissan is marketing the Titan XD to ISIS as an alternative to traditional HD trucks. They see an opportunity for terrorist organizations that need capacity in between a 1/2 and 3/4 ton truck.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “The terrorists obviously aren’t too bright, otherwise they would be buying the vastly superior midsizers built for the Australian market, peace be upon it.”
            Correct, that is what they do, they have vast numbers of almost brand new Hiluxes, donated or stolen for them
            Those US Pickups were cheap, but not that practical. For some strange reason, they have replaced them or added a lot of Hyundai very light trucks, to carry their much heavier anti aircraft guns. For ex Soviet 57mm guns they use MDT Japanese Trucks

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Nice.

        Satisfaction or the seventy two virgins are on us!

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Maybe he was thinking ahead. All of those Syrian Refugees will eventually need a plumber.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Maybe the jihadists thought it clever to keep the decals as a ruse for covert missions. Although the anti-aircraft gun is a bit of a giveaway.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I would have changed my phone number after the first wave.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    That gun mount looks like it had to scratch hell out of the bed.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe they decided to buy used because the new aluminum trucks aren’t rated for machine gun duty.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    McCallen? Is that near McAllen?

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    In lieu of the plaintiff’s comment about the dealer told him THEY will remove the decal back in 2013, what if the dealer said “we said no such thing” now, how would the plaintiff prove otherwise? Could he prove he brought the blow dryer to the dealer? Did he record the conversation?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Another thing I am thinking is not where they got the truck from, but where did they get that gun from? Must be McCain deliveries…

  • avatar
    mchan1

    Guess no one mentioned that the plumber could have just changed his business’s telephone number, even after all this time.

    By now, he could’ve had less telephone threats and newer business cards/stationary with his business’s new telephone number.

    Any common sense or business sense? Guess not.

    It is impressive how the anti-aircraft gun was mounted to the back of the F250.
    The one thing possibly missing is a anti-aircraft missile device which could possibly be installed on top of the hood :X
    The looks of the truck and background looks like a Mad Max road trip :P

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      That looks to be a ZPU-1 or maybe ZPU-2. Those things weigh only 900 lbs to 1,400 lbs. So weight wise, it doesn’t exceed the F-250’s payload rating I think.

      Dimension wide, I don’t know.

      • 0 avatar
        mchan1

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZPU#/media/File:Ajdabiya_technical_-_Flickr_-_Al_Jazeera_English.jpg

        Wonder if the truck’s suspension was modified to handle the weight of the gun, the ammunition and whatever was stuffed onto the back.

        Jokingly…. Ford could possibly sell more F series trucks by adding an armament options/package to the trucks :X

        a. Anti-aircraft (AA) missile launcher
        b. AA guns
        c. Armor plating/bullet proof windows
        d. Special suspension and bullet proof rims/tires
        e. All of the above

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          See, that’s the beauty of the F-250. According to the literature I found, the F-250 of that vintage has a payload rating of 2,500 to 3,000 lbs. So where the Hilux has to be modified, the brawny shoulders of the F-250 can bear the weight of that ZPU with no problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      But changing his phone number and/or business name could potentially hurt his repeat business too. Fact is that a service business like being a plumber depends on repeat business and word of mouth advertising. There would be no good way to get you new number in the hands of those past customers who are potential future customers. They have the business card or receipt from the last time he came out and fixed their problem and when they get a message that the number is no longer in service they will not necessarily find the new one. If he kept his business name the same then maybe those people will find his new number but then again someone bent on harassing him could too.

      • 0 avatar
        mchan1

        I meant changing his business telephone number not his business name.

        I’m aware that it could affect his business but since he had the customer’s information, he could create a client listing and do a mass mailing minimizing his customer loss which normally happens when one switches a business number to another, which many businesses that I dealt with do.

        At least his harassment will be reduced. Then again, as others have posted, there are lots of crazy people in America (and in Texas where the person lives) so many could still try to stalk.. track him down to harass him.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    The whole thing is unfortunate, but what are the odds that the truck would end up being used by ISIS? It’s not exactly a foreseeable result.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Re: “he should have removed the decals before (1) going to the dealer; or (2) trading in the truck”:

    1. maybe he wasn’t 100% sure he was making the deal that day (or leaving in an in-stock truck even if he did make a deal) and didn’t want to remove his advertising;

    2. he apparently did try to remove the decals before trading in the truck and was told the dealer would do it. Now is someone going to say he should have gotten up from the desk and said he was going to remove the decals before signing anything else to complete the transaction? Well, in a perfect world…. But in the shell game of dealership transactions, good luck with being perfect.

    In any event, I’m sure the court will have plenty of “negligently causing business good will to be appropriated by jihadists” precedent to rely on in making the decision whether the case can proceed. If it can proceed, who knows how a jury might decide?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Came for the comment thread, was not disappointed. This is the B&B in a nutshell (for both better and worse).

  • avatar

    Removing decals at the auction is done at the behest of the consigner. I’ve seen former USAA units with full wraps upon receiving run three days later on sale-day completely de-identified. I’ve also bought cars completely badged, marked, etc.

    Fact of the matter is, a dedicated wholesaler or small dealer who also wholesales (as we do) will spend the extra time to make a unit ‘Front-Line Ready’ because the vehicles show better and you DO sometimes get more at the block for enhanced cosmetics.

    AutoNation – like most banks and finance companies and CARMAX – is so large that they do not care. They don’t have the time to stip every car of identification like this so they don’t.

    Which brings me to this questions, if this plumbing truck was reposessed instead of traded and then wholesaled at auction, does the finance company have any obligation to de-identify the vehicle? They may CHOOSE to do so in order to enhance its remarketed value, but MUST they?

    Likely, legally, not.

    And speaking of de-identifiying and liability, I don’t know who let THIS one slip by ‘asset disposal,’ but I currently own this in inventory bought exactly as you see it…

    http://s18.postimg.org/653wem75l/P71.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Wicked Panther and a great buy.

      Question, you’ve got an MY03 well used Super Duty in inventory to dump for quick cash to make payroll, do you spend the money/time to de-identify it?

      • 0 avatar

        It would cost me an extra $30 and an hour’s time to deidentify a vinyl-decaled truck like the one in question, so yes.

        Any retail customer would want it removed for certain.

        If I had to prep and run it the following day at the sale, I still do it.

  • avatar
    BarryO

    ISIS releases a statement: “We regret the purchase of this vehicle. We must make it clear that, out of respect to the infidel Mark, we are terrorists, not plumbers.”

  • avatar
    05lgt

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogo_(comic_strip)#/media/File:Pogo_-_Earth_Day_1971_poster.jpg

    This comic is appropriate far too often. (They can’t all be XKCD.)

  • avatar
    PCP

    C’mon, what’s all the hassle about. He’s a good guy, he’s got a gun, he’s safe.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Gardiner Westbound: Talk is cheap. If GM is really confident in the carbon fiber bed’s durability it will put a...
  • sgeffe: There was a discussion something like this on VTEC.net earlier this week. A 5th-Gen (1992-1995) Civic EX...
  • Ce he sin: You seem to have re invented the Nissan e-Power system which works just as you’ve described. The...
  • PrincipalDan: https://www.thetruthaboutcars. com/2011/08/when-gm-couldnt-th ink-outside-the-box-rememberin g-pro-tec/...
  • Lie2me: “Despite being manufactured in Canada, the Dodge Charger and Challenger feel like the most American...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States