DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver man is disappointed that it took a Facebook post that went viral before Toyota started being sensitive to his family’s financial situation following a tragic death.
Aaron Knudsen, 24, has been dealing with a mountain of paperwork since his mother Denise Fransua’s was killed a month ago. Fransua was murdered by a former boyfriend who then killed himself. Knudsen and his 17-year-old sister were then the only people who could take care of their mother’s financial matters.
The biggest headache was Fransua’s car. It was taken into evidence after the murder. Once it was cleared Knudsen went to the lot, only to be told Toyota had repossesed it.
Knudsen then called Toyota.
“I said ‘Where is the car?’ Why did they take it? I couldn’t really get a good answer,” he told CBS4.Knudsen says he had kept payments on the car up to date and he wanted to finance the rest.
“They told me I had to come up with the full balance of the car, along with an impound fee they paid,” he said.
“My mom was a single mother, I’m only 24, my sister’s 17, where am I going to get $4,400 in 20 days? (The Toyota employee’s) response was ‘This is what the state allows us to do.”
Knudsen went on Facebook and shared his feeling about what he felt was an unfair situation. Many friends were upset, and some started making posts on Toyota’s page saying how upset they were, too. There are now dozens of comments on Toyota’s page with people writing “Shame on you Toyota” in reference to the situation.
Representatives with Toyota saw what was happening and just recently the company waived the fees they had thrown at Knudsen. They also released the following statement:
We want to convey our sincere apology that yesterday we were not sensitive to the extraordinary circumstances leading to this car being impounded.
Toyota says they will allow Knudsen to retrieve his mother’s possessions that were in the car, but the company says Knudsen will have to pay the remaining balance on the car up front — $3,300 — to get the car back.
“It’s amazing that a story has to leak like this and has to go viral in order for a company to do what’s right,” Knudsen said.