Abrupt closing of Lincoln-Mercury dealer shocks car owners

A week after owner denied closing, it's gone
Two-hour drive for service faces present owners of Langway's cars

   Last night the Lincoln-Mercury sign was still lit, but the building was empty and the name scraped off the facade. R. Fellows photo.

By Jerry Rogovin

Jim Langway denied his Cape Cod Lincoln Mercury dealership would go out of business last week.

If you own a new or used Lincoln Mercury purchased at the Willow Street dealership in Hyannis, your life is about to get complicated, if you need service.

Drive by the dealership, and you'll discover that the building is locked. There are vehicles in the rear, but no one is around to tell you anything about them. There's no answer at 508 775-1444, the main telephone number.

The website is functioning. But little current information can be gleaned from it.

A sign on the front door directs you to "Langway Ford, 780 Washington Street (Route 20)" in Auburn, Massachusetts. A new website is noted on the sign (www.langwayford.com).

But that offers little help. One inquiry led to the New England Cable News Network. A second listed vehicle delivery firms throughout the country.

CapeCodToday.com thinks we've solved the mystery. Cape Cod Lincoln Mercury is in the process of being sold.

A salesman we spoke to Monday told us, "I just work here, and we've been told nothing officially. But it could be official tomorrow. I work for Millbury Ford Mercury," which is at the same address as Langway.

Listen to Charlie Ryan and the Timberline Riders as suggested by Peter Walker, "Son your gonna drive me to drinkin' if you don't stop driving that hot rod Lincoln."

Under Massachusetts law (and that of all 50 states), a dealer of new and used vehicles is responsible for their maintenance and repair. That means if you've been dealing with Cape Cod Lincoln Mercury, you can demand that they direct you to a local dealer. You can reach the new dealer at 508 832-6261. Whoever answers your call will identify the organization as Millbury Ford Mercury.

State lemon laws, enforced since 1982 when California enacted the first one, protect consumers from problems associated with defective cars, trucks and vans purchased new and used.

Before such laws existed, you had to sue, picket or harass dealers to meet their obligations. According to current estimates, there is still one chance in 200 you could be in a similar fix. About 100,000 vehicles can be considered auto lemons today.

According to Google Maps, you can take the Massachusetts Turnpike, a drive of about two hours. Or go via Route 3 to the Mass Pike, which will take seven additional minutes and add six miles of driving. Either way involves tolls on I-90

But all is not lost. Mike Balise of Balise Ford, Nissan, Hyundai in Hyannis told CapeCodToday.com that he would serve Cape Cod residents with new car warranties and satisfy the lemon law requirements for used vehicles if Cape Cod Lincoln Mercury's new owner authorizes such an arrangement.

Balise can be reached at 508 771-3636 or at [email protected].

Below, that high-end used car you were considering is locked behind a chain fence and headed for...

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