Much has happened in the last two weeks. The bottom line lesson is CHOOSE YOUR DEALERSHIP
. Don't let Mitsubishi choose it for you. Find out what they require from you and when in the process. Do your research checking places like google and yelp for reviews. If you have to go beyond 60 miles, do it and plan a nice day trip to get your car home using http://carstations.com
There is a point in the order process beyond which you can NOT change the dealer where your car will be delivered and the sale completed. I'm not sure exactly where that is. When you sign-in on i.mitsubishicars.com, if it allows you to change the dealer online, you are good. I suspect that once the dealer confirms your order with you, you are stuck with them.
Some dealers are making requirements that you may not like. In my case it was the requirement that I sign all papers and pay in full (or sign a loan agreement) before the car comes off the boat. I found out here and by calling other dealers that this is not a typical requirement. I told my "preferred" dealer this and asked them to forgo this requirement or I would switch dealers. Well, apparently they knew I couldn't switch dealers at this point so they cancelled my order. That's right. They cancelled my order against my written wishes, without notifying me, and without refunding my deposit!
In the meantime because I hadn't heard from them, I contacted the dealer I wanted to work with and had them trying to make the transfer. They got the Mitsubishi regional sales manager involved because the car had arrived at the dock, but they couldn't find it. Yup, it was immediately sold to another party since my order was cancelled. I ordered my car on Oct 23, 2011. I had been waiting 4 1/2 months and it is sold to someone else. After some help from the (very helpful) regional manager, I'm scheduled now to get a car in another 6 weeks. I almost turned around and bought a Nissan off the lot because I was so torqued, and I still might.
Hats off to AAA who will be putting this dealership on probation, which means one complaint in six months and they lose their AAA affiliation. And kudos to the Mitsubishi regional sales manager who proactively contacted me and did what he could to fix this mess. I made two calls to Mitsubishi corp customer service and they seem to think my order was never cancelled and they are still "researching."