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NYPD cop surprised with new car

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

File this away under the "terrific surprises to make you smile" category. New York City police officer Michael Dee was surprised recently at a family barbecue with the title to his current car and the keys to a second car. The surprise was orchestrated by Toyota because Dee became Toyota's 50 millionth customer when he bought a Toyota Camry earlier this year.

To celebrate the company milestone, Bill Fay, a Toyota Motor Sales group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division, arrived at Dee's home with balloons, the title to Dee's Camry and the keys to a 2013 Toyota RAV4. Earlier, Toyota had paid off Dee's car loan on the Camry.

Dee, a 20-year veteran of the NYPD, was shocked.

"I don't know what to say. This is phenomenal. I can't explain how much this means to my family and how grateful we are to Toyota. The whole 'thank you' thing just doesn't seem to cut it," Dee said, according to a Toyota press release.

Does Toyota's generosity make you want to go out and buy a Camry?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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September 06, 2013 at 9:48 am

It is the same thing with game shows. I read recently about a woman who won big on one of the shows. When she tried to claim the prizes she was presented with a large bill for taxes. She had good credit so she called her hometown bank and took out a loan to pay the taxes. She then sold (at a large discount) enough of her prizes to pay off the loan and still came out ok.

September 06, 2013 at 9:37 am

If you think there are no taxes, just ask the people who were in Oprah's audience who were given free cars last year. The taxes were over $7,000 dollars and had to be paid before receiving the car. The only option was to pay or decline the gift. Gift taxes are much higher than regular tax. Over half of the cars were declined due to people not being able to come up with the money.

September 06, 2013 at 9:08 am

Jenine, the taxes on both vehicles would not equal what he was willing to pay on the first one anyway, so I would think he'd still be grateful.

And Lisa, he will have to pay tax, regardless of whether it's a "gift" or not, or whether he signed up for it or not. Gifts, once they are accepted are taxable to the recipient over a certain $$ amount.

Lisa Brasleton
September 06, 2013 at 8:57 am

You do not have to pay taxes on gifts. The giver owes the tax.
Don't see how it could be considered a prize since he did not register to win. A gift is a gift, no taxes owed.

September 06, 2013 at 8:14 am

Jenine--------what a pessimist. or are just that jealous?

Fitz Lewin
September 06, 2013 at 7:22 am

I have driven Toyota made cars. My lexus SC300 is 17 years old and believe me it is a great car. It is also the last car I am going to own.

September 06, 2013 at 7:12 am

How grateful is he gonna be when he has to pay taxes on all that "generosity?"

Terry Baker
September 06, 2013 at 4:27 am

We have looked at Toyota products many times and have yet to buy a new vehicle from any of the Toyota dealers. Not that we weren't impressed with any of the vehicles we drove, we were! So, what am I trying to say. They really seem like great vehicles!... tb

September 06, 2013 at 2:38 am

CONGRATS! glad to see it go to someone who has dedicated his life to serving and making his community a better place to live in. and my only question why has Toyota wait till 50 million to give away
a car??? hmmm lol anyways Micheal Dee, Big thumbs up to you for serving the Blue!!

September 06, 2013 at 1:12 am

We have owned two Toyota Camry's, Two Toyota Prius, one 4 Runner SR5. All great cars, the Camry's were so smooth to drive, no problems with any of the cars. Glad a Policeman had his Camry paid off, hope the Rav4 is also a great vehicle.