Buyers who purchased autos from Driven Auto Sales in O’Fallon, Mo., say they are not able to get the titles from owner of the dealership.
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The issue sparked an investigation by a local television station. After reporters went to the dealership to ask about the titles, the owner and a manager jumped into a vehicle and sped away, according to the investigative team.
In one case, a man bought a 2004 Jeep Wrangler from Driven Auto Sales and was told the title would be ready in a few days.
“It was about 21 days in. They started telling me they didn’t really know you’re going to get your title. We don’t have the title here, it’s at our bank but we’ll get back to you,” the man told reporters.
Two months later, still no title and the plates on the car expired.
“I can’t drive the car I just bought. I spent a lot on it. Saved up my entire Christmas bonus on it. Really, it’s going to be illegal to drive. I won’t have the title still, so I can’t go to the DMV and get it registered,” he said.
According to the investigative team, the Better Business Bureau logged six similar complaints from customers who purchased vehicles at the same dealer.
“That should be a red flag. The dealer should provide the consumer with a clean title. The consumer should understand they need to have a clean title to that vehicle to make sure there’s no liens against the vehicle they’re buying,” said Chris Thetford, Better Business Bureau spokesperson.
State law in Missouri says the buyer should get the title at the time of purchase. In 2015, the Missouri Attorney General sued several dealerships for not delivering titles.
Anne Marie Moy, spokesperson for the department of revenue, said the department investigates numerous complaints by buyers who did not received their title at the time of sale.
“This is the most common complaint against auto dealers. Department investigators assist the individuals with getting their title and the Department does discipline auto dealers who fail to provide titles. Discipline could include any of the following: a warning; a financial assessment; a license suspension; a license revocation,” Moy said.
Before purchasing a vehicle, the Better Business Bureau recommends researching the business before signing a contract or handing over the money and before closing the deal, make sure the seller transfers the registration and title to the buyer’s name.
Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.