We know buying a car can be a hassle, but it’s been a nightmare for some customers who deal with just one company. KPRC 2 Investigates investigates a used car dealership selling cars that customers cannot drive. The problem – they can’t register the vehicles because the dealer can’t provide the title or permanent license plate.
Carvana Car Purchase Complaints
Carvana is still relatively new to the car dealership business. The company has only been in Texas since 2016. They promise no-haggle pricing and convenience, and they’ll deliver your car right to your driveway. But over the past year and a half, some customers say their car-buying experience with Carvana has been nothing but a hassle and a headache.
Peyton Harden, 22, is happy with this 2018 Hyundai Elantra she bought from Carvana in August 2020, she just can’t drive it.
“A policeman once told him not to drive the car. It had to be tagged. She had it for over a year,” her mother Jessica Boom said.
In Texas, auto dealers are required to submit a title and registration application to the county tax office within 30 to 45 days of the date of sale. But some 455 days after buying the vehicle, Peyton’s mother says Carvana still can’t get the title to this Elantra.
“They can no longer issue temporary beacons. They can not. They can’t label it. what are we doing? Why don’t you fix this? said Boom.
Cars sold without tags, expired tags
When the first set of temporary tags expired, Peyton called Carvana and they sent a second set, then a third, then a fourth. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles told KPRC 2 that authorized dealers in Texas can only provide buyers with a single Texas paper plate.
He is currently investigating similar complaints from customers across Texas. But that’s a bigger problem. Carvana has faced lawsuits and fines for failing to produce titles and selling vehicles without a license in California, North Carolina, Florida and Michigan.
No one from Carvana has returned. KPRC 2 is investigating repeated phone calls and emails, but in a phone call with investors in August, the CEO of Carvana said the increase in demand combined with a labor problem had caused some of the delays.
“I don’t care at this point,” Boom said. “What’s wrong? It’s not my problem. My problem is that my daughter needs a car she can drive that’s as reliable as the one in the parking lot.
After more than a year of appealing and filing a state complaint, Peyton’s mother says a Carvana representative told her the company would cancel the loan, take the Elantra back and give Peyton a comparable vehicle. The money she paid for the Elantra will be applied to her new loan.
Problems buying a car with Vroom
You may remember earlier this year we spoke with several customers who were having similar issues with online car shopping site Vroom. Common complaints include misrepresented vehicles in photos, customers not receiving the necessary paperwork to register their car, delayed deliveries, and communication issues — like sending customers circling.
If this happens to you with Vroom, Carvana, or any other car dealership, you should file a complaint with the Texas DMV.
Q&A with Texas DMV regarding temporary plates
Here are some common questions and helpful answers from the Texas DMV if you have a problem buying cars online.
Q: How long does the law give dealers in Texas to get the real plates for the customer?
A: Dealers are required to submit a purchaser’s title and application for registration to the county tax office within 30 days of the date of sale, or within 45 days of the date of sale if This is a dealer financed sale.
Q: How many temporary plates are they allowed to issue on a vehicle?
A: A dealer can issue a temporary buyer tag for a VIN/buyer. If there is a problem with the transfer of title after the buyer’s tag expires, the dealer must obtain a 30-day permit from the county tax office for the buyer.
Q: Is it legal to issue temporary plates from another state outside of where the customer lives?
A: If you are buying from an authorized Texas dealer, the dealer must provide a Texas buyer’s tag.
4. In the end, who is responsible when the new owner of the car cannot obtain the permanent license plate? The woman we interviewed is afraid to drive her vehicle because she was stopped once and given a warning for driving with temporary plates. (She told the officer she bought a car in August 2020).
We would need to investigate these specific incidents to determine if violations occurred. Buyers who have a problem with an authorized Texas dealer should file a complaint with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles here:
Q: What can these customers do?
A: Buyers should file a complaint by clicking here. Consumers who have not received their plates can also ask the merchant to obtain a 30-day license for them. Or, the consumer can obtain a 30-day permit directly from their county tax office or regional TxDMV service center.
Q: Does the TxDMV currently have any complaints/issues/sanctions against Carvana?
A: Yes, TxDMV has opened investigations involving Carvana. We are unable to discuss details of open cases. You can view a summary of a dealer’s closed case history (this does not include active inquiries) through our online dealer license database. Enter “Carvana” in the Company Name field and click on a license number (eg, P137592) to see a summary of the case history.
Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston – All Rights Reserved.