COLUMBUS (WCMH) – New and used car prices are at record highs, making it harder for car buyers to look for a bargain.
If you are looking for a new vehicle at a low price, what seems like a good deal at first could cost a lot more than you anticipated.
That’s what happened to Nina Casey, whose car broke down earlier this year.
Casey, who works in a Kroger in the Columbus Brewery District and supports his son, raised just over $ 1,000 to buy a 2004 Honda CR-V in April.
“It works well,” Casey said. “But we can’t drive it now because I can’t get the main title.”
Since the temporary tags on the vehicle expired, Casey said she borrowed her friends’ cars to run errands and get to work via Lyft, the bus, or a Lime electric scooter if there was one. available.
Casey said she made several attempts to secure her title from the Cash Car Kings dealership.
” We called. Now when you call – (they say) ‘Let me make a few calls. I’ll call you right back.’ Never call back, ”Casey said. “Call the next day, no answer. Later, ‘I’m sorry about the heist. Let me call you back in a few days. Then a week goes by. Then two weeks.
After receiving what Casey described as a rude response over the phone from Cash Car Kings, but without a title, Casey filed a complaint against the company with Attorney General David Yost’s office.
NBC4 Investigates requested records of all complaints filed against Cash Car Kings and received 49, filed since June 2020. More than half of the complaints came from customers who said they did not receive a title after purchasing a vehicle.
While more than half of the title claims were closed after clients were finally awarded a title, some claims remain open.
When contacted by phone, a man initially hesitant to identify himself as Aquil Ansari, the owner of Cash Car Kings, said: “My customers are getting their titles and I’m done talking to you” and said. hung up.
Ansari called back a few minutes later.
“We are working on his title now,” Ansari said. “We got the car from an auction and the auction had a problem with the title, so that’s the problem with that. It’s nothing against us.
Ansari couldn’t give a specific time frame for when Casey would receive his title.
“With the pandemic, the headlines are… it’s taken a lot longer to get,” Ansari said. – This is something we have nothing to do with, honey. I mean, we’re in a pandemic right now. “
Consumer lawyer Ron Burdge has said that while the pandemic has delayed a lot in business, car titles are not one of them.
“That process hasn’t really changed at the auction yard,” Burdge said. “The reality is that this is more often than not caused by economic problems at the dealership, rather than trying to blame someone else.”
Ansari also claimed (incorrectly, according to the AG’s records) that Casey was his only client who had not received a title and that all other claims against his company had been resolved.
“All of our clients are taken care of and if they have a problem with not getting their title they can call us and we can take care of it,” Ansari said.
Consumer Protection in Ohio
Burdge said Ohio has laws in place that protect car buyers.
“Failure to deliver the title within 40 days – this is a blatant violation of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act,” he said. “It is also a breach of contract and a breach of guarantee of title.”
Burdge pointed out that sometimes small dealers who sell used cars can sell a car so quickly after buying it that there could be a delay in getting the title. However, if a reseller does not provide a title to a buyer within 40 days, Burdge has stated that the buyer has the right to cancel the sale and receive a full refund.
The GA’s office also has a title defect cancellation fund, which covers the cost of losing a customer if they can’t get a refund from the dealership. This is funded by a portion of the property rights collected by the merchants.
The office has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of an ongoing investigation into Cash Car Kings.
Jessica Kapcar, communications manager for the Better Business Bureau of Central Ohio, urged consumers to research dealerships and vehicles before accepting a sale.
She suggested researching the vehicle’s history by requesting a report from the seller or looking at vehiclehistory.gov. Buyers can also use online resources, like Kelley Blue Book, to research the value of a vehicle to avoid paying too much.
“Which may seem, you know, considerably undervalued – maybe that is a red flag in itself,” Kapcar said.
The BBB website also contains reviews, ratings, and complaints filed against companies.
Cash Car Kings was awarded an “F” rating from the BBB following nine consumer complaints, eight of which remain unanswered by the company.
Kapcar said customers should never pay for a vehicle with a gift card or by wire transfer because it is nearly impossible to trace or recover that money in the event of fraud.
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