Consumer tips when buying a car

Tuesday, July 13th 2004, 10:26 am
By: News On 6

A warning if you’re in the market for a car. A Tulsa woman has a complaint against a Tulsa used car dealership.

She says they sold her a used car and never paid off the previous loan. Now, she's out her money and the car. She wants answers and she's not alone. News on 6 reporter Lori Fullbright investigates.

Melissa Lambert bought a used Mustang from Super Wheels and Deals in March. She paid $1,150, but never received the title. She says the last time the Mustang broke down, it was impounded and she learned it was never really hers. "I found out she traded in the Mustang and bought a Ford Explorer from them and paid them $11,000, but the dealer never paid off her loan.

She still owes $2,400 on the car and that's why I never got the title. Lambert says she thought the dealer financed her through a bank, but learned they actually charged the amount of the car and repairs to a credit card in her name. When she came to complain, the lot was locked, the showroom empty. The same person owns Victory Motor Sales a couple of miles away.

Attorney Luke Wallace says he's recently received a number of calls about Super Wheels. "State law says if you don't have the title in 30 days from when you bought the car, you're violating the law, not the dealer, you, the consumer.”

He says the problem is on-spot delivery where you take the car while waiting on financing. You believe the deal is done, but it's actually conditional, something falls through and they take your car back. He says on-spot delivery should be outlawed in Oklahoma. After all, you can't go into Wal-Mart and walk out with merchandise without paying. He says you get rid of that, you get rid of a lot of the problem.

Melissa just wants a car so she can get to work and take care of her daughter. “I want my car back so I can pay for it every month like a normal person or I want my money back where I can get another vehicle."

Lori Fullbright talked to the owner of Super Wheels and Deals, Brandon Shaw. He said he normally runs a tight ship but recently had to fire two managers who weren't doing things properly.

He said he wasn't going to pay off the previous loan on the Mustang until he had the title and he never got the title from that owner, but is still trying to.

Lori Fullbright learned Super Wheels and Victory have had a total of 17 complaints with the Oklahoma Used Car Commission since last year. They’ve also had 9 complaints with the Better Business Bureau, but those were resolved.

Shaw told the News on 6 he would resolve the situation with Melissa in the next 48 hours. We'll check with him on Thursday to see if that happens.

Here are some important things to remember when you're buying a car. Find out if you're approved for financing before you leave the lot and get it in writing. Make them put it in writing that the deal is final and not conditional. Ask to see the title and insist on getting a copy of it before you leave. Avoid places that offer to repair your credit.