(WSVN) - A used car dealer is accused by its customers of taking deposits but failing to deliver the promised car. 7’s Brandon Beyer reports how some are suing because they feel they were taken for a ride.
Maxine Ramos really likes driving BMWs.
The one she has now is getting older, so she decided it was time to start shopping for a newer one.
Maxine Ramos, car buyer: “I saw a very good deal, a nice BMW with all the options.”
Maxine found this 2011 BMW 535i online. It was being sold through Auto Warehouse on US-441 South in Davie.
She went in and was told they could get her the car, but she would have to pay a deposit.
Maxine Ramos: “Four days came and went, and he did not have the car.”
Maxine waited and waited, but the car never came.
Maxine Ramos: “He had other cars but he could not produce the car that we went into the deal for.”
But the contract Maxine’s husband signed clearly stated the deposit was non-refundable.
Yuly Caprio went to Auto Warehouse looking for a white Acura.
Yuly Caprio, car buyer: “He showed me in the computer that he got the car in the auction, that if I want it, I have to give them $3,000 down payment.”
But like Maxine, her car was never delivered.
Cornel Williams is an attorney hired by another auto warehouse customer who paid a deposit for a Chevy Malibu. That deal also went sour…
Cornell Williams, attorney: “The following morning, my client hadn’t received any of this information he was promised.”
All three customers asked Auto Warehouse for their deposits back. All three were told no.
Yuly Caprio: “The guy said I won’t give you the money, so you just have to like pick something there if you want.”
Williams took his client’s case to small claims court, but before the case went to mediation, Auto Warehouse agreed to pay $1,200 to settle the case.
Williams says just putting the words “non-refundable service fee” on the contract is not enough.
Cornell Williams: “They have to tell you how long they’re going to hold the vehicle from sale and they have to explicitly state the conditions upon which they’re allowed to hold the deposit.”
Yuly also went to court and through mediation got most of her deposit back.
She also got an expensive lesson.
Yuly Caprio: “When you ask the questions, you make sure you actually see the car.”
Auto Warehouse did not want to go on camera. Instead, they sent us an email saying they didn’t have time to meet with us “to spend hours explaining a complaint from a customer that had agreed to pay for a rendered service for which written document was executed for and is binding” and that “we have never been reprimanded by a regulatory or compliance authority during our existence.”
Maxine got so frustrated with the whole process she actually gave up finding a new car. But she never gave up trying to get her money back.
Since this story first aired Thursday night, Auto Warehouse has decided to return Maxine’s full deposit. A check she has already been picked up and cashed.
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