I just moved to Missouri and recently purchased an HR-V at a Honda dealership here. I traded in my old Accord (licensed and titled in Pennsylvania where I moved from) which was ‘gifted’ to me by my mother. I gave the dealership the Accord’s title which was signed over to me and the affadavit of gift. It is now a month later and the dealership is holding the papers for me to get the license plate on the new HR-V because the Accord is registered to my mother in PA (the title was signed over to me though). The dealership states they cannot accept the Accord until it is registered here in Missouri in MY name. I went to the DMV and they told me I need a recent Missouri inspection on the vehicle. I haven’t had the vehicle in my possession for well over a month now and when I called the dealership to ask about this, the Accord had already been sold at auction. Now the dealership states they will locate the vehicle and have it inspected for me. Then I still have to go get it registered before they will give me my new HR-V papers. My temporary plates expire in a few days and this whole debacle has been going on for weeks now. I really feel like I’m getting screwed. How could they have even legally sold the Accord? Anyone have any advice?
You really need expert legal advice. All you can get here are guesses that carry little weight unless the response is from someone in Missouri with DMV experience. The dealer can issue another temporary tag.
Contact the prosecuting attorney’s office.
Contact your state’s automobile dealer association and the BBB.
You need to contact your state attorney general’s office of consumer affairs and file a formal complaint. And a private attorney.
With respect to twotone, the ADA and the BBB are comprised of the very people causing the problem, and they’ll cover for the dealer. And they lack legal authority to resolve what is clearly a legal issue. I’ve been through issues like this, and these organizations are created to protect the business from the consumers, not the consumers from the businesses.
I expect the auction sale was a mistake and that the dealership didn’t have the legal right to make that sale. After all, they didn’t own the car, right? You can’t sell something that isn’t yours. Is there a problem for you with just going along with what they say they’ll do to rectify the problem? How would that affect you adversely? If it would, you might have an enforceable claim against them. But since you say it is an “old” Accord, I doubt you’d get enough to pay the legal fees.
I think the advice mostly given here is when buying a new car to not make a trade-in part of the deal. Since you already did that, you’ll probably just have to go along with what the dealership says, and eventually things will work themselves out I expect.
I’ve been following their “instructions” for about 2 weeks now trying to rectify the problem :neutral: including several unnecessary trips to the DMV (I left out a few of the initial details to spare you). I just have a feeling this is far from over because they have yet to even locate the vehicle that was sold at auction and even get an ‘inspection’ done for me. To me, it seems they messed up somewhere along the way and now I’m the one running around to ‘fix’ it for them. I’m starting to look into legal assistance but was hoping someone may have had a similar experience! Thanks for the advice!
Its a lot easier to prevent problems than to extricate yourself from one. I’m not sure who to talk to but the dealer association might be a good bet. The thing is whenever I have a change in status of a car, I pay the $10 and have a brand new and current title issued. Then selling is not a problem. So instead of having the old title with your mother’s signature, it should have been a clean title with your information. Then when you moved to Missouri, you needed to get a new plate and title. You just skipped a few steps and that complicates the whole thing. Of course them not hanging onto the car makes it even worse. You just may have to make a few more trips to the dealer and DMV and hopefully won’t have to take a trip back to Pennsylvania again.
We’ve got a couple lawyers here so maybe they will chime in. Personally I’ve never found the AG or BBB much help.
Missouri Attorney General’s Office for consumer complaints. The toll free hotline number to call is about halfway down the page of information.
Navigating the MO DMV can be a nightmare. The offices are franchises that are a combination of political patronage and highest bidder (theoretically highest bidder…reference political patronage). Most DMV staff are part time minimum wage workers with little training. But the Missouri Attorney General’s office has a good reputation.
You really need to get the MO AG’s office involved in this; not only to clear up what the dealer did with the car but to make sure you haven’t made some mistakes by trading in a car which you did not title in your name; relative, gift or not. Many places look at something like this as title jumping.
If the dealer sent that car to auction they know full well it’s path up to that point. After sale at an auction they may have no idea; especially if it left the state.
Someone in this process should be able to run it down by the VIN unless the car was aged, high miles, potential northern rust, and someone decided to cube it rather than put it back out on the road.
I don’t know, but seems like the dealership messed up. You can call them and ask them to cancel the whole deal. They have to return the Accord and take your new car back. That is not possible at this point, but at least it might give them a clue that since they are the ones who messed it up, they have to own up to it and fix the problem. Might be easier if you haven’t paid the full price for the new car. I guess this is one situation that financing might work in your favor.
The dealership states they cannot accept the Accord until it is registered here in Missouri in MY name
when I called the dealership to ask about this, the Accord had already been sold at auction.
Since they sold the car, there is no transfer issue.
Please release my papers immediately or I will call the appropriate authorities and let them prosecute you…
"the ADA and the BBB are comprised of the very people causing the problem, and they’ll cover for the dealer. And they lack legal authority to resolve what is clearly a legal issue. I’ve been through issues like this, and these organizations are created to protect the business from the consumers, not the consumers from the businesses. "
Absolutely on target!
While The BBB has been nicknamed The Better FOR Business Bureau in an attempt at humor, that joke is not very far from the truth. For reasons that I don’t understand, a lot of people believe The BBB to have regulatory and punitive powers, which it most definitely does NOT have.
In reality, businesses pay dues to be members of The BBB, and in return for those dues, The BBB will almost always defend their members. The harshest treatment that is possible is for them to refuse to accept the dues from a company that has cheated too many people, and–trust me–The BBB does that in only very rare instances.
It is any wonder that Smart Money magazine stated, “Few consumers have actually been helped by The BBB”?
For legal protection, consumers need to contact the Department of Consumer Affairs in their state, which–as a governmental entity–DOES have both regulatory and punitive powers.
It would be nice if the OP does an update when this problem is resolved one way or another. Very seldom do we ever here the final chapter of dealer -buyer problems.