Car titling laws and title fraud, please help me figure this out

@glasser3 (354)
Hibbing, Minnesota
January 6, 2007 3:41am CST
Okay so the story starts like this, my mom after putting about 35,000 miles on her ford contour sport decided to buy another car. So we went and talked with the mechanics we had been going to for repairs on our cars. They just happened to have a 1998 ford escort sport that they swore up and down was a great car, so not thinking anything of it because they had always been so honest with us we decided to buy it. And since we've got it its been nothing but a bunch of headaches. Purchase price was 2300$ with taxes ect, but heres where the first twist in the story comes in, just as we go to pay for it and sign the papers we find out the title is actually held by another local dealership called Pioneer Automotive. They to use had always seemed like kind of a fly by night organization but again we figured well our usual mechanics vouched for the car so everything should be fine. Well with in 2 days it was back in the shop for a bad passengerside tie rod end, okay no big deal they replaced it free of charge. Ten days later the alternator went out... with towing and repair that came to almost 600$ okay well if thats all thats fine ... about a month later we find out the radiator is cracked ... okay there goes another 400$. Okay now im getting upset but then just when you think nothing else can go wrong the timing belt, timing tensioner and water pump go. So i call the place and tell them everything thats gone on and they agree to try to make us a happy customer by trading us for something else on the lot .. so we find a 1997 pontiac sunfire and everything is good till all of a sudden they decide they cant afford to trade us this car because of what their heating bill costs and our car isnt blue booked high enough. Okay fine what ever even though when i looked blue book up in about 4 places theres only 100$ difference give or take. But now this is when it gets interesting.. as we listed the car on ebay figuring that we'd just try to sell it and get something else .... wrong ... once again another problem surfaces... even though we show clear minnesota title when ebay pulls an autocheck.com report they find that it had a salvage title in IL. So anyway I get the classic ebay auction ended message and send them a reply back asking why thats when im informed of the salvage title in IL so i pay 24.99 to autocheck and pull up the information myself and sure enough i find "Elgin, IL 4/20/06 salvage title issued" So at this point im like ... What the f@#k is up with that so i dig a bit further and find that minnesota does usually brand titles that are salvage/rebuilt ect regardless of what state they are from... so now im like great what do i do ... well long story short i went to the dealership and wrote down the vins of 4 other cars on the lot and find that another one also has a salvage title in the same town as mine does but again some how has a clean minnesota title. So basicly what im asking is does anyone know exactly how and why this would have happened and what legal recourse i can take against them. Ive already got a complaint form to send to the state attorney general and a number to call that was provided to me by the DMV.
6 responses
@atticus (1381)
• Italy
6 Jan 07
my eyes are burning sorry,i can't see what i'm writin
@lilmissy (481)
• United States
6 Jan 07
lol then you you shouldnt be posting if you cant see enough to respond to the post other than too say ur eyes are burning??? btw back on topic that really sucks my family had some problems with a car they sold to another person privately and they were suppose to change the title and send us back the old plates instead they took off with the car never changed title and we reported it as stolen in case they crash into someone we wanted proof it wasent in our possession but since they paid us the police cant really formally look for the car as a stolen car so its very complicated for us too
@farocop44 (448)
• Canada
6 Jan 07
Does your state have laws that a cars history must be revealed when a car is purchased? My province has a vehicle history that is purchased when you buy a car. It cost $20. If your car doesnt have any record of being a salvage job on it then perhaps your mechanic is unaware he is buying crappy cars from a crappy dealer. If he does know, and he didnt advise you that the car is a salvage, it is possible he is in on a scam and you are the victim. You need to check with your DMV to see if the mechanic is suppose to inform you of the history of your car by law. If your mechanic didnt know then he was also the victim of fraud by Pioneer Auto and a police report should be filed. If it turns out Pioneer has not been providing info on cars they sell and should have, then they can be sued and charged.
@glasser3 (354)
• Hibbing, Minnesota
6 Jan 07
well from what ive been able to find and what the DMV has told us as well as a good family friend who owned a shop in minnesota (same state im in) for many years they are indeed suppose to inform us of any "brands" on the title which we were not. And based on how K&S acted when we walked in there to talk to them about the titling problem they in my opinion definately knew that they had sold us a car that at one time was titled salvage. And yes actually monday once the main dmv office is open and the states attorney genterals office is open we will be turning what happened into them as well as the minnesota department of dealer lic. and based on what the family friend mentioned above said if they are indead a legit. dealer then the state will give them 5 days to buy the car back at that time if they do not the state will use the dealers bond to buy the car back from us. At this point we will then have the option of suing htem for punitive damages. Thank you for your comment it was actually very helpful
@wepay2 (347)
• Australia
6 Jan 07
i dont know what is wrong with your laws but here in aus we have to get a road-worthy-certificate (which states that it is safe to drive on the roads like no rust and everything mechanical is working 100%) then we must go to the road-traffic-authority (in charge of all vehicles on the road, registration, stolen car check, amount owed on the car if any etc) and transfer the car into my name before i can legaly drive it. it sounds like in where you are in america that you can just get into any car and call it yours with no checks as to wether the car is stolen or under a repossesion order. i think your laws have to be changed so that everyone is protected from shysters
@glasser3 (354)
• Hibbing, Minnesota
6 Jan 07
I agree and actually by law the car is supposed to go through all of that but some how the company we bought it from snuck around these laws. So basicly now we are in the process of trying to take them to justice to make sure that they dont do it to anyone else although im pretty sure that we arent the first people to have this happen to us. Thanks for your comment
@paul8675 (750)
• Australia
6 Jan 07
I think that for anyone buying a second hand car, it is always a case of 'buyer beware.'
@donglory (677)
• Ghana
6 Jan 07
i think you have to sick more advices
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
6 Jan 07
just send in your reports to the authoirties and let them handle it though that will take time. I know a person that does wrecker work in Louisiana will ask here where their cars go if they know. and ford escorts suck ! We had one off a car lot that timing chain went out going to a job we sat for hours in a downpour (rain) until a lady came out of her house and I asked her could I use phone. Got kids to come get us went and rasied all kind of hell with the dealer got our Truck back! That escort stayed broke down for 3 years before I no longer saw it on the lot.