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Bought car from dealer on 3/22/2010 - still no title/registration: What do I do?

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Old 08-29-10, 10:13 AM   #1
wise2k
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Default Bought car from dealer on 3/22/2010 - still no title/registration: What do I do?

I bought a 99 Lexus GS300 from Lexus of Louisville on March 22, 2010 cash but I still haven't received the title and when I checked with the DMV it is still registered to the previous owner. It came with tags that are due to expire in October 2010.

I called the dealer two weeks ago and spoke to the dealer's title clerk who told me that there were problems in that they never received the title from the previous owner when he traded it in. She said she would send me a temporary tag, which I never received (I didn't mention it had tags expiring in 2 months).

I called again last week and asked for the sales manager and he said it was close to closing time, he would research and call me back first thing the next day. I got a call but it was not the sales manager instead it was the same dealer's title clerk I spoke to a week earlier, and she said they were working on it.

Today I decided to drive up to the dealer on my lunch break and asked to speak with the sales manager. I introduced myself and the problem and he said he was going to check into it he would be back. He disappeared for 30+minutes, and later showed up with another man, possibly a customer and just mentioned in passing that somebody was looking into my problem. I wasn't pleased, so I asked him how long he has been with the dealer he said 2.5 years, and I responded saying that this happened in his watch, couldn't they have at least notified me if there was a problem instead of me waiting and waiting, I gave them my home address, email address, and phone number when buying the car so there is no excuse for failure to communicate. He called me to his office and said he understood, 5 months is a long time but the car is in my name so I should not worry. I told him that the DMV says it's not in my name and that is why I am there coz if I get pulled over I could get harrased by police suspecting I stole the car. He called the dealer's title clerk and confirmed it is still registered to the previous owner. He said the finance manager knows about the issue and they will work on getting it taken care of as soon as possible.

I called again last Thursday and the sales manager told me the general manager was on vacation and would be back Saturday. He said he would talk to him and will call me before the end of the day, and today is Sunday still no phone call.
I had sent some emails to the news stations but no response, but I did fax my complaint to the DMV and I'm sure sooner or later there's gonna be some action. I called the attorney referral line to see what I can do and they told me the only person who can deal with my situation is the district attorney so it doesn't even seem like I can have a solid case. Most of the attorneys seem to be interested in Lemon cars, personal injury, etc.

I just don't know though what could be the problem...Carfax did not show any accident except for one back when in 2002, hit on the right rear.
I bought this car cash, why am i going through this??? It's a Lexus dealer, is this the kind of service one should expect after signing and paying them for a car?

What action can I take from here forward while waiting indefinitely? I was thinking of calling Lexus corporate or the Better Business Bureau but I'm not sure what the best way to make my voice heard is.

Am I gonna have to pay to register the car now that it is almost expiring yet I never received the initial registration/title..?
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Last edited by wise2k; 08-29-10 at 07:43 PM..
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Old 08-29-10, 10:52 AM   #2
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It looks like you have done more than most to get your voice heard in your situation. I think best to do is wait on the DMV. Let them deal with that dealership. Also contacting Lexus Corps. does'nt hurt either. PDF some document of prove of purchse when fileing your complaint. Establish a email trail.
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Old 08-29-10, 11:03 AM   #3
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Who is your loan through? You will not receive a title until it is paid off, but the registration should have been handled within 30-60 days (varies by state).

I would contact the lender, keep them on the phone, and have them get involved. You are the one making payments, they are the one who stands to lose. You have been making payments on a vehicle that you do not own. You could go back on them for the money. Or just bring it back to the dealer and return the car.

Personally, I would drive up in the car, ask to speak with the owner and the general manager. If that didn't work, I would ask the receptionist to call the police because the dealership has been stealing your money and you want to report the theft while on their property or be allowed to return the stolen property since it's not in your name. Be sure to have all your paperwork with you. This should certainly gain some attention. Stop talking to the lackeys (sales "manager", title clerk) and start knocking some doors down.

It really helps when there are customers around and you do this. Salespeople get rather jittery about their sales when customers start getting boisterous and raising hell inside. You've done your part, it's time they did theirs - and get everyone's name. Also, they owe you some goodwill. Be it oil changes or possibly a service, they certainly owe you at least that much, IMO. No penalty means they will continue to behave this way.

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Old 08-29-10, 11:36 AM   #4
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Wow that stinks. When I got my car, Sewell Lexus came and picked up my car to put on the license plates and take out any small dents or nicks for free.
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Old 08-29-10, 12:54 PM   #5
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They should not have traded a car in without a title and then sold it.
return the car for full money back
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Old 08-29-10, 01:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Mack View Post
Who is your loan through? You will not receive a title until it is paid off, but the registration should have been handled within 30-60 days (varies by state).

I would contact the lender, keep them on the phone, and have them get involved. You are the one making payments, they are the one who stands to lose. You have been making payments on a vehicle that you do not own. You could go back on them for the money. Or just bring it back to the dealer and return the car.

Personally, I would drive up in the car, ask to speak with the owner and the general manager. If that didn't work, I would ask the receptionist to call the police because the dealership has been stealing your money and you want to report the theft while on their property or be allowed to return the stolen property since it's not in your name. Be sure to have all your paperwork with you. This should certainly gain some attention. Stop talking to the lackeys (sales "manager", title clerk) and start knocking some doors down.

It really helps when there are customers around and you do this. Salespeople get rather jittery about their sales when customers start getting boisterous and raising hell inside. You've done your part, it's time they did theirs - and get everyone's name. Also, they owe you some goodwill. Be it oil changes or possibly a service, they certainly owe you at least that much, IMO. No penalty means they will continue to behave this way.

Big Mack
^^^ He paid cash. Rest of your input is on point and I agree. I would deff raise hell in front of EVERYONE!!
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Old 08-29-10, 01:49 PM   #7
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Take it back and demand a full refund on the spot. Tell them you'll hold their check until you get title and then you'll come pcik up the car and give them their check back.
I wouldn't have left the dealership without title in hand.
No title, no ownership.
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Old 08-29-10, 01:57 PM   #8
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This is one of the strangest stories concerning a dealership I have ever heard, and I have heard a bunch. Assuming you have all of your paperwork, you should ultimately be OK. I would contact the State Attorney general's office or the department of motor vehicles. Most states have laws concerning delivery of titles. If push comes to shove, a call to the local news media might get results. Dealerships hate bad publicity.
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Old 08-29-10, 02:19 PM   #9
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ask the dmv or tax office the steps to process for a lost title to get a bonded title, i just had to recently do that, i had to get approved for the application and get that bonded and i brought all the paperwork to my tax office and they're sending me the title, u will have to cough up some more money for the bond and pay taxes on it again, not sure how this process work in ur state tho, so this might be your final option if u really want to keep the car
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Old 08-29-10, 04:47 PM   #10
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Technically you / the dealer cannot sell a car without title to it. Sound like the paperwork on the car was messed up before you bought it.

Lexus of where-ever cannot sell a car without title. Do you have receipts / the bill of sale from your purchase?

It's pretty clear you're getting the run around here. Whatever you've done to date has not worked. How you go from here is really up to you, how much a fuss you want to make and how much time you have.

Right now it sounds like the dealer thinks this is your problem. Figure out a why to make it their problem. My take is 'threaten to undo your sale' as they cannot legally sell something they dont own

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Old 08-29-10, 06:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Big Mack View Post

Personally, I would drive up in the car, ask to speak with the owner and the general manager. If that didn't work, I would ask the receptionist to call the police because the dealership has been stealing your money and you want to report the theft while on their property or be allowed to return the stolen property since it's not in your name. Be sure to have all your paperwork with you. This should certainly gain some attention. Stop talking to the lackeys (sales "manager", title clerk) and start knocking some doors down.
I agree! Sales managers answer to the general manager who answers to the owners. If the sales manager is giving you the runaround, which it sounds like he is, move up one more rung on the proverbial corporate ladder at the dealership. I used to work at a Benz/Audi/Jag dealership and my sales manager became "weak in the knees" when the general manager came around. You might have more success with him, ESPECIALLY since it sounds like the dealership sold a car they didn't own. That's bad news for them

Good luck man!
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Old 08-29-10, 07:40 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone, tomorrow is Monday and I will go there to see if I can speak with the general manager. It is horrible service, the least I could expect from a Lexus dealer, buying a Lexus not even another brand trade in. I paid them cash on the spot, and the process is that they do the registration and title/transfer coz they charged fees for title, license, and tax. It was supposed to be no longer than three weeks before I got the paperwork through the mail in my name but it never happened. I kept saying any day now and days turned to weeks that turned to months and here we are now.

But what could be the problem, can't they just get a duplicate title..? Or maybe the previous owner died..? I don't understand but I'm worried. It's a big dealer so I don't think they stole the car lol.
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Old 08-29-10, 07:44 PM   #13
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Hmm...skimmed all of your post OP. You should have gotten the title, as you paid cash on hand. No excuses. Coming from a lexuship, you most probably paid a premium to buy the car, you have to expect service. Go down and talk to the GM personally, and as another member said, contact lexus corp regarding this, so they know. You should get something out of this for your troubles. GL man, let us know what happens.
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Old 08-29-10, 07:54 PM   #14
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You dont NEED to have title in hand to trade in, just proof of ownership. Guy probably still owed money on it and didnt have title. Dealership doesnt have title in every case either, even if did they dont hand it over. I have a problem with the dealer saying that they're having problems getting the title from the owner cause they shouldnt have to, its just a matter of showing the bill of sale to the DMV to get another one then transfer the name. The problems you're experiencing makes me wonder how this is an actual Lexus dealership! Sounds more like a small owner operated used car lot
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Old 08-30-10, 06:33 AM   #15
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Contact Lexus Corp for sure and file a formal complaint. I def wouldn't have been calm for this long. GL
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Old 08-30-10, 06:33 AM
 
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