(KMOV) – A couple says they bought a used car from a local car dealership, then drove home only to find several mechanical issues.
Last May, Lloyd Garcia bought a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta for his wife from the Dean Team in Kirkwood.
Almost immediately, there were problems.
“You could smell something burning, like a hose or a belt,” Garcia remembers.
Not to mention, the car was riding rough. So they decided to get rid of it.
Lloyd took it to a different dealer and got a big surprise.
“And they ran a Carfax for a trade-in and showed me the car had unibody damage,” Garcia said.
Garcia was initially confused because The Dean Team had given them a Carfax that clearly showed no issues.
It turns out that was wrong. An updated Carfax showed a yellow alert for “structural damage” - a possible safety issue.
News 4 tried to contact the Dean Team, but managers refused to comment on camera. However, they did have an explanation.
They said they bought the Jetta, “sight-unseen” from Florida through an online auction in Oct., 2011. They said they did not know about the structural damage and printed out the Carfax when they bought it. That was the same one given to Garcia.
But at that point, it was 7 months old.
“I feel they purposely misrepresented the vehicle they sold to me, that they knew what they were doing when they did it, in order to make a sale,” said Garcia.
The Dean Team strongly denies Garcia’s theory. They say they gave the Garcia’s the old Carfax because they had no reason to think anything had changed since they bought it.
“We paid a lot of money for the car,” Garcia said. “Nine to 10 months later, it’s worth 50 percent of what we paid for it.”
Naturally, the Garcia’s wanted a different car.
They say the Dean Team’s only offer was take the Jetta as a trade, take a loss and sell them a more expensive car.
The Garcia’s refused and negotiations ceased.
“They never returned my call, and never heard from ‘em. I called twice, never heard anything,” he said.
So the Garcia’s called us and we contacted The Dean Team.
The sales manager insists it was all a terrible misunderstanding.
Hours after talking to News 4, he called the Garcia’s with a new offer.
“He told me that because some things had slipped through the cracks that’s why we had gone six to eight weeks without any communication and he wanted to make us right,” Garcia recalled.
The Garcia’s now have a newer car with fewer miles and a lower monthly payment. And this time, Garcia says the Dean Team gave him a full, current Carfax report.