CAHOKIA, Ill. (KMOV.com) - A South City woman says she was threatened by staff member at Paylater Auto Sales in Cahokia, Ill.

She says she bought a Chevy Equinox last Friday, putting $1,100 on a down payment. The mom of three says within two hours of driving it off the lot, the car broke down.

“The service engine light was not on, they let the car run the whole time I was there, and soon as I got home, it shut down,” she said.

She says when she told the dealership she wanted her money back, they refused.

News 4 went by to speak with the owner. Employees turned us away and gave no comment.

News 4 has reported on several cases in the past regarding Paylater selling people cars that later break down within a week of purchase.

The company’s president is a man by the name of Stephen Fults. The BBB sent a warning out to consumers earlier this year alerting them to not buy from this dealership.

They currently have an "F" rating, with more than 50 complaints on file against them.

BBB offers the following tips on purchasing a used vehicle:

  • Research any business and its owners carefully before paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org or by calling 888-996-3887.
  • Make sure to research vehicle prices. There are many online resources to check the average retail prices of various makes and models of used cars. This should give you an idea how much the used car is worth.
  • Get specific when asking about a vehicle’s history and condition. Ask for vehicle records, including those related to inspections, prior maintenance and any repairs or reconditioning done by the dealer. Ask for a vehicle history report. Remember, a vehicle history report is only as complete as information reported and is not a guarantee of the vehicle’s condition.
  • Consider having a qualified mechanic inspect the vehicle. Most dealers will allow consumers to have an inspection done off-site. Pre-purchase inspections can cost upwards of $100, but they may help identify potential issues and save on costly repairs down the road.
  • Get any additional commitments made by the dealer in writing. If the dealer has agreed to perform or pay for additional repairs as a condition of purchase, be sure to have these written into a contract. This is sometimes referred to as a “We Owe” agreement. Get the time frame for completion of the repairs in writing and make sure you understand who to contact to have the work completed.
  • Consumers should learn potential consequences of purchasing a car “as is” and understand that this likely eliminates the dealer making any repairs after the date of the sale.
  • The Federal Trade Commission’s Used Car Rule states that dealers have to display a Buyers Guide in every used car they have for sale and give it to buyers after the sale. The guide tells consumers about the major mechanical and electrical systems in the vehicle, including some of the big problems you should watch for. If a dealer doesn’t display the FTC Buyers Guide, you might want to shop elsewhere and report the dealer to the FTC.

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