ED Magedson – Founder
Public Motors2113 E First Street Internet United States of America
On Jan 2, 2011 I visited Pubic Motors in Orange County at their Santa Ana Dealership. I was working with the finance manager, B.K. as the salesperson. I put a deposit on a car for my daughter to be able to take to our mechanic and have the car inspected before a purchase for my daughter. The deal was to involve full 90 day parts and labor on all repairs and the sale would be made if the vehicle passed the inspection of our mechanic. I was told the vehicle was fully inspected at the dealership prior to my viewing the vehicle, that thecharges on the car included $55 for this inspection that had been done already at the dealership, that there were no new registration fees because the registration was current,that therewere no mechanical problems or repairs needed at this time per the inspection report they had on file that was not available due to some problem at the moment at the dealership, and that the vehicle had 77,000 miles on it as advertised on their internet posting.
I called the dealership and spoke with BK at 8:30 am on January 4th, 2010, and told him I had called my insurance company and added Amber to my policy as I had said I would do when I spoke with him, said my daughter would be picking up the car at 10:00 am and have it back on the lot in a couple of hours after the inspection, and I would be in later that day to oversee the signing of the paperwork for the sale if there were no mechanical problems identified by the mechanic. He said okay and added only that he didn't want a problem with the sale if it only had a headliner hole or rip and that the car could be returned no problem if she brought it back the same day. I called my insurance company, USAA, and added Amber to the policy so she was insured to drive the vehicle off the lot for the inspection by our mechanic. When Amber came to pick up the car, the following bait and switch occurred. BK had prepared the sale documentation for the vehicle, which he had told me on 1-02-10 would not occur until we decided to purchase the car. BK Backdated the sale date to the date of my contact with him of 1-02-2010 when I only put a deposit for the vehicle in the amount of $4,718 on two of my credit cards, and had Amber sign it. BK filled paperwork which is titled RETAIL INSTALLMENT CONTRACT-SIMPLE FINANCE CHARGE, which I never saw or was ever even quoted any numbers for. At the bottom of the figures, it has Amount Financed $4,718.85, and dated it January 2, 2002. Amber did not even go into the store location until Jan 4, 2010. The story gets worse from there.
Upon inspection, our mechanic documents leaks in the power steering pump, rack and pinion problems, rear mail seal leaking or oil pan leaking left turn signal light panel broken, and numerous other problems.The mechanic who inspectedthe car on January4, 2010 told us the engine had to be taken out to repair the main seal oil leak. The two mechanics examining the car estimated the cost of repairs to be greater than the above price of the car. Given these problems, the car was returned to Public Motors on thee same day Amber had taken it to the mechanic, and she arrived back at Public Motors at 3:20 pm on January 4th, 2010.
Unfortunately, BK had made out extra special paperwork for Amber to sign aswell. These documents included: 1) Contract Cancellation Option Agreement, which lists the deadline as 1-04-2011 at 5:30 PM,no restocking fee amount, and he had Amber sign the box under Decline Option for the Cancellation Agreement. 2) He also filled out an extra special documented DUE BILL in which he typed out for especially for Amber to sign in which he had her sign away the 90 day all parts and labor repair repairs that is how this company sells their vehicles to people when they explain the terms of their standard 3 month warranty. On this special document, BK limits the repairs to 1-16-2011. JUST AMAZING! He dated this DUE BILL document 1-02-2010 at the top. No signature dates are beside either his signature in his initials or my daughter's signature.
Now to the rest of the events... As stated above, on 1-04-2011, the same day my daughter took the ca off of the lot for a couple of hours for an inspection by a mechanic with the understanding that al documents she signed would be voided if the mechanic found problems and we did not want to purchase the car, she returned it. We told them there were serious problems, and we did not want the car. BK then and only then explain to her that he had her sign permanent sale documents, which of course, led her to have an emotional crisis, and I met her at the dealership by 5 PM on January 4, 2011 regarding this crisis. By that time, Richard Cohen, who is in charge at the dealership, had been called to attend to the situation. The car was put up on a rack and steam washed, and Richard Cohen then looked at the car with us, with the mechanic there at the time then saying only water was dripping from the car and not the oil or the power steering fluid identified by the mechanic earlier that day.The car had not been steam cleaned when the mechanics had examined the car earlier that day so the chronic severe leaks in the power steering and the rear main seal or oil pan that were readily apparent when our mechanics had examined it were apparently no longer visible at that time. We left the car at the dealership and told them we were not purchasing the car.
Public Motorstried to sell us another car instead, but we declined. Innumerable calls to Public Motors were made, in excess of 20 to 30 calls, and went to the dealership 4 times to try to resolve this situation. They do not have someone answering the phone much of the time, and all messages left were never returned. BK said he was in the hospital for 5 days, which is not true per other employees, and on the days that I went there I was told he had left for the day by the time I got there. I was able to speak with one individual by phone who is the hiring manager and he told me to contact him if I had problems getting the credit card payments cancelled and the sale reversed, but he has since not been available to speak with or contact. Richard Cohen told my daughter, Amber, and me at the time we saw him when we brought the car back on January 4th that wedid not need to worry because all cars at Public Motors are sold with a 90 day parts and labor warranty, and any problems we could bring the car back within that time.
Since BK had entered the special DUE BILL described above that is not true either, per the written documents. On the DUE BILL dated 1-02-2011 BK had added the following: Vehicle sold as equipped, nothing else added or implied that is not typed on this form. You must call customer service at 1-800- 813-7150 to schedule an appointment. This promise of work to be performed expires 1/16/2011. Any additional work must be authorized by management, and the customer must pay for the cost of parts and labor at #85 per hour. If you call customer service, their recording states no walk-ins accepted, and if you are able to get a person instead of the usual voice mail with no one ever calling back in response to messages left, you are informed there are no appointments available at this time. They also apparently have some procedure where you are required to fill out their specific paperwork for requested repairs or the warranty for repairs cannot be honored and that paperwork is not available either.
Given these problems, we spent the rest of the week waiting in line at the DMV office trying to find out our available remedies. When we were finally able to get seen after waiting hours each day only to find out our number didn't come up before they closed, my daughter was told she could not submit a Courtesy STOP Request until the vehicle title had been transferred. By Friday, January 13th, it was not transferred per the DMV office we visited. However, after calling and leaving a message on BK's phone insisting on refunding my deposit, BK had the car delivered to the address where my daughter had been living, and no phone notification of this was made to my daughter or to me. The property was vacatedseveral days before. The car was taken to the mechanic again at Sena Automotive, and the problems were again documented. However, the steam cleaning of the vehicle while it was back at Public Motors on 1-04-2011 prevents the mechanic from photographing the leaks identified and it would take driving the vehicle, which werefuse to do because it is unsafe to do so and we dispute the sale of the vehicle.
I contacted my insurance company at USAA and they suggested we have the vehicle towed back to the dealership and returned to them once again and inform them in writing they did not have Amber's permission to drive the vehicle back to her former residence and that her former residence is vacant so they should not leave the keys to the vehicle in the accessible mailbox and the car on the street as they had done before.
Amber wrote out a statement telling them not to deliver the car to her former address and that the property is vacant.Yesterday, the registration for the vehicle arrived in the mail at Amber's former address that is now a vacant property.She also stated the sale is in dispute. We left the paperwork for Richard Cohen, the manager of the dealership, and will follow-up on Monday. Earlier today I submitted an on-line complaint to the Attorney Generals Office here in California. After this and with the mechanics documentation of the problems we had the car towed on a flatbed back to Public Motors, and I paid for the 11 mile towing.
Of course, USAA insurance company has been notified with an extensive discussion with one of their supervisors, who will look into what they can do regarding this on Monday. On Monday, we will be at the DMV office to filethe Courtesy Stop Payment notice to hold the transferof title for30 days, which will expire at the end of 30 days and cannot be refilled. The DMV documents states, I understand that I must file a complaint or petition with the Superior Court requesting a preliminary injunction with a temporary restraining order to be served upon the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles within 30 days at the following address, with a Sacramento DMV address listed. After that and on Monday, we will also be taking a written complaint to the DMV's Irvine office forInvestigation of Complaint.
SO, unless you want a completely time consuming legal hassle, don't go near Public Motors. Don't even think about it. This dealership represents that all vehicles they sell are bank owned.They have a sales gimmick in which they represent that the bank owned vehicles are bid upon by you, the customer, and they take your bid to the frontdesk and say they call the bank which is there on the phone to counter our offer. This is their standard procedure. They then bring you back a piece of appear with other purported on-line bids, and say on-line bidders bid more, etc., etc. The vehicle we purportedly purchased was a bank owned vehicle, never a rental and never in an accident. The DMV records sayPublic Motors owns the vehicle. I believe their entire sales gimmick is not legal, per internet research. We shall leave this to the pending DMVInvestigation Complaint we are filing.
If you look up Public Motors on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, you will see they have an F Rating. They do not respond to complaints. Oh my. I wish I had seen this first before I ever set foot on their dealership's location.
This is truly a BUYER BEWARE DEALERSHIP
Of course,my credit card charges have been placed in dispute by me, and the car is back on their lot. We shall keep you posted on this RIP OFF website.
On the DMV Records I have been able to obtain, the vehicle title was transferred to 12-01-10 to Huntington Beach Chrys Jeep dealer on Beach BLVD, and then on 12-17-10 ABS Auto Auction. The vehicle registration was expired on 10-18-2010 and BK has charged the registration fees and late payment to the amount paid on the deposit after having informed me the registration was current.
The REGISTRAION CARD issued by electronic filing and date stamped as mailed on a Postal Meter from Public Motors of Orange County to my daughter on January 14, 2011 that was left in the mailbox when the car was delivered without any telephone call, states Registration is Valid from 10-18-2010 to 10-18-1010. This means Public Motors was having us test drive the vehicle off their lot without a current registration. I hope the DMV nails them for their practices. This just cant be legal business practices.
Thank you for your attention to the details of this report. Well keep you posted.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/16/2011 02:36 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/public-motors/internet/auto-dealerspublic-motorspublic-motors-public-mootors-o-92b2fhtm-683173. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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