Consumer Investigation: Rochester car dealer never delivered her car and she was still on the hook for her car loan
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – A local high school graduate paid in full for a car she never got. Sound familiar? That’s because I told you about the same thing happening to another News10NBC viewer.
I’ve been fielding complaints about United Auto Solutions located at 1661 Hudson Avenue for months. In this most recent case, a 2021 high school graduate bought herself a car last fall. And she says not only did she never get the car, she was also on the hook for the car loan.
High school graduation is a triumphant rite of passage. But for Azhari Williams and so many graduates last year, COVID crushed cherished traditions.
"So her triumph was going to be, you know, graduation sucked. We didn’t have a prom. I’ll buy myself a car,” said Yantise Fulton, Williams’ mother.
Williams applied for a loan at her mother’s credit union, Advantage Federal Credit Union. And with her mom as a cosigner, she was approved. She spotted a car she wanted at United Auto Solutions, a 2011 Chevy Malibu. She paid a total of $6,589.
"And she [Williams] presented them with the check and she said, ‘Is everything ready? You said when we came back we could get the vehicle’. And one of the owners goes, ‘It needs to be serviced still.’"
When Fulton and Williams went back, the owners said they were waiting on the title. Funton says the excuses continued for weeks. Finally, she’d had it.
"At this point, I’m like, ‘We want to request our money back.’ And they’re like, ‘No we can’t do that.’ I’m like, ‘Sure you can.’"
And she went back to the dealership, this time with an Irondequoit police officer in tow. She says suddenly, the dealership was much more amenable to a refund.
"So we go back with the officer they wrote the promissory note on November 23, 2021."
The note promised a full refund no later than 30 calendar days, December 23. But that refund never came. Williams was devastated.
“And she didn’t want to get out of the bed. She didn’t want to eat. She didn’t want to talk," her mother remembers. So Fulton reported what happened to her credit union and provided documentation.
"And they go, ‘Well, we looked into it but there’s nothing that we can do. You should file a lawsuit in civil court,” Fulton remembers being told. But her daughter is still required to pay back the loan for a car she doesn’t own.
"It’s disheartening because she gets sad every single month that she has to pay it," said Fulton.
I asked Advantage Federal Credit Union why Williams’s loan wasn’t forgiven when she could show evidence that she’s a victim of fraud.
Jeffrey Bocach, president and CEO of the credit union wrote, "Banks and credit unions typically carry insurance for most types of fraud, but in this instance, the credit union was not defrauded, the member paid in full for a car without taking delivery.” But he added that the credit union is actively working with Williams to resolve the issue.
As for United Auto Solutions, I reached out to leaders by phone, email, Facebook Messenger, and text, but they responded to none of my interview requests. This is my third investigation of the dealership in as many months, and the DMV confirms it’s investigating as well.
If you have a complaint, the DMV urges you to call them 518- 474-8943.
If you’re trying to buy a used car, here’s Deanna’s Do List:
• Set a car-buying budget and don’t budge.
• Be able to walk away. Don’t get emotionally attached.
• Find affordable financing before you hit the lot. Because lenders consider used car financing riskier than new car financing, rates may be higher. Shop around. LendingTree, Bankrate and CarGurus are great places to start.
• Be prepared. Know your credit score. Also, research the Kelley Blue Book price for your car before you hit the lot.
• Get a vehicle history report. Carfax and AutoCheck are the best-known companies that sell history reports. New Yorkers can also get free vehicle information at Vincheck.info.