Woman left fighting for refund after mechanic finds major problem with used vehicle

January 29, 2013 8:23:44 PM PST
A first-time car buyer made a $4,000 mistake then called Action 13 for help.

If you are thinking about buying a used car, get it checked out before you sign anything. Not following that advice left one car buyer pulling out all the stops in an effort to get her money back.

Ginger McGuire loves her recently purchased 1999 Ford F-150, but it is not the 2005 Ford Explorer she bought back in December.

"It was low mileage and it looked like a good deal," she said.

McGuire owned that 2005 SUV for just three weeks. She says the problems started when she wanted to have the vehicle looked at by a mechanic before buying the SUV.

"Was told that I would have to have a contract on the vehicle due to insurance problems and no license plate," she said.

McGuire says she signed a contract and put down $4,000 on the vehicle with the understanding that if her mechanic found any problems, she could return the SUV and get her money back.

"We found out the motor had been blown at less than 68,000 miles and it had not been rebuilt properly," she said.

McGuire says she brought the vehicle back to F-1 Auto Imports.

"He did write the check that day, but what happened was they put a stop payment on the check," McGuire said.

After McGuire contacted us and after she threatened to take the problem to small claims court, F-1 Auto Imports repaid the money.

But the trouble does not stop with one car.

We ran Carfax reports on dozens of vehicles advertised on F-1 Auto Imports' website. We found that seven cars were listed as having one previous owner but Carfax found multiple owners. We also found five that were listed as having no accidents, but Carfax reports state damage was reported.

The owners of F-1 Auto Imports did not wish to speak with us on camera about the car McGuire bought or the discrepancies we found with those advertised vehicles and the Carfax reports. They do state on their website that errors may appear from time to time.

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