Carvana offers to buy back vehicles after failing for months to fork over titles

Better Call Behnken

Some consumers refuse, saying they want to keep the vehicles they purchased months ago; No answers as to what the hold up is

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Bay area consumers are beyond fed up and are demanding answers as to why Carvana sold them vehicles and then failed to turn over titles so they can register the cars in their names.

Now, Carvana has offered to buy some of those cars back, instead of providing the title.

Some buyers say they are furious and want to know why the state of Florida, which regulates car dealers, isn’t doing more to help them and hold Carvana accountable.

“I think the state needs to step in and do something to either enforce what the laws which are they need to provide you a title within 30 days or slap them with a pretty hefty fine to make sure this doesn’t happen,” said Michael Johnston, who has been waiting more than four months for his title.

When Carvana could no longer legally issue a Florida temporary tag to Johnston after 30 days he was sent a temporary tag from Arizona. That got him pulled over twice by law enforcement who issued him a warning and told him his car needs to be registered to the state in which he lives.

Johnston said Carvana offered to buy back his Infinity SUV and can’t tell him when he would get the title, despite the company continuing to promise “a few more weeks.”

Johnston said no to the buy-back offer.

“Due to your interaction with Carvana I was able to get a legal temporary tag,” he said. “They have refunded me some of my money I paid toward two payments on the car because the car sat for 60 days unusable.

Joshua Johnson said no to a buy-back offer as well. He loves the Tesla he bought from Carvana and has already invested money in the car.

“I’m pretty much at their mercy and I hope they’re able to resolve the issue and it works out in my favor at least somewhat,” he said.

For months, our Better Call Behnken investigation has exposed Carvana cars without proper titles and registration. Florida law mandates dealers provide titles within 30 days of purchase.

We’re now hearing from consumers in numerous states with the same issue. Consumers tell us they are stuck with temporary plates from Arizona or Georgia, no matter where they live.

The state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles confirms it has two open complaints in the Tampa area.

The department recently settled another Carvana case with a $6,000 fine, after an audit of title transfers.

Ashleigh Blackwell has been a permanent plate since May.

“After all this time you start to wonder what the hold up is,” Blackwell said. “I’ve purchased many cars in my adult life, and I’ve never had an issue receiving a tag.”

If you are having a similar title issue, state regulators want to hear from you. You can file a complaint here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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