TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Chloe Annamanthadoo is trying to get her down payment back after a car-buying nightmare.
Annamanthadoo turned to Better Call Behnken for help after trying to buy this 2010 Acura TL from Auto View LLC, on Nebraska Avenue in Tampa. She says the dealership ended up with her nearly $5,200 down payment – and the car.
“I’m depressed,” she said. “I barely have money in my account. I saved that money. I’ve been working for that money for almost a year, and I invested that in a car, and it all got taken away from me, and I don’t even have a car.”
After forking over the down payment- and before driving the car off the lot – she noticed the car wasn’t in the advertised “excellent” condition. She says the dealership promised to make it right with a promissory note detailing repairs.
She says those repairs weren’t made and even worse she discovered a Carfax report showing 172,434 miles, not the 115,000 listed in the ad.
When she said she didn’t want the car, Auto View repossessed it. That’s right, they repossessed a car she never took – when it was still sitting on their lot.
Helpless, she knew she’d Better Call Behnken.
So it was time for Investigator Shannon Behnken to pay the dealership a visit.
An employee handed us a phone to speak with a man who said he was Ahmed Abuelenen, the manager. He explained he had at first agreed to give Chloe her money back but didn’t because of her negative online reviews.
So I kept digging and ended up with a state investigation report from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The ongoing investigation confirmed the advertisement was not accurate and found the dealership violated two Florida statutes, “false advertising” and “failure to produce requested records.”
Armed with these records, Better Call Behnken called the dealership back to see if he’d change his mind. Hours later, the manager called with good news: he’d have a check waiting for Chloe.
Since she doesn’t have a car, Behnken had one more thing to do: pick her up and take her back to the dealership. We were expecting a check for nearly $5,200 but walked out with one for $1,000 and a promise for the rest.
So this story isn’t over.
Auto View’s manager says he only paid Chloe $1,000 because he thought she received the rest through a credit card chargeback.
When 8 On Your Side showed his staff her bank records that shows he reversed that chargeback, the dealership insists they don’t have the money back – yet – but when they do… they say they’ll return it.
We’ll keep following up to make sure they do. It’s not over and the state records I obtained indicate investigators determined this was a “failed sale.”
Records also indicate they are looking into other complaints about this dealership, too.