CHARLOTTE — More people are complaining to Channel 9 about the online car dealership, Vroom, saying they have license plate issues, so they’re paying for a car they can’t legally drive.
William Lowe said he bought a pickup truck on Vroom, but its temporary tag expired.
“I couldn’t get any straight answers from anybody,” Lowe said. “I did that for a couple of weeks and finally I just … gave up. Money these days (is) tight and you’re paying for something you can’t use.”
When Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke met him this month, Lowe said his truck had been sitting in his driveway since March 6 and that he was still paying for his vehicle.
“I’m paying big payments on it and insurance, and I can’t drive it,” he said. “It is no good to me. It’s absolutely zero use to me at this point.”
Lowe said Vroom did give him a rental car to drive in the meantime.
Stoogenke emailed Vroom about Lowe’s case to see if Action 9 could help. The company said it would give Lowe his money back.
Exactly two weeks later, Lowe said Vroom took the truck back and refunded the few payments he had made. The company also gave him some money to cover the insurance he was paying.
This is what the Texas-based company told Stoogenke:
“Texas DMV’s new restrictions on issuing temporary tags resulted from a recent change in interpretation and policy, which came in a bulletin issued on April 11, 2022. Until that change, dealers could obtain 30-day temporary tags for vehicles sold out-of-state as well as in-state. The April 11 bulletin changed the ability to apply for extended 30-day tags, which dealers cannot issue on their own but must apply to a government office to receive. Previously, all dealers including Vroom could only obtain the 30-day tags with the help of TX state offices, which process them (unlike the 60-day tags that dealers can issue on their own). After the April 11th decision, out-of-state customers of all Texas dealers, including Vroom, have been affected by the change.”
But the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles said that’s simply not true. It told Stoogenke that dealers could not get extended tags for out-of-state vehicles before and still can’t. The agency also said it is investigating Vroom, but it did not say why.
The Texas attorney general sued the company in April over similar issues.
In North Carolina, the DMV can’t take any action against the company because Vroom does not have a physical dealership in the state. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein told Stoogenke that his office has received more than 50 complaints against the dealer, which mainly involve tag and title issues.
“We’ve also had a lot of complaints about the poor customer service of Vroom and so we are in contact with them about these concerns in the hopes that we can resolve them,” Stein said.
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