A Michigan Chevy dealership is suspended from selling cars for 15 days for repeated complaints, most of which stem from the dealership’s failure to provide titles to buyers as required by law.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Ruth Johnson, Secretary of State announced on Friday the license suspension of Patsy Lou Chevrolet in Flint Township for non-compliance.
“Despite multiple attempts to address the dealership’s violations without a suspension, the owner and the department were unable to reach an agreement, and Department of State staff then was forced to seek this penalty,” Johnson said, according to the report. “Our duty is to protect consumers by holding dealers accountable for their actions. State law applies equally to all auto dealers, whether they’re small used-car lots or large new-vehicle dealerships. No dealer is above the law.”
A press release from the Secretary of State’s office noted the most recent complaint involved a customer who hadn’t received a title after two months, and that the paperwork submitted post-sale contained false information.
Title fraud is not a specific crime, but it is usually prosecuted by local authorities as grand theft or under laws that forbid the submission of false documents. Even though title fraud is obviously widespread, it is difficult to know exactly by how much.
Furthermore, if a consumer purchases a car and never receives a title, depending on local state laws, they have the right to cancel the sale and get their money back, as it is considered breach of sale contract.
The obligation to put the title into the buyer’s name is on the car dealership; if a title isn’t procured in the time allowed by state law (many states say anywhere between 30 and 45 days), then the dealership will lose out on the sale.