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Michigan Secretary of State Takes Action Against Used Car Dealers

In August 2017, the Office of Investigative Services at the Michigan Secretary of State took administrative action against several used car dealers.  Licenses of four used auto dealers in Detroit, Roseville, Farmington and Redford were summarily suspended failing to follow proper procedures as required by law.

  • Infiniti Motor Group, Inc., 24909 Plymouth Road in Redford. The dealership licensee was unable to produce records required by law, including odometer statements and properly assigned titles, to a Secretary of State investigator during a general compliance inspection. The licensee was previously on a two-year probation, in part due to a failure to properly maintain records. The summary suspension order was issued Aug. 2.
  • Get A Car, LLC, 32730 Northwestern Highway in Farmington. A Secretary of State investigator attempted a general compliance inspection at the dealership address, only to find no signs of the dealership and the facility occupied by another business. The licensee informed the investigator of an alternate address, but no dealership was found at that site either. The summary suspension order was issued July 27.
  • 247 Motors, LLC, 8040 Oakland St. in Detroit. Acting on a complaint from a consumer who allegedly paid money to the licensee but did not receive a vehicle or title, Secretary of State investigators attempted an inspection of the dealership but discovered the licensed location to be vacant and no records available. The summary suspension order was issued Aug. 10.
  • Buds Auto Sales, LLC, 28474 Utica Road in Roseville. A routine inspection of dealership records was attempted by a Secretary of State investigator, who found the dealership was not in operation. After contact with the licensee, a second inspection was attempted a month later and, again, no records were available. The summary suspension order was issued Aug. 10, 2017.

According to the press release, the Sectary of State reiterated that dealer records are required by law to be maintained and made available for inspection during reasonable or established business hours for a period of five years. It took this action because a dealer that does not maintain records and make them available for inspection compromises the integrity of the records relied upon by the Secretary of State and law enforcement.

Of course, dealer have the right request an administrative hearing to contest their suspension and regain their license if they show they’ve complied with the law.

If used car dealer in this state that fails to file your application for title within 15 days of the date you sign the contract then you need to protect your legal rights. While such a failure is not always the product of fraud it is indicative of a major problem. Some dealers do this to aid in making misrepresentations to consumers.

In Michigan you have the right to a title for a vehicle even if you still owe money on it. The title is required to be provided to you. You have the right to it by law and any dealer that does not give you your title within 15-20 days of the date you bought the car then you should demand a copy, file a complaint with the Michigan Secretary of State and contact an attorney.

If you finance a vehicle in this State, understand that a dealer should never really tell you a deal has fallen through or that must return your vehicle to the dealership because the bank did not approve financing. In this State when you sign the contract and are handed the keys, the vehicle is yours by law. While you do have to make your payments on time and have some type of insurance on it a dealer cannot tell you that the deal didn’t go through.

You simply make your payments to the dealer. Do it on time but do it. This is very important. They have an obligation to finance your purchase if the third-party finance company cannot do it for any reason. Just make a record of your payment and get a receipt. Make a record of this and after payment send a confirming letter to the dealer by priority mail or certified mail return receipt so that you can prove this later in a court of law.

And most importantly use free web resources to see your vehicle history for free. Try this site https://www.vehiclehistory.com/

If this history indicates anything suspicious such as accidents, flood damage, title issues, salvage or rebuilt designations or odometer issues it is best to consult a lawyer to determine your legal rights. Be weary of cars with a history indicating sales at auctions or transfer of title to more than 2 states in a short period of time.