Action 9: DMV shuts down auto dealer after investigative report

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The state just shut down a used-car dealership that Action 9 has been investigating for three years.

Latasha Taylor is just one of dozens of customers who felt burned by Universal Auto Plaza on West Colonial Drive in Orlando.

She lost $6,000 over a vehicle she had just 34 days.

“They took everything. They took the trade-in. They took my money,” said Taylor.

It took two years to get her money back.

Action 9 investigations found other customers who were missing tags and titles, and answers were hard to come by.

Action 9's Todd Ulrich confronted a manager earlier this year.

“I've seen you on TV, I didn't realize you were this sneaky in person,” said the manager.   

“I didn't think this could happen to a customer,” replied Ulrich.

After Action 9’s last story, the Department of Motor Vehicles started an investigation that found 86 Florida statute violations.

Just this week, after Universal Auto failed to appeal the DMV's finding, the company's state license was revoked and the DMV ordered the dealership to shut down the same day.

Action 9 also got results for a Deltona teenager who fears driving his new car after a Ford recall involving doors that could pop open on the road

Weeks after Brian Cruz bought his 2015 Ford Mustang, he got a safety recall notice in the mail. It warned the door latches could fail, even when driving. 

“What are you concerned about?” asked Todd Ulrich. 

“An accident. I could be driving on the highway and it could fly open,” said Cruz.

A Ford dealership told Cruz it could not replace the parts for months and there was no rental car option until then.

“I have no choice but to drive my car,” said Cruz.

He called Action 9 and Ulrich contacted Ford's corporate office. It said Cruz should return to a dealership for a temporary repair if needed to keep him safe until replacement parts arrive.

“No owner of a brand new car should be experiencing this,” said Cruz.

The Ford recall covers 2.4 million vehicles sold since 2014 in hot temperature states like Florida. The automaker told Action 9 replacement parts should be available within six months.

Read previous stories on Action 9 investigations into car dealership

 

 

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