ORLANDO, Fla. - Several classic car owners claim a local dealer sold their vehicles then kept their share of the cash. In one case, the consumer claims it was a $90,000 loss.
Ray Rollins thought his 1957 Chevy Bel Air could snag a buyer by selling it on consignment at Just Toys Classic Cars in Orlando.
The car did sell but there was a problem.
“Where's your money?” asked WFTV consumer investigator Todd Ulrich.
“Good question. I have no conceivable idea,” Rollins replied.
His contract listed his Bel Air for $110,000 and it was sold. But Rollins said the dealer kept delaying payment. After hiring an attorney and filing a lawsuit, he collected $18,000.
Rollins says he's still owed more than $90,000.
“He won't tell us nothing,” Rollins said.
Action 9 found five other customers filed lawsuits for nonpayment.
Florida's Division of Motor Vehicles has 12 complaints against Just Toys and its owner, Mike Smith Sr.
At the Better Business Bureau, there are eight complaints. Candido Cubero is one of the consumers who complained.
“Give me my money or give me my car back. It's a simple thing,” Cubero said.
He said Just Toys sold his 1970 Chevy Corvette. Cubero’s contract states he would be paid $26,000.
“They just keep giving me the runaround,” Cubero said.
Ulrich went to the dealer’s showroom to get answers from company owners.
“Todd Ulrich Channel 9,” Ulrich said.
“Sorry I'm busy right now,” replied Smith.
“I've talked to several customers who claim you took them for a ride,” Ulrich said.
“You'll have to leave now,” Smith said.
Smith is facing criminal charges. He is charged with two counts of grand theft involving a motor vehicle after one customer complained to the Orange County Sheriff's office.
“If you sell their cars, how can you keep their money?” Ulrich asked as Smith closed the office door.
A consignment sale in Florida can be risky. If something goes wrong most customers are told it's a civil matter.
That's what Cubero and Rollins heard after contacting police.
“Do you think that's what this is?” Ulrich asked Rollins.
“Hell no. Excuse my French I'm sorry to say that,” Rollins replied.
Action 9 found even state regulators failed to help these consumers.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles investigators issued violations against Just Toys three times since 2016. The dealership failed a state records inspection last year and this activity with the state agency was happening as new complaints were piling up.
“It's obvious they're not doing their job. I hate to say that,” Cubero said.
After Ulrich contacted the dealer, Cubero got his $26,000.
Just Toys has filed for bankruptcy and the company denies it did anything wrong.
A DHSMV investigator said the agency is checking dealer records and that could trigger disciplinary action.
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles response:
There have been 12 complaints against the dealership (Just Toys Classic Cars LLC #VI-1081056/1) from 2016-present. Below is the breakdown of complaints by year:
2016: 1 complaint closed (with violations)
2017: 4 complaints closed (with violations)
2018: 7 complaints – 5 closed (with violations); 2 currently open and under investigation
The department conducted a records inspection of the dealership on 10/30/17, which the dealership failed, and subsequently held a dealer conference on 12/6/17 to address complaint issues. The regional office scheduled two subsequent dealer conferences in September 2018 to address complaints, which the dealer failed to attend. The department is currently preparing an inspection report which may result in administrative action against the dealer.
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