Action 9

‘It’s ridiculous’: Consumers struggle to get titles from online used car dealer

ORLANDO, Fla. — A man in Orlando claims an online used car dealership sold him a vehicle he could not legally drive for months.

Action 9 uncovered thousands of complaints against the dealership and many of those customers said they couldn’t get titles and tags.

“What’s it like paying for a car you can’t drive?” Todd Ulrich asked.

“It’s definitely one of the most frustrating experiences of my life,” Shaquielle Barr replied.

Barr bought a GMC Acadia from Vroom last December. The online used car dealership claims buyers can avoid the typical wheeling and dealing at the car lots, and they will deliver the vehicle to you.

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Instead, Barr claims Vroom delivered a nightmare. He bought the GMC while living in Connecticut and according to Barr, the vehicle failed an emissions test required in that state so he couldn’t get the tag and title. He claims all calls and emails to Vroom to resolve the situation spun out of control.

“It’s ridiculous.  You spend your time, you spend your hard-earned money on a service you expect to receive,” Barr said.

In a complaint to Florida’s attorney general, Barr claims Vroom didn’t deliver a tag and title, even after he helped help pay for emission repairs.

Barr says Vroom offered to replace the vehicle, but that never happened.

He was provided with a rental car for 30 days but that only covered a fraction of the time he was without a vehicle he could legally drive.

“And to be treated this way is very dehumanizing,” Barr said.

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There are thousands of complaints against Vroom online and state actions against the dealership in two states including Florida.

Vroom agreed to pay an $87,000 fine after the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles alleged the dealership failed to transfer titles for at least 87 buyers within the 30-day deadline.

The Better Business Bureau received over 6,000 complaints against Vroom, many were about missing titles.

In general, online used car sales from other states can be complicated.

“Different states have different timelines. They may have different delivery methods. If you expect the process to be the same, you’re going to be mistaken,” said BBB President Holly Salmons.

Ulrich reached out to Vroom. The company said it can’t comment on pending litigation and arbitration, but it wants every customer to have a superior experience and it works to resolve any issues they have.

Since first contacting Action 9, Barr hired an attorney to make his case and within days he was sent a tag and title.

“So, what they did in two weeks, they could have done six months earlier?” Ulrich asked.

“Absolutely,” Barr replied.

If you’re buying a car online, check out the dealer’s complaint history, and the vehicle’s repair history with a service like Carfax. Also, if you can’t test drive the vehicle first, you may want to keep looking.

Vroom statement:

Vroom does not comment on pending litigation and arbitration matters.  However, our goal is for every Vroom customer to have a superior car buying or selling experience and we will work with every customer in an attempt to resolve any issues they have.

Todd Ulrich

Todd Ulrich,

I am WFTV's Action 9 Reporter.