Maryland joins other states in fining Carvana for title delay
BALTIMORE — Online car dealership Carvana is facing lawsuits and fines after some customers say they didn’t get their title and registration documents in a timely manner.
Maryland now joins several other states in fining the company for these delays.
According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, between June 2021 and July 2022, Carvana racked up 386 late title fee violations totaling $17,121 in fines. This represents 10% of cars sold by Carvana in the state during this period.
In Maryland, dealers are required issue temporary Maryland tags on vehicles registered in Maryland and submit all required documents, taxes and fees within 30 days of delivery.
For the 386 violations, Carvana submitted registration documents 1 to 30 days past the 30-day deadline, but nearly a dozen were 151 days or more late.
Jack Boger bought a car from Carvana after seeing the advertisements promising a seamless car buying process.
“I was constrained on accessibility. You don’t have to go to a dealer and they can drop it right outside your house,” Boger said.
He bought a 2020 Range Rover in May 2021. He deposited $20,000 plus over $17,000 in trade-in value and thought the sale was complete. So he waited for his tags and his title from Maryland, but Carvana sent temporary tags from Georgia twice.
“They had me print different labels to stick on my plate for six months,” Boger said.
Then, in April, he noticed that his automatic payment had been cancelled.
“So I log in and it says my car is in active repossession,” Boger said. “I see I’ve made all my payments, everything is as it should be, so I called them and no one had an answer for me.”
He was instructed to return the car or it would be forcibly removed.
“As a business owner, I didn’t really want them coming to my work or coming to my house, which is really embarrassing, so I gave the car to them,” Boger said.
Boger also paid over $8,000 in monthly payments and nearly a year after he got the car, Carvana never sent the title and confirmed he would not be selling the car on his behalf. .
“So now we are here, months later, there is no solution. I haven’t got my money back so there is no response. I have no idea what happened,” Boger said.
In an email to WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii, a Carvana spokesperson wrote, “The client’s version of events is not accurate, but due to ongoing litigation, we cannot comment.”
Boger hired a lawyer, who filed a complaint. A week earlier, this same lawyer had filed another complaint for another Maryland Carvana client.
“The reason I bought a car from Carvana was because it seemed like a really good deal,” said Jeff Mayko, who bought a 2019 Dodge Ram on Nov. 24.
Carvana delivered it with a 90-day temporary plate from Arizona.
“Then they had to give me another registration from Arizona, which also ran out for me, so now I have a truck that I can’t drive and still pay for,” Mayko said.
WMAR-2 News asked Carvana about it. They declined to give an official response.
“Despite months and months and months temporary tags are being delivered from different states and so the car cannot be driven because if you drive a car without a title or tag you could be arrested,” Peter said. Holland, the attorney representing Boger. and Mayko.
These accounts are similar to others filed with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.
A customer filed a complaint, writing, “I purchased a 2013 Lexus GS 350 on January 22, 2021 from Carvana. I received 8 different paper tags from different states.
Another customer wrote, “It’s been 4 months since purchasing the vehicle from Carvana, 2 condition inspections, numerous odometer paperwork, 3 power of attorney letters, 3 temporary registrations, 50 phone calls to Carvana, and still not registered in Maryland.”
Additionally, Gregory Coulson whom Sofastaii interviewed in February 2021.
RELATED: Carvana customer waits six months for Maryland license plates
Carvana sent him temporary tags from four other states before receiving his tags from Maryland.
“There’s no reason it should take six months, not at all,” Coulson said.
Carvana has also faced regulatory actions and legal challenges in several other states, including Arizona, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina and Florida.
In a letter to investors Carvana acknowledged the recording issues last year, writing:
“Our explosive growth in buying cars from customers over the past two quarters has created significant operational stresses in our system. Buying more cars from customers leads to more last mile pickups, more ‘customer service interactions and more complex title processing requirements, which in turn leads to more complex registration processing.’
A spokesperson for Carvana sent Sofastaii the following statement in response to the recent fines and complaints:
“Carvana has pioneered online car buying by consistently delivering exceptional experiences, and we have bought and sold over one million cars with customers while achieving a leading Net Promoter Score (NPS) of industry and an average customer experience rating of 4.7 out of five stars. The vast majority of our customers enjoy experiences that reflect meaningful improvement for automotive retail. While we recognize that there are rare instances where a customer’s experience has not lived up to our brand promise, and we work hard to resolve these instances through continuous improvement, any discussion of these rare instances should take into account our scale and the number of customers we buy and sell to, and the success of most of these experiences. That said, we continue to work hard to make the best purchase, and the shopping experience is even better ure, as evidenced by our industry-leading customer experience ratings. »
A few weeks ago, a Pennsylvania class action judge denied Carvana’s motion to compel arbitration and dismiss the lawsuit. A pre-trial conference is scheduled for November 23.
In response to the recent court ruling, a Carvana spokesperson wrote:
“Carvana is one of the largest used car sellers in the country, and a handful of historic registration delays do not reflect our exceptional customer experiences. This is simply a procedural decision, it does not change. nothing to the fact that the legal theory of this case is flawed. We look forward to winning the case in court and view this as nothing more than a predictable attempt by class action attorneys to try to cash in on minor issues of alleged red tape during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Carvana disagrees with the decision, it only concerns procedural matters that have nothing to do with the merits of the case. Carvana is confident that it will prevail once it has the opportunity to present proof of its superior customer experience.”
Click here to see the class action.
If you wish to file a complaint with the MVA, Click here.