Dealership leaves NY car buyer stranded with no plates, registration, title

Nina Pineda Image
Friday, November 19, 2021
Dealership leaves car buyer stranded with no title, tags, registration
7 on your Side takex action after a dealership left a car buyer in Putnam County stranded with no tile, tags or registration.

GARRISON, Putnam County (WABC) -- The COVID-19 pandemic has made getting a deal on a used car nearly impossible, so when a Putnam County grandfather found a used Jeep thousands below sticker, he didn't flinch before buying.

But now, months after driving off the dealership lot, he -- and the granddaughter he bought it for -- are dealing with triple trouble: Expired plates, no registration, and no title.

So he turned to 7 On Your Side to get out of neutral.

It was the sweetest of 16s for Gianna Thompson when her generous grandpa Vincent surprised her with the new set of wheels.

"We call him Papa, and he buys all the grandkids cars," she said.

MORE 7 ON YOUR SIDE | Insurance denies girl's previously covered surgery after COVID delay

Nina Pineda has more on the 6-year-old from New Jersey whose surgery was no longer covered by her insurance.

Last summer, he paid $21,750 in full for a 3-year-old Jeep.

"It feels great to have my own car," Thompson said, even though she can only sit in the vehicle.

Her Jeep is idle because the temporary plates issued by the dealer have been expired for nearly a month.

"I said, 'Legally, you can't drive it,'" mom Elena Thompson said.

The dealer promised to send plates a couple weeks after purchase that never showed up. Also unfulfilled were promises to send a registration or title.

"I called at least 100 times," Elena Thompson said. "My phone has all the calls, and they either don't answer or they put you to voicemail."

Then she tried texting for weeks, and as the salesmen stalled, Elena stewed.

"I was so surprised," Gianna said. "I was shocked."

The reason for delay ended up being that the Jeep had a lien on it -- a car loan possibly unpaid by the previous owner.

We contacted the dealership's owner, who said the problem was completely his fault. He had to clean house, firing several sales managers after a myriad of customer problems.

MORE 7 ON YOUR SIDE | Man's prized SUV disappears in AAA towing mystery

A Queens man was left in the lurch when his broken-down SUV disappeared for more than a week after being towed by an AAA registered towing company.

And within one day, the lien was removed. New temporary and then permanent plates were mailed out, and the dealer even refunded nearly $2,000 as a courtesy.

"Thank you so much," Elena said. "If it wasn't for you, she would not be driving."

It's not advisable to buy a car without a title free of liens at point of sale, especially if you're paying in full.

You can easily check for liens, for free, online.

CLICK HERE to check a car's title for a lien in New York.

CLICK HERE to check a car's title for a lien in New Jersey.



Do you have an issue with a company that you haven't been able to resolve? If so, 7 On Your Side wants to help you!

Fill out the form below or email your questions, issues, or story ideas by filling out the form below or by emailing All emails MUST INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND CELLPHONE NUMBER. Without a phone number, 7 On Your Side will not be able to respond.