7 On Your Side solves woman's car title trouble

Nina Pineda Image
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 2:34AM
7 On Your Side helps solve woman's car title trouble
Nina Pineda has the details on how you can avoid car title trouble with 7 On Your Side.

PINE BUSH, New York (WABC) -- When you buy a preowned car, the seller should have the car title before transferring ownership.

Any snag in a clear title can lead to long delays.

That's what happened to a Dutchess County woman when she purchased a car back in March.

She had a car she couldn't drive because it had no plates and no registration.

"I actually pulled over," said Kathleen Tortorello, car buyer. "I didn't know if I was going to jail, but I was nervous."

The 80-year-old grandmother had been made to feel like a scofflaw.

Even a random police car meant stress on the street.

"I thought he was after me!" she said.

All because she's driving a car with expired temporary tags and no title.

"This is the first, expired April 16th," Tortorello said.

They've had three temporary tags since buying the preowned Hyundai in March.

Janel Seal says her mom is now paying for a car that she's scared to even back out of the driveway.

"We actually call and say the plates are about to expire and then nobody calls us back and we have to keep calling and calling," Seal said.

"They were secretive and they wouldn't answer any calls," Tortorello said.

By April, the mom and daughter duo had it with the dealership, emailing Hyundai corporate after not receiving title plates or registration or answers.

They followed up with consumer complaints to the NJ Attorney General's Office and the Motor Vehicle Commission.

The MVC sent out an inspector which fined the Bergen County dealer, but there were still no plates and no clear title.

"I thought something was wrong with the car and I'd never get the title," Tortorello said.

"I was going to call an attorney and a friend of mine said call 7 On Your Side, they love stories like this," Seal said.

7 On Your Side did get in touch with the dealership owner. He explained the problem was transferring the title from the previous owner of Tortorello's car, who lives in Pennsylvania to New York. But he sent a driver to Albany to pick up her plates and hand-deliver them to Pine Bush.

"Oh, I was delighted," Tortorello said.

The owner apologized to his customer in a statement, "Let me start by apologizing for the entire situation with the delay in your plates and with the treatment and lack of information you have gotten up to this point."

He told 7 On Your Side, "We did not communicate to Ms. Tortorello the information regarding the delay in getting the title from the leasing company as well as we should have."

The permanent plates are in now in place, and she can confidently drive her ride!

"Thank you, Nina," Seal said.

"I would like to thank 7 On Your Side," Tortorello said. "We are happy we had 7 On Our Side."

The dealers also reimbursed Tortorello for three months of insurance and all the processing fees totaling $1,197.

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