Online dealer Carvana refunds Sarpy County SUV buyer after failing to provide title

Carvana says it refunded a car buyer after it failed to provide the vehicle's title. (Source: WOWT)
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 10:25 PM CDT
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SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) - Imagine buying an expensive SUV last spring and it’s been sitting in your driveway most of the time ever since.

The buyers feared driving on outdated in-transits. But after a 6 On Your Side investigation two weeks ago, the online dealer got moving.

The $41,000 used Tahoe left the Wettsteins’ driveway the same way it got here in mid-April; Carvana picked it up recently after being unable to provide a title in five months.

“So I was doing all this paperwork and all these calls in the hopes to someday have the potential to return the car,” car buyer Colt Wettstein said. “It wasn’t until Channel 6 aired the news that they called.”

Carvana provided a refund to Wettstein — and not just for the amount he put down on the Tahoe. Besides the refund on the vehicle, they are also going to pay the payments Colt made on it.

“They are canceling the loan and refunding all the payments we’ve made to date.”

Sarpy County Treasurer Trace Jones says a dealership must have the title in hand before selling a vehicle so the buyer can register it within 30 days.

“Get a Carfax report if possible, and ensure that online car dealership has a title and registration from a previous owner before you buy the vehicle,” Jones said. “And I would also say: Don’t assume they are completing the paperwork; stay on them.”

A Carvana spokesperson sent 6 News a statement that says: “We worked closely with Mr. Wettstein to resolve the issue. In the rare cases we don’t initially live up to our brand promise, we work to make it right.”

“Now we are settled,” Wettstein said. “The money back, and we’re getting a new car and continuing with our lives, on the road.”

The Wettsteins have three kids, and the family crammed into a Jeep borrowed from a relative for most of the summer. But with the Carvana refund, they’ve purchased a Suburban from a local dealer. At the end of the day, they couldn’t wait any longer for a title to license the Tahoe.

Carvana also said that in a complex industry, the online dealer is always working to improve and a vast majority of its customers are satisfied.

The treasurer said a Sarpy County car buyer waiting for a title beyond the in-transit date can get a letter from him. He hopes that way, law enforcement will give the buyer a break if they get pulled over.