The Investigators: Used car dealership ignores judge's order

The Investigators: Used car dealership ignores judge's order

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge couple bought a used car with no warranty. When it broke down just days later and promised repairs were not made, they took it to court. A judge ordered the company to refund some of the money, but that has not happened.

The 9News Investigators discovered multiple complaints lodged against Capitol Auto Sales on Florida Blvd. The most recent was from a man named WD Kimber. He shared his story with 9News.

Kimber said when he went looking for a used car last January he visited many dealerships. He found what he thought was his dream car at Capitol Auto Sales. It was love at first sight.

"It was a Chrysler Seabreeze, convertible top," Kimber said.

Kimber said after test driving the vehicle, he agreed to pay $5,495 for the car. He bought it "as is" which does not include a warranty. He put down $2,500 and financed the rest. Not even 24 hours later, he said, the nightmare began.

"I took it to work the next day and it was smoking and I'm trying to figure out where the smoke is coming from," Kimber explained.

Kimber said his salesman, Mike Chavis, told him there was an issue with the radiator and that he would fix the problem. He did, but Kimber said, his car broke down again a day or two later. 

"They told me they were going to fix the car, and when the car got fixed they were going to call me. I kept calling and calling, and they never got back to me," Kimber said.

Kimber showed The Investigators cell phone video he said he took in February of the car as it sat on the lot awaiting repairs.

"You can see the pistons and everything. He never started on the car," Kimber said.

Kimber said he was so frustrated he eventually asked Chavis to refund his money. 

"I went to talk to him face to face, but every time I went there his boss was nowhere to be found," Kimber said.

Kimber filed a complaint with the Louisiana Used Car Commission stating he was "getting the runaround" and that they "were not giving our money back."

He also filed a complaint with the Louisiana Attorney General's Office and the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Documents from Baton Rouge City Court show Kimber filed a claim to get his money back. Last week, a judge ordered that Daniel Bacon, the owner of Capitol Auto Sales, pay Kimber $2,050. But Kimber said salesman, Chavis, told him it was not going to happen.

"He said that I'm not going to get it back, that there's no such lemon law, and said I wouldn't be able to get my money back," Kimber said.

The 9News Investigators went through complaints filed with the Used Car Commission dating back to 2012 and found 17 including Kimber's.

Records from the BRPD show Chavis was charged with felony theft back in 2012. He allegedly did not make deposits for the business at its bank.

At that time, Bacon told 9News it was a wake-up call and that Chavis no longer had a job at Capitol Auto.

"We gave him a car and trusted him at our business doing this, and it hurts. But in the long run, justice will serve him," Bacon told 9News on October 24, 2012.

When 9News went to Capital Auto Sales on Tuesday morning looking for Bacon, Chavis was back working in the sales office.

At first, Chavis denied knowing anything about Kimber or his court case. But when peppered with questions, he started talking.

"Kimber? We done gave them two cars and their money back. I don't understand what's going on," Chavis said.

When asked, Chavis said he did not have proof that he had returned the money to Kimber.

When 9News asked to speak to Bacon, Chavis shut the door on our camera. Seconds later he walked out and into another building and locked the door.

A few minutes later, he came out ready to talk.

"When you sell a lot of cars stuff happens. We are willing to fix his car. We did fix it, and we still have it. He's happy now," Chavis said.

Chavis added that Kimber agreed on a refund amount.

"We came to an understanding that he would take a thousand bucks. The court case is closed and everything," Chavis insisted.

Kimber said he has not agreed on a refund amount.

Meanwhile, Chavis was not hearing it, nor would he look at the court documents The Investigators had claiming Kimber's case was an isolated incident. 

Hours later, Bacon showed up at 9News. He explained he was not aware of the court actions.

9News also shared with him the stack of complaints against his business filed at the Used Car Commission.

"Seventeen complaints and selling 350 cars a year. That ain't bad," Bacon said.

Bacon said he plans to follow the court orders as soon as he hears from his attorney.

"I've done everything I can, and as soon as they filed the paperwork, I was waiting on my attorney and a court date to see what the judge decided," Bacon said.

Bacon's attorney said he plans to file a motion for a new trial on two issues. He believes because Betty Kimber, WD's wife, filed the claim in court instead of Mr. Kimber, who bought the car, she defrauded the court.

He added that because the second repair was made approximately a month after the car was purchased, Bacon is not required by law to fix it.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.