Problems Arise After Valley Man Purchases Used Cars

2 years 10 months 3 weeks ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 August 21, 2017 5:54 PM August 21, 2017 in News

MCALLEN – A Rio Grande Valley man said he’s without a car even after he bought one from a used car lot.

The vehicle was supposed to be for his daughter. However, his mechanic deemed it unsafe to drive.

McAllen resident Joe Lopez said he thought he was upgrading his vehicle. He found out later, that wasn’t the case.

The father of four said the youngest, 19-year-old Amberly, is his only daughter. He said she’s his entire world.

Lopez said his daughter work in Edinburg. He said the commute without a vehicle is difficult.

So, in June he began shopping for his daughter’s first car. He headed to Prestige Auto Sales in Pharr.

He found a 2013 Ford Focus he thought would be perfect for his daughter. He discovered he made a mistake three days later.

“That didn’t work out. The transmission got shot out. We were stranded on the expressway,” he said.

Lopez said he drove the car back to Prestige Auto Sales. There, he was given an option between two other cars to replace the vehicle.

This time, he said he chose a 2009 Toyota Scion 4DR. Without having a mechanic look at the vehicle, he signed another “as is” contract.

“With this vehicle, we got stranded up north of Edinburg. The back wheel locked. So, the mechanic opened it up and the whole thing broke off, the caliper, the breaks, the disk,” he explained.

Lopez explained the mechanic told him the problem was due to rampant rust and corrosion throughout the vehicle. The mechanic, Guadalupe Rodriguez, deemed the vehicle unsafe to drive.

“It’s dangerous because you never know. You’re on the road and you have to push the brake and that wheel locks, well you’re going to cause an accident, end up hitting someone else or getting out of control,” said Rodriguez.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS visited Prestige Auto Sale to find out why Lopez and his family are having so many problems with their purchases.

Eric Lopez, an employee of Prestige Auto Sales, said the vehicle was purchased from a northern state. He said the rust and corrosion is due to the vehicle being exposed to snow and the salt used to melt the snow.

He said he cares about his customers’ satisfaction and agreed to pay for the brake repairs.

Dolores Salinas from the Better Business Bureau said that this could have all been avoided by one step.

“Take the vehicle to a reliable mechanic, somebody you know and trust that can inspect the vehicle. Inspect all the major components of the vehicle, engine transmission,” she suggested. 

Salinas said car buyers can also use websites such as Carfax to check a vehicle’s history. She added that knowing a vehicle’s full history can allow a buyer to better evaluate its value. On the BBB website, there is a list of accredited used car dealers.

Lopez told CHANNEL 5 NEWS next time he’ll have a mechanic inspect his next purchase.

Salinas suggests to always visit at least three car lots when buying a vehicle.

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