BBB warns about used car dealers, repair shop

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida is warning consumers about the local used car dealer and repair shop Motormaxx, which also does business as Ocean Auto Sales and Easy Auto Repair & Towing LLC.

According to the BBB Business Review gave this business an F rating. In the past three years, Motormaxx and its affiliated companies have been the subject of 36 complaints, with 25 of those having occurred in the past year.

Motormaxx has failed to respond to all 36 complaints processed by the BBB. The majority of the complaints allege problems with product or service, with secondary issues of billing or collection issues.

Easy Auto Repair and Towing LLC advertises free towing if repairs are performed at their shop without disclosing the diagnostic fees to the consumers up front. Complainants allege that repairs performed on vehicles are faulty or not performed at all.

Complainants also allege that Motormaxx/Ocean Auto Sales are selling used vehicles "as is" that are in desperate need of repairs. When consumers have confronted the company about the condition of the vehicles they have purchased, the company has not been helpful in offering a solution.

Channel 4 spoke with one of Motormaxx's customers Thursday night, who said she wasn't surprised to hear about the Better Business Bureau warning.  Marsha Thomas told Channel 4 that the company actually took out a second title on her Buick.

"They said we owed them for towing and an estimate," said Thomas. 

Thomas had originally brought her car to the auto repair shop  for an estimate on a paint job for her car. She filed paperwork and was told a technician would get back to her. After a month with no response she got on the phone.

"I've asked them over and over again what do I need to do to? They said pay us $300 and we'll release your title," said Thomas.

Thomas said she still has her car, but can't get it repaired or even painted because Motormaxx holds the second title. Adding insult to injury, Thomas' car is now listed for sale on Motormaxx's website.

"I called them up and said 'How do you have my car for sale and you don't even have my car?' And the lady said 'well we can sell anything we want,'" said Thomas.

If you feel you have been a victim of this unethical business you can file a complaint with the BBB or you may wish to file a complaint with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, which regulates their ability to issue loans on the vehicles and repairs.

Channel 4's Crime Analyst, Ken Jefferson, said the BBB warning about this car dealership should act as a reminder to consumers to do their homework and research a company before making a deal.

"They're not telling you not to buy, they're telling you here are the complaints, hear what the complaints are, these are the risks if you go to these places," said Jefferson.

"Don't ever put your VIN number down because that's where they got us. Because when they get your VIN number they can do whatever they want," said Thomas.

Alternately, you can also file a complaint with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which issues licenses to sell vehicles.

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