JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Days after a News4Jax I-TEAM investigation was launched into Riverside Chevrolet, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is getting involved, promising a serious analysis.
FHSMV said it launched its own investigation after seeing the report. News4Jax looked at numerous complaints from customers including allegations the company was not paying off money owed for trade-ins, which caused customers' credit scores to plummet.
Beth Frady, with FHSMV in Tallahassee, said the agency is taking the claims seriously. She said its pursuing action to the highest level.
The agency's first priority, according to Frady, is getting liens satisfied for the customers whose livelihoods may have been affected by the dealership. The owners of Riverside Chevrolet could get fines up to $1,000 per violation and their dealer licenses could be suspended.
Since the News4Jax I-TEAM launched the investigation last week, its heard from dozens of people who claim they were taken advantage of by the dealership. State officials are asking people to reach out and file an official complaint if they feel they've been wronged.
The general manager, through statement, told the I-TEAM that he was working to make all the issues correct. But he has refused to go on camera to talk about the problems.
On Monday, five vehicles caught fire on the dealership's property. The state fire marshal calls the fire suspicious and detectives are looking at evidence collected from the scene to determine what was used to start the fire.