NOVI, Mich. – An Oakland County “vehicle vending machine” dealership has had its license suspended after employees destroyed documents, odometer records weren’t maintained, and investigators found more than 100 customer title delays and probation violations, according to state officials.
The Michigan Department of State investigated the Carvana dealership on Adell Center Drive in Novi after multiple complaints were filed by customers who couldn’t get their vehicle titles.
During the investigation, officials said they found the following violations:
- Failure to make application for title and registration within 15 days of delivery for 112 customers, since agreeing to an earlier probation extension.
- Committing fraudulent acts in connection with selling or otherwise dealing in vehicles. Carvana employees admitted to destroying title applications and all applicable documents pertaining to the sale of three vehicles that had been sold to customers, and Carvana took the vehicles back.
- Failure to maintain odometer records.
- Improper issuing of temporary registrations.
- Failure to have records available for inspection during reasonable or established business hours.
- Possession of improper odometer disclosure records on which the odometer disclosure had been signed on behalf of the purchaser.
- Violation of the terms of a probation agreement -- 127 times.
“These continued violations create an ongoing imminent threat to the public health, safety, or welfare of the public, requiring emergency action,” the MDOS wrote in a release.
The problems began in February 2021, when officials performed a general compliance inspection of the dealership and found multiple issues, they said.
A preliminary conference was held March 23, 2021, to address those violations. Carvana entered an 18-month probation period on May 7, 2021, and the dealership paid a $2,500 administrative fine and admitted to several code violations.
One stipulation of the agreement was that all employees who handled paperwork would attend the MDOS dealer training program.
State officials said the probation agreement was violated, so MDOS held a second preliminary conference with Carvana representatives on Jan. 11, 2022. A six-month probation extension was signed Feb. 7, with a $5,000 administrative fine. The dealership admitted to several additional violations of the code.
The department continued to receive complaints from customers who couldn’t get their titles, and the ensuing investigation led to the dealership’s suspension.
The department aims to revoke the dealer’s license at an administrative hearing.
Customers who have a complaint against Carvana, or who have purchased a vehicle and experienced issues obtaining the title, should call the Office of Investigative Services automotive complaint line at 517-335-1410.
Here is a statement from Carvana: