National City

San Diego Couple Runs Into a Dead End With Used Car Dealer

NBC 7 Responds gets couple refund on the used car they bought that broke down after the second day

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Tyree Thomas needed a car, a safe and reliable car for him, his fiance, and young son. He found the perfect car, a 2013 white Chevy Sonic for $9,000 at Karz Plus, a small buy here, pay here used car lot in National City. 

The day after driving off the lot, Thomas said his dashboard began to light up. 

“The check engine light came on, along with the tire pressure light and a couple of different problems that happened with the car, all within the second day of purchasing it,” Thomas told NBC 7 Responds.

He called Karz Plus immediately and told them about the problem. The manager there told Thomas to bring the car back in so he could fix the problem. As with all “buy here, pay here” dealerships where financing is provided, state law requires the dealerships to give a 30-day or 1,000-mile warranty.

Thomas took the car back and was given a loaner to drive as his car was getting repaired. 

Weeks later he picked up his car. His drive from the dealership was smooth, that is until he had to make a right turn.

“Every time I turned my blinker the entire dashboard would turn off, it would just go completely blank so I wouldn’t have any type of mileage, gas mileage, I wouldn’t know how fast I was going, nothing,” said Thomas.

He called the dealership and he said no one called him back. He kept driving it as he waited for a return call. Meanwhile, the clock on the 30-day warranty had expired. 

A few days later Thomas pulled up to his friend’s home. He turned off the car and then seconds later smoke began to billow out from under the hood.

“I turned it off, sitting there for about two minutes and a loud pop came from the car and then grey smoke just started coming from under the engine,” said Thomas.

He opened the hood and he said he was surprised at what he found: ill-fitting hoses help on with zip ties, broken rubber pieces, a large kitchen knife stuck inside the engine.

Photo of knife the couple said they found in the engine. Courtesy: Cynthia Stewart
Photo of zip ties in the engine. Courtesy: Cynthia Stewart

Thomas said he got back on the phone with Karz Plus but that’s when things took a turn for the worse. 

“They hung up on me multiple times,” Thomas said. “They told me it wasn’t their problem anymore. I was upset, we had our son in the car, our family rode in the car, we took road trips together and then the car just randomly blew up and they won’t take my calls.”

Thomas said that’s when he and his fiance decided to call NBC 7 Responds to help steer things in the right direction.

We reached out to Karz Plus and they contacted Thomas, agreeing to take the car back, refund his money, and the money he spent on parts and to tow it after it broke down. 

“Yes, they changed their attitude quite a but after they talked to Channel 7,” Thomas said.

NBC 7 Responds reached out to Karz Plus for comment on Thomas’ issue but they did not respond.

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