UPDATE: A troubled dealership is fighting a termination notice it received from Hyundai Motor America, according to a corporate spokesperson.
Spokesman Michael Stewart said the corporation is aware of the complaints filed against Fenton Hyundai in Mesquite.
Hyundai issued the following statement:
“We are very concerned about the situation and understand our customers’ frustrations. The treatment reported is unacceptable and not up to the high standards we have for our retailers. We have sent the dealer a notice of termination, which they have protested, and that matter is pending before the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. We don’t have any information to share regarding ownership changes at this dealer, but we are fully committed to providing Hyundai customers in the market with a reliable, honest dealer that provides them with an outstanding shopping, buying, ownership and service experience.”
The TxDMV says Fenton is still allowed to operate, even though its license to sell vehicles expired on May 31.
Spokesman Adam Shaivitz said the renewal application, which was submitted by Fenton’s owner, is under review.
In the meantime, the dealership remains open for business.
MESQUITE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The number of complaints filed against a North Texas auto dealership has quintupled following a Ones For Justice investigation.
Fenton Hyundai in Mesquite is currently under investigation by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, which is looking into 241 open cases, according to spokesman Adam Shaivitz.
In March, The Ones For Justice first exposed issues with customers receiving their titles and license plates.
Customers paid Fenton Hyundai a tax, title and license fee. But months later, after cycling through multiple temporary tags, drivers found themselves without license plates or even the titles to their vehicles.
Now, the Dallas County Tax Office is estimating Fenton failed to transfer roughly 400 titles to its office.
“This is an unusual situation,” said John R. Ames, the Dallas County Tax Assessor-Collector.
The Dallas County Tax Office acts as an agent of TxDMV by processing the paperwork and issuing drivers their titles, registration and plates.
Ames traced the problem back to May 2018.
“We first discovered it after we had some checks from Fenton Hyundai not clear the bank,” Ames said. “It’s a really sticky situation and I want to ask the customer to be patient.”
Dallas County filed a complaint against Fenton to get the dealership to surrender the titles. Last week the office received approximately 40 titles from Fenton.
Not only is the tax office awaiting hundreds of titles, it is waiting on the fees customers already paid to Fenton to transfer those titles.
Customers or banks paid Fenton nearly $734,000 in funds that still need to be remitted to the Dallas County Tax Office for the purpose of creating ownership records, according to Ames.
Ames said he requested the state waive those fees, so he can start processing the paperwork. He’s still waiting for an answer.
“The quicker we can get this dealership shut down and get those titles in our possession, the quicker we can work with the state to get those processed,” Ames said.
Spokesman Adam Shaivitz did not provide an answer as to whether TxDMV could waive those fees due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.
While Fenton remains under investigation, TxDMV has yet to take any action against the dealership.
In the meantime, more customers have stepped forward.
Raquel De Leon purchased her Hyundai Sonata last December.
She said the vehicle might as well be the car of her dreams because she lacks the title proving she actually owns it.
“I’m really scared, that’s a fear that I’m always thinking of,” De Leon said. “I don’t have my title, what do I have to show [for it]?”
Instead of a real license plate, De Leon displays two expired tags on her car.
“I’m not sure if a police officer is going to understand or is going to believe me when I state, ‘Hey, I’m waiting on the dealership, they still have yet to send any of this paperwork to me,'” De Leon said.
Like many customers, De Leon paid Fenton more than $500 to cover the tax, title and license fees.
“I just want my title,” De Leon said. “I hope everyone gets their title, as well and I wish someone could help us.”
Despite ongoing issues, owner Brad Fenton began the process of applying to renew his dealership license, which expires May 31.
TxDMV decides whether to approve the license application. Spokesman Adam Shaivitz said he can’t comment on what action the department might take due to the pending investigation but he noted the investigation can continue even if the license expires.
Meanwhile, employees at the Fenton dealership in Mesquite said the company known as Kamkad is handling their sales and management.
Ken Strickler, the CEO of Kamkad, responded to The Ones For Justice via email:
“We have came to an agreed upon terms to purchase the Fenton dealership, this deal is still pending Hyundai approval and will probably take 45/60 days to close,” Strickler wrote. “Over the coming weeks we will be working closing with in-direct lenders and the court appointed receiver to determine the best course of action and identifying opportunities in which we can start resolving some of these open issues. The ultimate remedy will come at closing, all parties involved have agreed closing proceeds will be used to cure outstanding consumer issues first, before any applicable lender or vendor is cured.”
But as of this week, that sale is not finalized. Shaivitz said TxDMV has yet to receive any notice or paperwork about this sale.
Owner Brad Fenton did not respond to questions for this story.
If you need help getting your title or license plates, file a complaint with TxDMV. You can also file a complaint with the Office of the Texas Attorney General.