Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Investigating Local Dealership After 200+ Complaints

A Mesquite car dealership is accused of not issuing titles, license plates and worse, not paying off trade-in vehicles.

Carl Barns said his credit score dropped 140 points in just a few months. He said he has no doubt that Fenton Hyundai in Mesquite is to blame. 

"This has turned into a nightmare and I just want to get the car back," he said 

Last year, he went to Fenton Hyundai and traded in his old car for a new Hyundai.

"I thought, OK. I trade in the car. I get a new car. They pay off the lien and that's the end of it," he said.

But he said Fenton Hyundai never paid off his trade-in.

He found this out when the bank started calling him, demanding payment.

But Barnes said the dealership told him not to worry.

He said he was told Fenton Hyundai was in the process of selling the dealership and they'd get his payment out soon.

But a month later, Barnes received another bill from the bank saying he owed more than $27,000 on a car he no longer owned.

Each month he doesn't pay, he said his credit score drops.

And to make matters worse, Barnes said the dealership still hasn't sent him the title or license plate for his new car, and his temporary tag is about to run out.

"We're just common people. I just work a job, every day, and I expect people to be fair with me ... it's disturbing," he said.

According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, Barnes is far from alone.

The Texas DMV currently has 241 open cases against Fenton Hyundai and have opened a formal investigation into this dealership.

Many customers claim the dealership didn't pay off their trade-in vehicles.

Others, like Cheryl Jones, can't get the dealership to send their license plate.

"I'm worried I'm going to get pulled over. I don't know what to do at this point," she said.

Hyundai corporate sent this statement regarding the claims against Fenton Hyundai:

"Hyundai is aware of the issues some customers are having with Fenton Hyundai, the independent Hyundai dealer in Mesquite, Texas. We are concerned about the situation and understand our customers’ frustrations. We are doing everything we can based on our dealer agreement and Texas franchise rules. We have also voiced our concerns directly to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Enforcement Section to assist in addressing the situation. 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."

Capital One bank has even filed a lawsuit against "The Fenton Dealers" for overstating customers' incomes and failing to pay off trade-in liens.

"Consumers of Dallas can't be treated this way," said Barnes.

NBC 5 Responds went down to Fenton Hyundai to find out what was going on.

The general manager declined to talk, but a receptionist said they are still selling cars, leaving Barnes even more angry.

And with a $27,000 bill hanging over his head, he's demanding the Texas DMV do all it can to shut this dealership down.

"All dealerships have complaints. This goes well beyond just a typical complaint. This is straight fraud," said Barnes.

NBC 5 Responds reached out to Barnes' bank, Capital One.

The bank said because the dealer is unwilling to pay off his trade-in, they're forgiving him of the outstanding debt. So, that's $27,000 Barnes doesn't have to worry about.

NBC 5 Responds asked if the bank will help Barnes restore his credit score, but Capital One didn't respond to that question.

The Texas DMV said customers who are still waiting on plates and titles should contact Jason Ortiz in the Dallas County Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office (even if they live in a surrounding county) for assistance.

The Texas DMV said the dealership could face fines and could even have its dealer license revoked.

The investigation into Fenton Hyundai is ongoing.

MORE: Texas Department of Motor Vehicles | Enter a Complaint

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