By Jamie Leary

DENVER (CBS4)– Customers of a used car dealership in Denver are furious after the shop closed its doors without warning. It was just over two weeks ago Camille Song paid a visit to Tripoli Auto Sales LLC.

(credit: CBS)

The business, located at 4980 East Evans, seemed to be doing fine but Song was missing her car title. Her temporary plates? They had expired.

Tripoli Auto Sales had been telling her for months they would get her a title. Once again, she walked away with a promise of a title.

Camille Song

Camille Song (credit: CBS)

“I just gave them time. They’re probably busy. I just feel like… I’m too nice to them,” said Song.

Song is the owner of East Tao, a restaurant in downtown Denver. It means she works a lot and life has been made more difficult without a car.

(credit: CBS)

Not only was she missing a title, Tripoli told her the car had a brand new engine so when it seized up in the middle of the road, she knew she was in trouble.

“I took it to Auto Zone and they tested it and said it’s definitely not a new engine.”

(credit: CBS)

Song went back to Tripoli Auto last Saturday to confront the dealership in person.

“When I went to the shop on Saturday, I was like, what is going on?!”

She saw the same thing CBS4 saw when we visited the shop on Thursday. It was a disaster. Everything a value had been removed, leaving junk and customer files in its place.

(credit: CBS)

The two men left cleaning up said they were hired by the owner of the building, who claimed the dealership hadn’t been paying rent. They told CBS4 that Camille Song was one of many customers who had come by with similar stories. Others had cars scheduled for repair. The men cleaning don’t believe the business owner took the cars but does believe he took money for repairs that were never made.

(credit: CBS)

CBS4 left the men with a contact number in case more customers came by. Not an hour later, a young woman called to say she was also missing her car title and had no clue where to start.

Without a title, the DMV said Song and others will have to look into a bond title which will cost twice the appraised value of the car.

(credit: CBS)

Song purchased her 2010 Hyundai for $6,500 and combined with the cost of an engine repair? She said it’s not worth it.

Despite Song’s troubles, you’ll likely never catch her without a smile. She is trying to stay positive.

Camille Song

CBS4’s Jamie Leary interviews Camille Song (credit: CBS)

“It’s just like, you know, life experience. Probably in the future I will see warnings.”

She will not walk away without a title ever again.

(credit: CBS)

Song has contacted the Better Business Bureau which says she can take legal action. If other victims come forward, she says she would like to work together with them to fight Tripoli Auto.

The DMV says before Song or other victims pay for a new title, they should file a complaint with the state’s auto industry division.

(credit: CBS)

CBS4 reached out to the Colorado Independent Dealers Association for more information on Tripoli Auto and are waiting to hear back.

CBS4 also reached out to the listed owner of Tripoli Auto, his family told CBS4 he is still living and working in the area. CBS4 is still waiting for a response.

 

Jamie Leary

Comments (2)
  1. NB says:

    My daughter found a car she wanted from them in July, it was very cheap so I bought it. At that time, they said the owner had the title and would “deliver it to me or mail it within a week”. That never occurred. After the second temp tag was issued, I pressed harder calling and showing up to talk to someone, but was always told they couldn’t find the paperwork. They did seem genuine in their attempts to rectify the situation, however. The man I was working finally said he ordered a duplicate, which he needed to get from the auction where they purchased the vehicle. After that, no more communication. All of the phone numbers listed went unanswered, routed to full voicemails, their Evans location was locked up, and the Girard location I could not locate. At the DMV, a different dealer was listed in their title search, and it was assumed the inventory had been bought out. I went to that dealer, the order was in fact reversed. They had sold the vehicle to the auction where Tripoli bought it from. So I contacted the auction, who confirmed they had the duplicate title and were unable to contact Tripoli either. Still in the middle of that process, but hopefully the auction can provide relief to this. The car we got was mechanically just fine, just have had to replace the battery in these few months.

  2. KURT E MALERICH says:

    I bought an ’04 Corolla from them for my daughter that was advertised as a clean title. When it came back to me it was a salvage title. They gave me $500 back.

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