PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – An elderly woman buys a car only to find out within days, it’s a death trap and says the dealership claims it’s her problem.
Out of money and out of luck, she reached out to 8 On Your Side.
“I needed a car. I was saving up my money. I got my COVID check. I said, I have enough to get a little car,” said Robin Howard.
Robin Howard just wanted something that would get her to Michigan to see her grand-kids.
“It said $1,295, air conditioning, runs good! It does run good. It just doesn’t stop,” said Howard.
At Hot Lot Auto Sales in Port Richey she found the car she wanted.
Howard paid the nearly $1,300, but just a couple of days after driving away from the lot she ran into a problem.
“I went to pull a U-turn on (U.S.) 19 and I had nothing. Absolutely nothing. I couldn’t slow, I couldn’t nothing,” said Howard.
The mechanic next door at Suncoast Auto says her brake lines were rusted, leaking brake fluid, and needed new cylinders. He went to talk to the dealer.
“When I told him it’s a death trap, [that] she could die in that car, he straight up [said], ‘I don’t care. She paid cash,'” said Mack Walls.
Dumbfounded, Walls took to social media, posting the pictures of rusted brake lines and even a shot of “Danny” at Hot Lot Auto on Facebook. In just 24 hours the post was shared over 5,000 times and got 1,500 comments from some very angry people.
“I wanted to warn the local community about this guy. I had no idea it was going to go that big,” said Walls.
8 On Your Side went looking for answers. No one answered the door at the auto lot, but later we got a hold of “Danny” on the phone.
“You had no idea it was that bad when you sold it to her?” asked 8 On Your Side’s Marco Villarreal.
“No. I was never under it. I was never under the car,” said the owner of Hot Lot Auto Sales, Daniel DeIntinis.
He agreed to trade out her car or return her money.
“Again, you’re saying all the money, all dealer fees, taxes, everything associated, 100-percent she gets her money back?” asked Villarreal.
“Yeah,” answered DeIntinis.
Robin Howard says she wants all her money back. What she doesn’t want is the dealership to turn around and sell the car. DeIntinis tell 8 On Your Side he plans on using the car for parts.
Walls, the mechanic at Suncoast Auto, not only checked out Howard’s car, but replaced her brake lines free of charge to get her back on the road.
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