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Woman learns ugly truth about used car

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Bonnie Phillips showed us where the water pours in the back seat of her van every time it rains. Phillips paid $8,000 for the vehicle from CarHop last September but she's never been able to get it licensed because it won't pass inspection.

CarHop had the vehicle inspected before it sold it to her, but that inspection had expired by the time she had saved up to get it licensed three months after buying it.

Phillips said the car has had multiple problems that became noticeable just days after buying it. Besides the water problem, the check engine light won't turn off and the car has a loud rattle every time she drives it. She's spent $1500 on repairs, but the problems persist.

Phillips said the car came with a full warranty, but when she tried to use the warranty CarHop told her most of the problems she was experiencing weren't covered.

"I told them I don't think it's fair I have to pay for a car I can't drive." said Phillips. Plus a few weeks ago a mechanic told her the car had been in a major accident which damaged the frame.

In fact, Fox 4 Problem Solvers checked CarFax which showed the car had been in a major accident two years before it was sold to Phillips. That's something state and federal law requires car dealers to disclose, but something Phillips said she was never told.

About 50 miles away in Drexel, Mo., is another unhappy CarHop customer Richard Boston. He bought a Taurus from CarHop last June, but returned it a week later when he discovered the air conditioning didn't work. CarHop kept his deposit but agreed to take the car back.

Boston was satisfied until six months later he got a bill from the state saying he owed $810 in sales taxes on the $10,000 car.

The Missouri Department of Revenue said the only way Boston could avoid paying the tax was to have CarHop provide them with a letter stating that he had returned the car. Boston said he's been trying for nearly a month to get that letter and can't.

"They got really nasty yesterday," said Boston, recalling his conversation with someone at CarHop. "That was the tenth time I called."

Fox Four Problem Solvers paid a visit to CarHop on Bannister Road in Kansas City. Here's the good news, the sales manager told us she had been trying to reach Boston and provide him with the letter he needed. When we told her he still didn't have it, she agreed to give us the letter.

Plus, that same day, she emailed a copy to Mr. Boston that he can provide to the Department of Revenue as proof that he doesn't owe any taxes.

As far as Bonnie Phillips, Fox Four Problem Solvers contacted the president of CarHop Don Griffin. When we explained the problems Ms. Phillips had had with her car and the fact she'd never been told it had been in an accident, Griffin immediately agreed to take the car back and return her money.

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