Woman says car problems, lot that sold vehicle are driving her mad

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UPDATE: The owner of 3J Auto, Joe Brogoto, met with Fox 4 after the story aired  to further stress the multiple efforts he said he  has made to resolve this problem.

He told us he remains willing to offer his repair services free of charge to Danielle Smith because he wants her to be a satisfied customer in a car she feels safe driving.

ORIGINAL STORY:
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A young mom says the day after driving her car off a lot, it started having major problems. The power steering stopped working, and so did the windshield wipers and the blinkers, but when she called the dealer to complain, she said she didn't get any help.

Danielle Smith paid more than $7,000 for the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt, but worries about her safety every time she climbs behind the wheel.

“It feels like you are going to flip,” Smith explained.

The car pulls so hard to the right that Smith says she has trouble keeping it on the road.

When she complained the day after buying it to the car lot, 3J Auto Sales owned by Joe Brogoto, she said she got no help.

“So I called Joe, he said, `when you drove it off my lot it was working fine. You signed it as is.' I said, `oh no, you have to fix my car,'” Smith recalled.

Pointing out that even though the paperwork they gave her said “as is,” she had paid $1,500 extra for a warranty. Frustrated, she took the car to Van Chevrolet to have it diagnosed.

Among other problems, the car's electronic brain was going out, which is why the power steering, wipers and turn indicators weren't working. Plus, Carfax revealed the car had been in two accidents, something she said she was never told.

When she complained again to 3J, she said this time it agreed to repair the car at cost, acknowledging the warranty they sold her didn't cover the problems she was having.

“Stayed there for two-and-a half weeks before even looking at it,” Smith said.

When 3J refused, she picked up her car, but before leaving demanded the title. It was something she still didn't have, even though she'd owned the car for more than two months.

“You got $9,000 for my car and I'm not leaving here until I get it, and they called the police on me,” Smith said.

That's when she decided to call FOX 4 Problem Solvers.

“I just want the problem fixed. I want out of the loan so I can purchase a new car, because right now I can't do anything,” Smith said. “I tried to get another loan and this line of credit is already showing on my line of credit.”

Problem Solvers paid a visit to 3J, which operates out of Brogoto’s repair shop on Vivion Road. We were hoping to find either salesman Randy Cummings, who sold the car to Smith, or owner Brogoto.

We were told the salesman was out to lunch, and Brogoto…

“He's at the shop on Belmont,” we were informed.

But when we stopped by that address we were told he was in the hospital, and had been there for a week.

But shortly after leaving the shop, Brogoto called us and said he'd mailed the car title to Smith a couple of weeks ago, which  means he violated Missouri law since titles must be given to customers the day of the sale.

But Smith told FOX 4 she still doesn't have the title.

Brogoto also insisted he told Smith that he was willing to fix the car not at cost, but for free. She said she's never been offered anything for free, and said that even if the repair was now free, she's tired of dealing with 3J, Brogoto and the troubled Cobalt.

She wants her money back so she can buy a car she trusts. Smith is now talking to an attorney and is considering filing suit against 3J Auto Sales. Meanwhile, 3J continues to insist it hasn't done anything wrong and says the car doesn't have as many problems as Smith claims.