KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When Nick Delgado purchased a car for over $3,700 from Adam’s Auto Sales in east Kansas City, he never anticipated having to wait for his car title.
Over two years later, Delgado says he’s still waiting.
“Almost $4,000, the most money I’ve ever spent on any vehicle that I’ve ever bought,” he said.
Delgado, who lives in Kansas City, Kansas, purchased the vehicle from Adam’s Auto Sales in July 2020, something he said he was initially proud of – something he considered a luxury and had saved up some money for.
But just a month after purchase, the transmission went out, making the car undriveable. All four wheels of Delgado’s 2008 Ford Explorer have sunk several inches into the mud, having sat in Delgado’s yard, stationary, for over two years.
He wants to sell the car for junk but he can’t until he gets the title.
Missouri law requires car sellers to provide customers with a car title upon the day of purchase. The only exception to this requirement is if the seller has an agreement with a customer in writing, giving the seller 30 days to provide the title.
After that 30 day limit, if the car seller has still failed to provide a customer with the title, Missouri law states that the customer is entitled to a full refund.
Delgado said he initially gave up on getting his title after visiting Adam’s Auto Sales at least four times, eventually being told by the owner, Adama Ndiaye, that he didn’t remember selling him the vehicle and probably had lost the title.
“It broke my heart,” he said. “It really did, like I said, it was the best vehicle I’d ever bought myself.”
Problem Solvers wanted to help Delgado get his overdue title, so we visited Ndiaye, owner at Adam’s Auto Sales, to inquire about it.
During a heated exchange, Ndiaye said he needed the bill of sale to prove Delgado had purchased the car from him. That’s something Delgado doesn’t have, but he has plenty of other documentation.
Problem Solvers provided Ndiaye with a copy of Delgado’s temporary tag receipt, which lists ‘Adam’s Auto Sales’ by name, as well as Delgado’s banking statement, showing proof of transaction to the car lot.
But Ndiaye said it still wasn’t enough.
“I need the damn paperwork,” he said. “I need to see what date he purchased the car.”
Ndiaye said Adam’s Auto Sales never sells a car without giving a customer their title.
But while visiting Adam’s Auto Sales, FOX4 spoke with another customer who had come into Adam’s Auto Sales to complain that he, too, hadn’t received his title.
Bernard Brown, consumer law attorney at Brown Law Firm, said Ndiaye’s business strategy is offensive.
“It sounds like preying upon somebody who really was in a weak position,” he said.
He said any car dealer who fails to provide a customer with their car title within 30 days is in violation of the law.
“You want nothing to do with that transaction at that point,” Brown said.
Two hours after leaving Adam’s Auto Sales, Problem Solvers received a call from Ndiaye, claiming he had located Delgado’s lost title and that he could go pick it up from the car lot.
But Brown said by this point, Ndiaye is legally obligated to return Delgado’s money for the vehicle in full.
Brown said the Missouri Attorney General should be investigating cases like this.
“Do something,” he said.
Delgado said he is talking to an attorney and considering his options. He reported Ndiaye to the Department of Revenue and is eager to get the situation resolved.
In the meantime, his vehicle remains in the mud, tires slowly sinking into the earth each day he goes without the car title.
“I feel so taken advantage of,” Delgado said.