Calgary car buyer shocked after buying stolen truck from dealership
CALGARY -- A Calgary car buyer is urging others in the market for a vehicle to do their homework, after finding out the truck he purchased from a reputable dealer was stolen.
In December, Skyler Anderson bought a 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 from Sunridge Automotive for $33,000. He said that last month he received a call from a registry in Edmonton informing him the truck was stolen, so he went to Calgary police, who looked at the vehicle identification numbers.
“They looked at the VIN on the front, they’re like no that’s wrong, that looks like a sticker or something,” said Anderson. “They checked the VIN on the side of the door, it’s scrubbed and smudged off.”
Anderson said he’s been frustrated with how the dealership has reacted.
“This is an extremely rare case and I have never seen this before in my 15 years in the business,” said Jordon Romeril, General Manager of Sunridge Automotive.
“We are refunding the customer 100 per cent and feel terrible that one of our customers has had to go through this event,” said Romeril. “The customer has been refunded his down payment and we are in the process of cancelling the loan with TD.”
Romeril said the dealership had screened the truck purchased by Anderson.
“The vehicle in question had been re-vin’d with a VIN that was not stolen. When we checked the VIN on the vehicle and registration it came up clean. We pull CarFax and history checks on all vehicles when they come into inventory and again when we sell them to a consumer. We also disclose these checks to every costumer and in this case they came up clean,” said Romeril.
“Unfortunately criminals are always getting more inventive and we will be taking more precautions when taking in trades and buy-ins. We are also working with the Calgary Police Service in their investigation and also looking into if there is anything we can do differently in our process,” he said.
The Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) said consumers need to research possible undisclosed damage, especially with recent severe weather events.
It sent out a consumer bulletin Tuesday addressing what consumers should look for.
“The more information you have about a vehicle, the better. A consumer can do a number of checks if they are buying privately or from an automotive business,” said Laura Meador, Senior Communications Officer with AMVIC.
* Get a vehicle inspected by an independent technician
* Check to see if the vehicle has been reported stolen by searching the VIN for free on the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. Take note of the VIN directly from the vehicle and not other paperwork to ensure accuracy.
* Consider purchasing a vehicle history report such as Carfax
AMVIC said it recommends a customer choose an AMVIC-licenced business, which must disclose the vehicle history in writing before a purchase. The customer will also be provided with a valid mechanical fitness assessment.