Another Carvana customer discovers they bought a car that was reported stolen

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A second customer of online car dealer Carvana has stepped forward to say the car they bought and had been driving for more than a year was confiscated by law enforcement.

In both cases, the customers were informed their cars were reported stolen from separate dealerships before they were sold to Carvana and then later resold to them. Both customers tell WFLA the VIN on their windshields and doors doesn’t match the VIN that law enforcement found when they used an electronic reader.

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“It’s total devastation,” said Steven Clothier. “I put a lot of hard work into that car. I have a side business. I detail cars and I do ceramic coating so I spent a lot of time detailing that car, ceramic coating it and putting those parts on, obviously thinking it was mine.”

“It took me a while to find that car. I was kind of particular of what I wanted in it. And it was the only one I found. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s mine; it was meant to be.’ But obviously it was not meant to be because it was stolen.”

Clothier is from South Carolina and contacted 8 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Shannon Behnken after seeing our story online about a similar situation in the Tampa Bay area.

In Clothier’s case, he said law enforcement contacted him recently and said they suspected a problem with his car. They checked it out and verified that the VIN didn’t match his title and registration and the numbers listed on the car.

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Clothier questions whether Carvana did the same type of electronic VIN check.

“I know on their website… they have 150-point inspection but you would think that if they really did the 150-point inspection they would have caught the stolen VIN and I wouldn’t be in the situation as I am in today. Nor would anybody else,” Clothier said.

He reached out to WFLA, saying he didn’t have answers from Carvana. After calls from Behnken, Carvana sent this statement:

Customer experience is our top priority and we have taken steps to make things right for Mr. Clothier, including issuing a full refund and additional compensation for his time and trouble. 

“We are aggressive and proactive in fighting bad actors, and in the rare case that we and our customers are victims of this sort of sophisticated fraud, we not only support local law enforcement in their investigations, but we also audit our internal processes to continue to strengthen our approach. “

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