BRIDGEVILLE, Pa. — As Channel 11 reported exclusively last week, Carvana’s Bridgeville location was on the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s “Suspended Agents” list until April of 2023.
Now, 11 Investigates has learned that the suspension will last “indefinitely,” until PennDOT says it determines the dealership is “back in compliance.”
This update comes just one week after 11 Investigates reported in Part 2 of its investigation that the Bridgeville location was bustling with activity, despite the suspension. The dealership is located right off the Interstate 79 Bridgeville exit, where its towering car vending machine can be seen from the highway.
“They’re selling cars out there like crazy, back-to-back. There’s been clients in there, before me and after me today,” Carvana customer Evelyn Miller told Channel 11, right after picking up a car she purchased.
Suspended Agent Status
The PennDOT suspension has to do with Carvana’s ability to issue and transfer vehicle registrations for the cars it sells at their Bridgeville location.
“PennDOT indefinitely suspended the agent services agreement for Carvana’s Bridgeville location because it was not operating in compliance with the agreement,” PennDOT spokesperson Diego Sandino told Channel 11 in an email.
While PennDOT says the suspension doesn’t stop Carvana from selling cars, it does prohibit the dealer from issuing or transferring registration on site.
Despite that, customers picking up cars purchased online told 11 Investigates that’s exactly what was happening.
“I transferred my registration and everything from my old car and my plates from my old car, from tags on this car, right here,” said Evelyn Miller, showing us her paperwork.
Jing and Xio Lei were also picking up a Volvo they purchased and told us they also were able to get their plates on-site.
When that report aired last week, PennDOT had the Bridgeville location listed as a suspended agent until April of 2023. But this week, when 11 Investigates checked the suspended agent report, that end date for the suspension was gone.
We contacted PennDOT to find out why. The state said that end date was inaccurate because the location is actually suspended “indefinitely,” until “PennDOT determines they come back into compliance.”
When we tried to talk with a Carvana manager on-site last month, we were told to contact the company’s media department.
A spokesperson emailed a statement, which said, in part, that the PennDOT suspensions “only affect back-end processing and work-flows.”
In response to a follow-up request for comment about the indefinite suspension, Carvana’s senior public relations specialist, Veronica Cardenas, told us in a statement:
“This location is compliant, and has been compliant throughout the term of the suspension. PennDOT’s unwillingness to meet for months makes us conclude that they suspended our agent privileges without understanding our operations and in violation of our due process rights.”
PennDOT has told Channel 11 it clearly outlined Carvana’s violations at the Bridgeville location.
Sandino said once they determine the location is back in compliance, they will update the suspension to end three months later.
Class-action Case Moving Forward
In another update, the attorney in the class-action case against Carvana filed a Motion to Certify the Class this week.
The suit stems from complaints from customers about delays in getting their registration. That has been a problem for Carvana customers around the country, including Jessica Metz in Fayette County, who told her story exclusively to Channel 11. Metz was forced to wait nearly a year to get her permanent title and license plate from Carvana, and couldn’t legally drive her car for months because the temporary tags expired.
Philadelphia consumer lawyer Bob Cocco filed the class certification motion in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, after federal judge Edward Smith denied Carvana’s motion to dismiss the suit.
Carvana has filed an appeal of the judge’s decision denying their motion to dismiss. The online car dealer called the judge’s decision just a “procedural ruling” and said they “look forward to winning the case in court.”
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