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Carvana is an online used car retailer based in Tempe, Arizona, known for its 12-story car “vending machines” and convenient delivery service—at least for those in the local market. Carvana has been in hot water lately with respect to its financial status and professional conduct leading to bankruptcy rumors and thousands of registered complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Recently, Carvana has been in the news for selling a stolen Maserati to a North Carolina Army veteran.

Vehicles on display at a Carvana sales lot.
A Carvana sales lot | Brandon Bell/Getty Images

North Carolina Army veteran sues Carvana for selling a stolen Maserati

In November of last year, Jason Scott purchased a Maserati Levante from Carvana for $68,000. That is a significant sum of money for just about anyone, but it can be worth it for the right car.

The Moore County Army Vet and his wife enjoyed their Maserati SUV without any issues until taking it into service in February, reports ABC11. At this point, they got the bad news: their Maserati was a stolen vehicle.

Not only was it stolen, but it was sold as a 2021 despite it being a 2017. After Scott spoke with the police, he reached out to Carvana, hoping to get his money back, but they told him he needed the vehicle in order to make a trade.

Scott claims that after telling them he was unable to bring the car back because it had been impounded by the police, they were unresponsive. ABC11 reports that Scott’s attorney eventually received a response that offered to return the money he had spent on the stolen vehicle or trade it for a vehicle of his choice.

They also offered $1,000 on top as a “gesture of goodwill”. Scott, of course, does want his money back, but is also suing Carvana for $1 million dollars as compensation for his experience. 

Not the first stolen vehicle sale for Carvana

Early last year, a Denver man, Dennis Attencio, who purchased a vehicle from Carvana, spoke to Denver7 about his car-buying experience. After owning the vehicle for seven months, a repo truck took it from his driveway.

Up until that point, Attencio reports it had been his easiest car-buying experience to date. Unfortunately for Attencio, the car was stolen from the Memphis airport seven months before his purchase through Carvana.

Not only was it a stolen vehicle, but it had a number of serious issues due to botched accident repairs, including a bad radiator, wrinkled sheet metal, and missing bolts. Consumer protection attorney Matt Osborne warns that buying from Carvana is risky due to the lack of regulation. 

The company could be in trouble

Carvana is struggling financially. During the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers sought out various forms of contactless shopping, even for expensive items like cars. The company achieved major success during this period and built up a tremendous inventory.

Because of car prices returning from their hugely elevated levels, Carvana has been left with an inventory they paid over current market value for, along with expensive overhead like delivery drivers and their “car vending machines”.

The company has also been in the news over the last two years after losing its dealer license in Illinois, Michigan, and North Carolina. They are once again able to sell in North Carolina and Illinois, but Michigan residents will have to get any Carvana purchases re-titled in-state once the car is delivered.

Most of the trouble has been a result of Carvana’s failure to get titles to their customers in a timely fashion as well as, in the case of North Carolina, selling cars without inspections. Carvana may be a convenient way to get a car, but the cost of that convenience might be too high for consumers. It might even be too high for Carvana.


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