Better Call Behnken: Single mother gets down payment back after car burst into flames hours after purchase

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After a Better Call Behnken investigation, a 22-year-old single mother who bought her first car, then watched it burst into flames hours later, now has her $3,000 down payment back. 

“I’m ecstatic,” April Foster said. “I’m going to get another car and I don’t owe anyone money, and thank God.”

Foster turned to Better Call Behnken after Tampa’s G&D Auto Sales, where she bought the car, didn’t help. In fact, the dealership still wanted her to make payments on the burned out car.

This is after she explained that she noticed smoke coming from the hood. The car filled with smoke and she frantically pulled over on the side of the highway and struggled to get her 15-month-old son out of his car seat.

“I was worried the car was going to blow up before I could get him out, so that was scary,” Foster said.

Foster needs the car to get to class at USF. She paid $3,000 to get the car and owed more than $5,000 on the loan. The final sales price was $7,800. She later learned she potentially paid nearly three times too much for the 2007 Nissan Altima.

She called Better Call Behnken for answers and we found the odometer was way off. She was told the car had 109,000 miles, but vehicle identification records show the car had at least $125,000 miles – and that recording was in February 2016.

The owner of the dealership would not go on camera. Over the phone, he said at first, the fire may be Foster’s fault. He offered no help.

Hours after our visit, the dealership called Foster and said they were considering “working something out.”

Then, the next day, the dealer had a complete change of heart and said he wanted to help and felt bad for Foster, being a single mother.

The dealership refunded the full down payment amount and gave her a signed agreement, letting her off the hook for the nearly $5,700 loan.

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