Cars from 2 W MI dealers may have bad titles, plates

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Secretary of State’s Office says anyone who bought a car from one of two now-closed West Michigan automotive dealerships should check to make sure that their license plates and titles are legitimate.

In a Monday release, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said customers of Wayland Motor Sales in Wayland and Patriot Auto Sales Group, Inc. in Hastings to call her office because they may have been issued improper temporary registrations or license plates. The office warned that drivers who don’t have the proper titles and plates could have their cars impounded if they’re stopped by police and that they may have further trouble registering a different vehicle in the future.

The office says its investigators found Wayland Motor Sales, located on Main Street, wasn’t keeping good records and that it repeatedly didn’t apply for titles and registrations for vehicles within the required 15 days after they were handed over to a new owner. The dealership said that only four title transactions hadn’t been processed, but investigators said they found 15 other unprocessed tax, title and registration transactions.

Additionally, the state says Wayland Motor Sales had a former employee pretend to be a representative of Patriot Auto Sales Group to purchase temporary registrations for customers. After customers drove off the lot, the dealership never submitted paperwork for them to get permanent titles.

The state says Patriot Auto Sales, located on M-37, allegedly denied knowing anything about the temporary registration purchases for Wayland Motor customers.

However, state investigators say they found that Patriot Auto Sales had seven unprocessed sales transactions, which meant there were customers on the road without proper documentation. The dealership couldn’t pay for the tax, title and registration.

Customers who bought a car from either dealership and haven’t received a title and registration are asked to call the Secretary of State’s Office of Investigative Services at 517.335.1410.

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