Valley woman waits nearly a year for car title

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX – A Valley woman paid for her car in cash but she can't seem to get the title so she contacted 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper for help. 

The title to your car is very important. Obviously, it means that you, in fact, own the car.  Without it, you have big problems and that's exactly what has happened to a Valley woman.

3 On Your Side had been looking for Kelly Olson for quite awhile.

Kimberly Jones tells 3 On Your Side she bought a 1998 Acura from Olson 9 months ago.

"It ran, it had air, and it had a cool moon roof that I never thought I would have."

Kimberly handed $4,400 in cash to Kelly Olson and his company called Affordable Auto Rentals and Leasing which he operates out of his Gilbert home.

"It had appeared to be a pretty good deal for the price."

But after purchasing her vehicle, she says she never got the title indicating she owned the car. She called Olson over and over but he would always tell her this. “Several times he told me he was going that day and that he would come to my work and hand-deliver the title. Never happened."

This went on for nine long months, and as a result, Kimberly was unable to register her car with the state. As a result, it sits in a parking space. 

On top of that, Kimberly says since she's had the car, it's had one mechanical problem after another. "At this point, I don't even want to see the car anymore. It's taken the joy of having a vehicle right out of my life."

That brings us back to 3 On Your Side’s visit with Olson. He could at least do something about that title.

When 3 On Your Side caught up to Kelly, he said, "It will be taken care of today."

In the meantime, 3 On Your Side had contacted the Arizona Department of Transportation regarding Olson which launched an investigation through the Office of the Inspector General.

Investigators learned that Kelly had a lien on the car he sold to Kimberly and until the lien was paid off, the title couldn't be transferred to her.

After our visit, Olson did in fact pay off the lien and the state sent Kimberly her title.

“I just want to say thank you so much, I mean I've cried over this. I've spent a lot of time really stressing and this is good. I can close this chapter and move forward and have a more positive look on things so thank you.”

Because of 3 On Your Side's investigation, Olson is in big trouble with the state. He's been cited with 3 misdemeanor charges accusing him of operating as an unlicensed car dealer.

If you sell more than three cars in a continuous year you have to be licensed by the state.

You can reach the Arizona Department of Transportation OIG Public tip line at 602-712-6270. To learn more about buying a car from a private seller go to www.azdot.gov/mvd/vehicle/unlicdlr.asp.