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Car buyer gets burned after paying thousands for warranty that doesn’t exist

Buyer paid for warranty, but the dealer didn’t
Taking Action: Car warranty fiasco
Posted at 10:43 AM, Nov 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 20:13:47-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Doctor Jeff Konin said it was love at first test drive. He paid about $35,000 for the used Mercedes coupe in September of 2020, and like most vehicle buyers who purchase an extended warranty, Konin figured it would save him money in the long run.

He told ABC Action News it gave him peace of mind.

“It is a foreign car, and parts to replace can be very, very expensive,” he said.

According to his contract, Konin paid Mirabella Motors in Tampa an additional $2,585 for an extended warranty on the 2017 convertible. Konin’s peace of mind over the extended coverage plan lasted a year. That’s when the air conditioner died.

“I brought it into the Mercedes dealer to have them look at it,” Konin said.

And that's when Konin got really hot. The Mercedes dealer said they could not find any record of the third-party warranty. Konin said he then called the warranty company.

“They said no such warranty exists," he recalled. "And in fact, no such warranty has ever been applied for in your name or through this dealership."

In an email to Konin, the warranty company confirmed there was no extended coverage plan for his vehicle. So Konin went back to the dealer, Mirabella Motors. But he said the owner didn’t provide proof that the dealership applied for and paid for the plan.

Konin filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and he made a “Call for Action.”

When contacted, Tony Mirabella, the owner of Mirabella Motors, replied by emailing a copy of what appeared to be a payment ledger. He said it proved he purchased multiple warranties for his customers through a third party.

The document listed debits for $4,910,00 and $3,855.00 to a warranty company but contained no VIN or stock number to specify a vehicle. When contacted by ABC Action News, the warranty company declined to comment.

The DMV stated in its letter to Konin that its investigation determined Mirabella Motors never applied for his warranty and that he was owed a $2,585 refund.

Konin filed a claim with the company that handles the dealer’s $25,000 bond with the state. The bondholder has since issued Konin a full refund.

ABC Action News found Mirabella Motors did not renew their dealer's license back in April, and they are no longer in business. The DMV said Tony Mirabella would have to apply for a new license if he intends to get back into the auto sales business.