Consumers Tell BBB St. Peters Auto Group Left Them Without Titles, Vehicle Repairs After Purchases

  
     
July 10, 2017

St. Peters Auto GroupThe recently-closed St. Peters Auto Group has been the focus of numerous consumer complaints that claim the O’Fallon, Mo., business failed to deliver on promises made to customers and left them without vehicle titles after purchases.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns area consumers to use caution before dealing with business owner Eric M. Strosnider. He previously owned and operated Strosnider Pre-Owned LLC, a used car sales company, and Strosnider Enterprises LLC, an auto repair shop, both of which were located in O’Fallon.

Strosnider told BBB he was forced to close St. Peters Auto Group in late May after having problems with a supplier. He told BBB he would attempt to make his customers whole.

“Doing our best to handle repairs,” Strosnider wrote in an email to BBB. “Everyone will get their titles. … I’ll make good on all that I’m capable of. From there it’s god speed (sic).”

Several consumers told BBB they left St. Peters Auto Group without a title for their vehicle. That appears to violate Missouri law, which requires dealers to provide car buyers with titles. In March 2014, then-Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster sued car dealerships in four cities, including St. Louis, for failing to provide car buyers with titles.

“Missourians should not complete a vehicle purchase unless they have the title when they drive that vehicle off the lot,” Koster said at the time.

Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said consumers shouldn’t have been left wondering how to acquire their titles.

“Without the title, consumers couldn’t legally prove they owned their vehicle or have them registered,” Corey said. “Consumers should be able to trust that the dealer is going to do the right things in order for them to legally drive their vehicle after purchase. It appears that wasn’t being done here.”

Eric StrosniderStrosnider opened St. Peters Auto Group in May 2015. BBB began to receive complaints about the business late in 2016. The business failed to respond to 10 complaints and had an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible, before closing. The majority of those complaints centered on the business’ failure to issue titles and make good on promises to make repairs to vehicles.

An O’Fallon man told BBB his family purchased a 2003 Infiniti from St. Peters Auto Group in late April, but did not get a title for the vehicle until early June.

“Every week we are promised (a title), but it is never delivered,” the man told BBB. “This whole experience has been nothing less of a disaster and has definitely tarnished their image as a professional dealership.”

A Hartford, Ill., man told BBB he purchased a 2008 Jeep Wrangler from the business on May 15. In addition to needing the title for his vehicle, the man said the business promised to make $1,000 in repairs to it. He told BBB that when he went back to the dealership to retrieve the title and have the work done on the vehicle, that the business had closed.

“I don’t even know if the Jeep is legal,” the man told BBB.

A Pittsfield, Ill., man who suffers from muscular dystrophy told BBB he had to stop working as an escort for oversize load vehicles after the truck he purchased from St. Peters Auto Group broke down on him soon after his purchase in January. He said the business failed to fix a problem in the front end of the truck.

“I couldn’t afford to keep the darn thing,” the man told BBB. “They refused to do anything about the situation. I wouldn’t refer anyone there.”

A former employee of St. Peters Auto Group told BBB the business started to struggle early in 2017 when Strosnider “lost his floor plan” after he “got out of trust” with his vehicle supplier. The former employee said the supplier likely has most of the vehicle titles customers are missing. He told BBB he was willing to help any customers get their titles.

Strosnider said he does not plan to return to the used car sales business.

“Car business is set up for failure if your (sic) a pre-owned dealer,” Strosnider wrote in an email to BBB.

BBB offers the following tips for consumers buying used cars:

  • Research any business and its owners carefully before paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.
  • Make sure to research vehicle prices. There are many online resources to check the average retail prices of various makes and models of used cars. This should give you an idea how much the used car is worth.
  • Get specific when asking about a vehicle’s history and condition. Ask for any records on the vehicle, including those related to inspections, prior maintenance and any repairs or reconditioning done by the dealer. Ask for a vehicle history report. Remember a vehicle history report is only as complete as information reported and is not a guarantee of the vehicle’s condition.
  • Consider having a qualified mechanic inspect the vehicle. Most dealers will allow consumers to have an inspection done off-site. Pre-purchase inspections can cost upwards of $100, but may help identify potential issues and save on costly repairs further down the road.
  • Get any additional commitments made by the dealer in writing. If the dealer has agreed to perform or pay for additional repairs as a condition of purchase, be sure to have these written into a contract. This is sometimes referred to as a “We Owe” agreement. Get the timeframe for completion of the repairs in writing and make sure you understand who to contact to have the work completed.

 

St. Louis Area Media Contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), cthetford@stlouisbbb.org

Shellie Kreter, PR & Communications Manager, (314) 584-6723 or (314) 348-5451 (cell), skreter@stlouisbbb.org

Don O’Brien, Investigator, (314) 584-6785, dobrien@stlouisbbb.org

Columbia media contact: Sean Spence, Columbia Regional Director, (573) 886-8965, sspence@midmobbb.org

Cape Girardeau media contact: Joey Keys, Cape Girardeau Regional Director, (573) 803-3191, jkeys@capegirardeaubbb.org

Quincy media contact: Mara Clingingsmith, BBB Quincy Regional Director, (217) 209-3972 or (217) 242-6272 (cell), mclingingsmith@quincybbb.org

About BBB

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.