BBB gives major auto dealer a low rating following complaints of overcharging

Major Honolulu auto dealer accused of overcharging customers

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A car dealership in Honolulu receives a D- grade from the Better Business Bureau after several customers filed similar complaints about their services.

The Better Business Bureau gave Honolulu Ford on King Street in Kalihi the low rating following a pattern of complaints from customers who felt they were being overcharged.

Roseann Freitas, Hawaii Marketplace Manager of BBB Northwest and Pacific, said it was to the point where the customers couldn’t even afford their payments.

“Some of the victims were basically almost minimum wage maybe above minimum wage and their car payments were just so high that they could not afford it and part of that was the additional services, repair services or warranty services that they purchase,” said Freitas.

Over the last three years, the BBB said they received 14 complaints related to services at the dealership.

“I’m livid," said Cynthia Levy, of Ewa Beach. “The person that did the financing, we trusted him because we bought cars from him before but I never thought he would go to this depth to sell a car.”

Levy said her daughter purchased her first car from Honolulu Ford last September.

“And then when I found out they had charged her for extra warranty over $2,600, which she cannot even use because her car already has a current warranty on it because it’s a 2019,” said Levy.

Earlier this year, Sharina Esau of Honolulu got a vehicle through Honolulu Ford.

But even after making a down payment, Esau said the dealership asked for more money a month later after her co-signer was laid off, prompting the dealership to take his name off the paperwork.

“They almost take the car away from me, I said you know I need a car I already put down 3,000 almost 4,000 and they said they can switch my car you know because you cannot afford this,” said Esau. “But it doesn’t make sense they want to remove the car from me but they’re raising up the monthly payment.”

Esau said her monthly payment is nearly $900.

“It’s very hard I mean I have family to take care of, I have two kids to take care of you know it’s really hard,” said Esau. “It’s OK for me to pay rent but this is the first time I’m paying this much for a vehicle."

In a statement, Honolulu Ford acknowledged customers' complaints, but said that they are now under new management, and are reaching out to customers in the hopes of regaining trust.

On review sites like Google and Yelp, Honolulu Ford scored low ratings in the past, but recent reviews had been far more favorable.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.