Woman suspects dealer allowed car to pass inspection despite problems

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Even before she bought it, Susan Quinn’s car was having trouble, starting with the air conditioning. Now she is afraid she may have purchased a lemon.

Quinn bought the car from Big Boy Toys on Niagara Street in Buffalo. She says the dealer promised he would fix the air conditioner before she bought it, and a week later, she picked up the 2000 Mazda 626.

But after she got her Mazda home, the check engine light came on, so she took it back to the dealer. But the problems just seemed to keep on coming.

Quinn took the car to a couple of other mechanics and had her Mazda re-inspected, even though she had a new sticker on her car. The second inspection failed and she was given a laundry list of needed repairs.

“There’s no rear brakes. I have no high beams and one low beam,” and Quinn says the car was deemed unsafe to drive.

She now has to depend on friends, such as Don Mallow, to get her where she needs to go. Mallow was also surprised to see the long list of defects, including work needed on the emission controls that he says should not have passed inspection.

Mallow recalled the mechanics estimated it would cost $900 to replace the catalytic converter, the most expensive part, because the mechanic said it has a hole in it.

The licensee for Big Boy Toys, Suzanne Musleh, said she offered to fix Quinn’s Mazda, but Queen didn’t get back to her.

“I am waiting for her to bring it in and I have no problem fixing whatever is wrong with it,” said Musleh.

As for that list of needed repairs, Musleh recalled Quinn’s list being a short one.

“As I have heard from her, it was just a muffler, a catalytic converter and that’s it.”

News 4 has learned, the state Department of Motor Vehicles revoked Big Boy Toys’ dealership and inspection station permits back in February, but Musleh is appealing those actions, so the lot is allowed to remain open while the appeal is pending.

Musleh said of the permits, “They are both valid. I have been here five years, I have worked harder than anybody, and I would like to keep my license and everything clean,” and she insists her inspection stickers are valid.

Quinn wants her car fixed, so she is taking her car back to Big Boy Toys to get the needed repairs, which could include an overhaul of the exhaust system.

Car owners who suspect a car dealer or a repair shop might be violating state regulations, can contact the state Department of Motor Vehicles, which does investigate serious complaints. You can contact the DMV Complaint Unit at 518-474-8943.

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