Queen Kali: The Destroyer of Fear

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Operation DeathTrap

My kid brother passed away on January 15th, 2016 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His name was Anthony James Wiggins, but everyone called him Tony. Between the time of his passing, and the time I was notified of his death, I’d made an agreement to buy a used car from a local car dealership in Cranston, RI.
Photo by Linda Mae Pickett.
The vehicle I'd originally intended to buy was a small Hyundai 4x4, and the agreement to buy that car was made on the afternoon of January 16. However, I learned of Tony's untimely death on the same evening when I returned home. Within days, I returned to Car Hop hoping that I could buy a larger vehicle with which to transport my brother's personal effects from North Carolina back to Rhode Island. On February 1st, I bought the 2004 Chrysler Pacifica displayed in the image below. The name of the dealership I bought the vehicle from is, Car Hop. You can find them online at: www.CarHop.com.

The Death Trap: Photo by Al Wiggins Jr.
I made the trip down to North Carolina without incident. With the help of some very dear friends, I was able to begin the process of laying my brother to rest. After acquiring my brother’s death certificate, I got the rest of the information I needed from the Clerk of the Court. I returned to Rhode Island without incident, with the hope that I'd return to North Carolina within weeks to retrieve my brother’s ashes. However, I was in for a shock.
A crack in the frame: Photo via BTS Tire & Service; Providence, RI
 On March 8, I went to BTS Tire & Service to get an oil change for my new vehicle. BTS Tire & Service is located in Providence, Rhode Island. After I gave them my keys, I had snacks and watched television in the waiting area. It wasn’t long before a technician came to inform me that my vehicle had a cracked frame.  I didn’t understand how bad the damage was until I saw the invoice. As I read it, the technician showed me the pictures of the damage.  As he forwarded the pictures to my phone, the technician pointed out that the vehicle had a valid inspection sticker.
The invalid inspection sticker: Photo by Al Wiggins Jr.
I was listening carefully to the tech when he said, “something isn’t right.” He referred to the current inspection sticker and was so concerned about the damage to the car's frame that he wrote the words, not safe, on the invoice. The manager said, "I don’t believe this car was roadworthy at the time you saw it on their lot. We do vehicle inspections and we would never have given this thing an valid inspection sticker. No way."  He then encouraged me to file a complaint with the appropriate authorities and investigate the matter further. I got another copy of the invoice from BTS on March 15. Finally, on about March 22, I filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles (RIDMV).
The Death Trap: Photo by Al Wiggins Jr.
I discovered there was a good chance that Car Hop had committed auto sales fraud against me and thereby knowingly victimized a disabled veteran.  In the next installment of Operation DeathTrap, I will have the latest update on this most disturbing incident.