Khue Lee of Portland, OR was dismayed to see the '07 Outback he'd purchased from a large franchise dealer being taken away by police, who informed him the car had been reported stolen.
Lee bought the vehicle as a retirement gift to himself, and from the looks of it's driveway mate he'd been holding out for a new Subaru through quite a few body styles.
Rustom Nissan sold him the car, and had already collected Lee's first payment. But when Lee sought their help after his vehicle had been appropriated, they offered what he considered unsatisfactory customer service and demanded he continue to make payments.
Understandably frustrated, Lee took the story to Portland's KATU who ran with the story. That seemed enough to change the dealership's tune, as they promptly promised to refund Lee "everything he had into the car."
So what the heck happened here?
According to the police report, a man and his son were both on the car's title prior to it coming to Rustom Nissan. The son sold the vehicle to a dealership, who sent it to a wholesale auction, where it was picked up by Rustom and added to retail inventory.
Meanwhile, it would appear that the father was unaware of his son's intentions to liquidate the vehicle, as he reported the car stolen when it wasn't where he left it.
Sounds like a story ripe for sitcom-adaptation.
Rustom Nissan maintains it missed the red flag due to a "miscommunication with the auction" when their buyer made the purchase. The car now sits in a Portland PD impound lot while investigators sort through the situation.
Despite the pervasiveness of car-background checking tools like Carfax and AutoCheck it's still possible for issues to slip into the murky abyss of automotive documentation.