A metro Atlanta disabled man said the car he bought from a local dealership nearly killed him.
Jasen Erickson uses a wheelchair to move around. He's a paraplegic and getting in and out of the car is never an easy process.
So Erickson said he decided to buy a used car from a Cobb County dealership a couple of months ago to make that process easier.
"Basically the wheelchair fit perfect in the back without me tearing the wheelchair down and that takes a long time to put it in the front seat, so it was just the perfect car for me," Erickson said.
Erickson said he paid nearly $10,000 for a 2005 Mazda 3S with a hatchback. He bought the car ‘As Is' from Marietta Auto Mall Center on South Cobb Drive and just days later he said he encountered some trouble.
"I should have been warned because when I first bought the car, when I left the first time, the check engine light was on," Erickson said.
First, Erickson said he noticed an oil leak so he took the car back to the dealer.
Then after a couple of attempts by the dealer to fix the problem, Erickson said he and his girlfriend drove off and only made it two miles down the road.
"All of a sudden I see smoke billowing out of the bottom of the car so I told my girlfriend to pull into the gas station and when she pulled into the gas station it was smoking really badly. So I told her to get out of the car and within two to three minutes the car was fully engulfed in flames," Erickson said.
Erickson said his insurance company reimbursed him for most of the damage, but he's still out $2,000. CBS Atlanta News went to the dealership and questioned this salesman, who said the owner was unavailable. So CBS Atlanta News asked the salesman if the car fire was alarming to the dealership.
"Well, if it was my car, sure it would be, but like I said I've never personally had a customer that this has happened to and I sell about 50 cars a month," salesman Will Ward said.
The salesman assured us that management would get to the bottom of the issue and respond accordingly. As for Erickson, he said he's just lucky to be alive.
"I could have been killed," Erickson said.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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