Houston Auto Pre-Owned Dealer fraud

Being a complete newbie to the car market, I was not prepared.

The past week has been nothing short of a nightmare. I was left mentally, emotionally, and psychologically drained. Go spend your money at a legitimate dealership, and you’ll have less of a hassle. We’ve all heard heartbreaking stories of someone falling prey to the thirst trap of money-hungry car salesmen who will say or do anything to make a few extra dollars on their commission, but this is by far the worst.


I first approached Houston Auto Preowned on Sunday, November 20th in response to an ad on Car Gurus for a 2007 Honda CRV. The price advertised was $10,300 when I initially saved it on CarGuru a few days earlier. The dealer, Adil Khan, who goes by Alex, met my friend and I in the parking lot, and after looking at the car, I offered him $9500, to which he agreed. As we discussed prices in the parking lot, another client whom he had been assisting earlier interrupted. During the interaction with that buyer, we observed as she told him that he discriminated against them and that they would be reporting him for discrimination. As they left, he spoke distastefully, calling her a B**CH and stating that he wasn’t interested in doing business with her from the get go because she kept on trying to negotiate the price.


Prior to going in, I checked my credit and saw that my score was fair and in the 600 range. However, upon starting the loan process with Westlake Financial, I was advised that my rate was a hefty 18% due to my FICO score being 580. After several hours of negotiation and adjusting my down payment to $7500 for a loan duration of two years, we were able to get the interest rate down to 12.9%.


As he entered data into the computer for the purchase agreement, I had several concerns. I noticed that the price of the vehicle was added as $10,181.25 on the itemization of the amount financed, and he explained that the price reflected included an accessories fee of $681.25. In addition to this, he also added a Recon fee of $1400, increasing the total cash price of the vehicle to $11,581.25. When I questioned him about the recon fee, he explained that this was a dealer preparation fee. I asked why that fee was not included in the sale price of the vehicle and if this fee was added to all vehicle purchases, to which he replied yes, it is the norm for it to be added after.


Government license and registration fees were itemized as follows:


 $854.86 for government and registration fees


$65.50 government certificate of title fees


$45.50 vehicle inspection


$26.27 dealers' inventory tax


$150 document fee


Totaling $1142.13


A service fee of over $600 was also added, which he convinced me was mandated by the bank. He even stated that the fee was initially over $1000, but he gave me a deal and reduced it. Gap insurance was also added, despite my request that he remove it. Had I not reviewed the screen a second time and asked again for it to be removed, it would have been left there.


He noted and informed me that the car's price had increased to $12,999 a few days prior, as reflected on his website, but the price change had not yet been reflected on Car Gurus due to an error. He informed me that he had not realized the price of the vehicle had increased, so he initially agreed on $9500, but he is unable to honor that price. He further stated that at $10,300, he wasn’t making any money off the vehicle, as that was what he paid for the car when it was traded in. I questioned how the cost of a used vehicle could drastically increase by $2000 within a few days, and he stated that the market has changed and the vehicle was rare as it was made in Japan and in high demand.


I left that dealership feeling like a fist was in my chest. I couldn't sleep because I wasn't satisfied with his explanation for the additional fees. He spoke of how transparent he was being with me since he was showing me the screen the whole time and stated that he doesn’t usually do that with other clients. Yet I felt that the terms of the deal were not mutually beneficial. I stayed up that night doing some research, which confirmed that some dealers are very skilled at extracting money from you and go out of their way to hide fees, handing you a shockingly large bill.


On the morning of November 21, 2022, I sent the dealer a message expressing my dissatisfaction with not only the fees but also the interest rate and the vehicle's price, which appeared to be overpriced on KBB and CarGurus. I also had questions about the navigation system advertised on Car Gurus, which the car did not have. He messaged back, saying that the pricing automatically fluctuates based on supply and demand, and based on the series of the car, the value is higher than other models. He also stated the Car Guru advertisement made an error and the KBB data is stale and outdated.



I asked him to cancel or unwind the loan on 11/21/2012, approximately 11:03 AM, and did not receive a response from him. I decided to contact him via phone to get an update on whether he had cancelled the loan. He was very rude and unprofessional over the phone. advising me that from the initial interaction he knew he should not have done any business with me and that he saw the caliber of people we were when we walked in. He told me that it's deals like these why he chooses not to deal with certain buyers and that the vehicle was out of my budget from the beginning, and then hung up on me.


I messaged him, advising that I would be writing a negative review, and at this point, I wasn’t interested in buying any other vehicles from him. He then called me and asked what price point I needed the vehicle for and advised me to put it in writing via text. I messaged him and told him I would like the recon and document fees removed, to which he agreed. He then informed me that I would not be receiving the car at the agreed-upon price; the new price was $10,999 because the car was underpriced at $10,300.


We agreed to meet again on 11/23/2022 to unwind the deal and reassess the purchasing terms. After the removal of the recon fees, I paid a total cash price of $11,989 for the car. After paying, I asked about the unwinding of the loan, about which he told me it had not yet been done and that to do so I needed to pay him the unwind fee. He explained that the bank was charging him a fee to unwind the loan, and he would be passing that fee on to me. I refused and left. As I inspected the contract, I noticed the verbiage stating that the purchase of the car was based on my own personal inspection and not based on any information advised by the dealer. I also noticed a failed emissions test prior to a pass on the same day. (Apparently this happens sometimes due to the car not being used for a period of time however I didn't know this and needed an explanation)


Since I know nothing about cars, I advised him I needed an independent inspection completed before taking possession of the vehicle. he told me I was an idiot and that I should come pick up my money.  I googled mobile mechanics in the area in had an inspection completed. The inspection results were mostly good; however, the mechanic mentioned that there was a stumble in the engine after running for 25 minutes. He explained that this was a concern because it could lead to the head gasket breaking. When he explained this to the dealer, the dealer refuted this and advised that he would be completing another inspection with Honda. He then stated that we could just forget about this whole deal at that point, to which I agreed.

Based on the interactions with him previously where the lines of professionalism were extremely blurred my brother advised that I should keep the phone on speaker during my meeting with him. When he realized that he was on speaker he told me that I was being deceitful. Both my brother and my sister-in-law who has worked with Toyota for years advised him that he was being unprofessional and reiterated that I would like to unwind both the bank and cash transactions. She reiterated that based on her experience with working at Toyota a sale is not complete until there is an exchange of goods, she further told him that in her experience people unwind contracts all the time, so she didn't understand why he was making this such a difficult process. He tried to belittle me by stating that i came there on several occasions with 2 different men and that could have never happened in his culture. Mind you that the men he is referring to was the mechanic that I hired for the pre inspection and the other a friend of mine that has some auto knowledge. My sister-in-law advised him that this was a professional deal and regardless of how many men I came there with that was none of his business.

Surprisingly, when I met with him the following day for a refund, he refused to refund the money, saying the car was mine and that he would refute that by getting the inspection completed with Honda to verify there was nothing wrong with the car.


He advised that my only option was to either take the car or go to civil court. He then told me to leave his office as he had another showing and he left. When he came back, he advised that he took the car to a Honda dealership. I called the dealership to verify it was in fact there and advised the technician of the area that needed addressing based on the previous report. Honda Advised him that I called so he called me advising that since I called Honda not only am I responsible for the unwind fee, but he was also making me pay for the $130 Honda inspection. I told him I received legal advice against paying the inspection fee from Honda, he then said, "Okay, let’s forget about the fee from Honda, but you have to pay the bank unwind fee."


Please keep in mind that the car was never removed from the dealership during this entire period. Yet he told me that since I signed the car, it was mine.


I was told that what he was doing was dealer fraud and that I should go to court and sue him, but I was mentally exhausted, emotionally distressed, paying for Uber to get around, and I just wanted the nightmare to end.


After several days of back and forth on prices and unwind fees being changed, I ended up paying an additional $551 for the unwind fee for the loan.


Due to being in desperate need of a car, I literally ignored all the warning signs to walk away. I reasoned that by the end of the day, I'd have a car and wouldn't have to deal with him again.


  1. Word of advice Go prepared and do your research.
  2. If you have a credit union, you will get better rates for an auto loan.
  3. Complete a pre-purchase inspection. Be sure to ascertain that the mechanic performing the inspection is ASE certified.
  4. Please note that on the Texregstate website states destination and dealer preparation charges must be included in the featured sales price. The only costs and charges that may be excluded from the featured sales price are:
  • Registration, certificate of title, or license fees
  • Taxes
  • Other fees or charges that are allowed and prescribed by law


  1. Do not sign anything until you have read the buyer's agreement terms carefully.


Note: this article is not yet complete, more details will be added 

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