Jewish Journal

Keyes of Van Nuys – The Nightmare Continues

If you read my blog with any regularity, you know I bought a new car in May. It is super cute and I love it. I bought it at Keyes in Van Nuys, which is surprising since they were a nightmare to deal with. From the incompetent sales person, to the blow smoke up your ass owner, it was not a pleasant experience, but I love the car and figured I would never need to go there again. The plan was to drive away and take my car for all of the service to Robertson Honda. Farther from where I live, but at the end of the day not Keyes, which would be a great thing.

It sadly wasn’t as easy as I had planned. When I received my registration in the mail, it came with new plates. Not good since I have personalized plates on my car and have for 20 years. Turns out that the guys at Keyes had no clue what they were doing and even though they assured me over and over again that my personalized plates were transferred over, they weren’t. Even though they put the personalized plates on my car and covered them with a Keyes sticker, advising me to take the sticker off when the registration came, it was a lie.

From start to finish this dealership has been incompetent. I thought they had redeemed themselves when I bought the car, but alas, no. Turns out when they sold the car I traded in, they sold it with my personalized plates on it. When the new owners of that car bought it, they went to the DMV and were told the car had plates registered to it already. They let the DMV know there were no plates on it when they left with it, so the plates were reported as stolen to the police and if I was stopped, I would be arrested first with questions later.

My personalized plates, that I have owned forever, were now wanted. It has taken me 5 months to fix their mistake. It required two visits to AAA, four visits to the DMV, and two calls to Sacramento. The people at both AAA and the DMV could not have been kinder in their efforts to help me. They also let me know they have seen this happen more times than they can count with Keyes. They do not know how to transfer a personalized plate so should you go there and they tell you they’ve got it covered, don’t believe them because they don’t, and are lying to your face.

So, five months after buying the car, I finally got the DMV to remove the block on the plates, the police deleted the stolen file, and I was going to get my plates back. Not so fast. Turns out that I actually need to buy the plates back because they were no longer registered to me. Yes. I had to buy back the plates I had for a decade because the guys at Keyes are morons. Not only do they suck at their job, but the managed to suck all they joy out of buying a new car. Needless to say, I wrote to Keyes this week to let them know about the outcome of my plates.

They could not have possibly cared any less. When I wrote to Lewis Cook, the man in charge of selling me the car, the same man who promised up and down that he would fix the problem, he told me there was nothing he could do and I needed to contact the owner. So I wrote to Howard Tenenbaum, the owner, and told him that not only did I want to be reimbursed for the cost of the plates, but I’d like to be reimbursed for my time in fixing the mistake they made. Seemed like a fair request since this was 100% their fault. I heard back from today.


I have reviewed your request, and I don’t feel it is appropriate to reimburse you in this situation.  If you have any question please feel free to call me.


Howard Tenenbaum

Vice President


5855 Van Nuys Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA  91401

That’s it. I spend five months, with time off work, and schlepping back and forth across the valley, and then have to buy the plates I owned when I walked into his dealership, and he doesn’t think it is appropriate to reimburse me? His staff is incompetent, and I have to pay for that? Ugh. Whatever. This is not a good guy or a good businessman. He is bad for the car business and bad for Jews. At the end of the day I suppose you live and learn. I never should have bought my car there when the original salesman was such an idiot. It has been a nightmare.

Important to note I appreciate how ridiculous it sounds to be complaining about this when the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I certainly have perspective in the big scheme of things, but I’m 51 years old and this is the first car I ever bought new and on my own. It was a big deal. They are a big company and clearly one customer doesn’t matter to them, but I am a customer with a blog, and so I am using my platform to say that I think Howard Tenenbaum should be ashamed of himself and you should not shop at Keyes of Van Nuys.

Harsh? No. I have jumped through hoops to fix what they did and they don’t care. I was dismissed without a thought and without so much as an apology. They didn’t do their job. Their mistakes took up my time, caused me stress and aggravation, and put a cloud over what was supposed to be a wonderful thing. At the end of the day I got my plates back, have a cute car, and will never go to Keyes again. Not only will I not go there, but every once and a while I’ll write about why you shouldn’t go there either. Drive safe, pick your car salesman wisely, and keep the faith.