The plot thickens…

A continuation/update from “No good deed goes unpunished”
Here is a follow up to the notification I received about the Honda Civic that got impounded in California while still legally belonging to me.

I called the Towing Company today who currently has the vehicle impounded on their property and spoke to a very nice woman who sounded like she takes great pleasure in her work (not really). Anyways, I asked if the vehicle was on their property and gave her the last four digits of the VIN number; it was there.

I then explained the piece of paper that I received in the mail from the California Highway Patrol. She professed to have no paperwork in her possession showing me as having any liability for the vehicle whatsoever. Everything she had was pointed to Senor Garcia being the registered owner. I told her that my paperwork showed me as being the “legal owner,” even though Jose is supposedly the registered owner (which the paperwork I have does reflect). She still insisted that I was not responsible for the vehicle.

Out of curiosity, I asked how much it would cost to release it from Impound. A few moments of her clicking around on the computer revealed it would cost $1,004 !!! “That’s much, much more than the car is worth,” I informed her. “Would you like to release all liability to the towing company so we can auction it?” she asked. “How can I do that if you don’t have any paperwork showing me connected to the vehicle in any way?” I replied. Silence. I ask again, “Why is CHP sending me this if I have no responsibility for the vehicle, as you say?” “They probably send that notification to all past owners to let them know what happened to the vehicle” was her reply. “Probably?” I asked.

Anyways, the conversation went on like this for a couple more minutes, and honestly I feel I’ve been left with more questions than answers. But according to impound lady, Senor Garcia is responsible for the impound fees and I will not be held accountable for them in any way. For some reason I feel dubious at best about this answer, yet I don’t know who else to call. The vehicle obviously has some legal ties left to me, and my gut tells me Jose ain’t gonna be paying no 1,000+ dollars to get his free (or however he came by it) 1993 Honda Civic out of car jail. Hell, he might be in jail too! I may call the towing company again tomorrow and press them for more info on what will happen when the car is not claimed, and what avenue they will take when an auction does no recoup the impound fees.

I can honestly say I’m more entertained by all of this than I am upset. In fact, I’m not upset at all. Even if this was to turn into some sort of collections dilemma that threatened to mess up my credit… I’ll still be laughing. It’s all nothing more than another little gear in the giant bullshit machine we call modern society that serves to add nothing but grief and over complication to what would otherwise be (should be) a very simple existence. What tangled webs we mortals weave, indeed!
To be continued… I guess


  1. This story is hilarious as part of the giant bullshit machine, as you aptly call it…except for the time wasted and potential money it could cost you…and angst. I’ve had crap like that happen to me.
    trying to resolve problems in a faraway land and having to talk to semi-literate people who don’t even seem quite human as they have no compassion or empathy whatsoever. And sometimes no matter how much time and niceness you put into it, you never get any valid information or help. I usually just give up in such cases. But I would like to hear how it all turns out.

  2. You never lack for excitement in your life! I am hopeful that CHP or DMV will tell you that indeed,you bear no responsibility for the car and it will just be auctioned off. Keep us posted.

  3. Did you give her the title and you both signed it? I can’t remember if it was that or you just left her the car.

  4. Wowser, Kyle!…..Upset or not that’s still a load of crap hanging over your head…..As a 32 year veteran working as an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration, I lived with bureaucratic BS……I loved the job and the pilots and some of the people I worked with but was never so happy to retire just to stop that BS from hanging over my head!…..Good Luck!…..As for me n Mary, we are headed to the North Georgia Mountains near the AT as soon as she retires!

  5. I suggest you call the CHP that sent you the notice and if they can’t answer your questions call the DMV to see who really owns the car. Paperwork is what California does best. Good luck.

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