NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman claims her sport-utility vehicle has been booted five times in the past year — and each time, it was done by mistake.
“It’s just a nightmare. Such an inconvenience,” Christine Barnor told CBS2’s Weijia Jiang.
Barnor thought she was the only victim.
“I was watching your story, and I realized, ‘Oh my God. The same situation is happening to me,'” she said.
The same thing happened to a Queens woman four times because someone with the same license plate racked up fines and crews were confusing the two.
“I’m mad. Worse than frustrated,” Brigitta Wareham said.
After Wareham’s story that aired on CBS2 in May, the city’s Department of Finance, which oversees the booting program said, “Our agency is instituting brand new measures to reduce the occurrence of human error.”
Barnor was booted twice after that, most recently on Monday. She leases a car from GM Financial.
She lives in New Jersey where leased vehicles are registered under the company’s name, not the lessee’s. The situation is unlike that of New York and Connecticut, where lessees must register a car in their own name.
When owners owe $350 or more in unpaid parking tickets, all of their cars are subject to the boot in New York City.
So when the owner is a leasing company like GM, any of their cars registered in New Jersey could be locked, even if only one lessee owes money.
“You would think a multi-billion dollar company would have done something to prevent this from happening,” Barnor said.
GM said other leasing companies are having the same problem in New York City, and blamed the crews doing the booting; either sheriff’s deputies or marshals.
When the car in question is leased they’re supposed to run the license plate as a safeguard to make sure the driver is liable.
“It doesn’t take a genius to do that. A first grader could do it,” Barnor said.
Barnor said someone failed to do their job.
“All the time. All the time. No one cares. They just want to collect their money at any cost,” she said.
Barnor is still waiting for GM to reimburse her for the cost of dealing with the boot. She plans to sue the city for causing so much anxiety.
The Sheriff told CBS2’s Jiang that in light of Barnor’s case he sent out a strongly worded memo to everyone involved in the booting process.