NewsLet ABC15 Know


Elio Motors buyer wants money back

Posted at 6:30 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 20:30:37-05

It's supposed to get 84 miles a gallon and cost around $7,000.

That's why Jim DeForest spent a thousand dollars.

It's a deposit, to be one of the first in line for the car/motorcycle hybrid put out by Elio Motors. That was nearly 5 years ago.

Today, the Phoenix-based startup still hasn't produced any cars for sale.

Jim says he's tired of the waiting and excuses.

"I'm 75 years old. I don't have time to piddle around. I want my money back," said Jim.

But owner Paul Elio says that's not going to happen.

"These dollars aren't sitting around to give back to them because we're spending it creating a business," said Elio two years ago.

Recently, he again stated that people had a choice of giving non-refundable deposits to get a better reservation. Or they could give refundable deposits that he says have been refunded when requested.

Elio today, is as optimistic as when I spoke with him in 2015.

Although he's fighting a Louisiana fine for overselling and accepting non-refundable deposits without a license, he's confident he'll win the appeal and his vehicle will be produced.

Elio says it's been tough to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars it takes to begin production.

He says he understands buyer's concerns.

So far about 65,000 people have put money down for a car.

But he says this year should be the year to raise the money and he eyes production possibly for late 2019.

It's something, Jim says, he's heard too many times before and just wants his money back.

"This is non-refundable if I get a product I think. But if I don't get a product, I didn't give them $1000 to go have a party," said Jim.