Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today filed lawsuits against two Fairfield, Ohio, car dealerships for failing to deliver motor vehicle titles as required by law.
In the lawsuits, the Attorney General seeks more than $11,000 in reimbursement from Fairgrove Auto Center, which operated as Route 4 Auto Store, and full consumer restitution from Falcon Auto Sales.
"Consumers bought vehicles from these dealerships and then waited months for their titles or never received them," Attorney General DeWine said. "That's not only a bad business practice, it's also a violation of Ohio law. We are filing these lawsuits to recover funds and to prevent future violations."
Fairgrove Auto Center last operated as Route 4 Auto Store at 4805 Dixie Highway in Fairfield. According to the lawsuit, the Attorney General's Office issued $11,492.90 from the Title Defect Recision Fund to resolve consumer complaints against the dealership. In the lawsuit, the Attorney General seeks reimbursement to the fund and charges the dealership and its owner John K. Brezinski with violations of Ohio's consumer laws.
Falcon Auto Sales is located at 6416 Dixie Highway in Fairfield. At times, it did business as Extreme Imports. According to the lawsuit, the dealership failed to file applications for titles within 30 days of assigning or delivering a vehicle, and in some cases, consumers waited two to four months before receiving their titles. The lawsuit charges the dealership and its owner Mohammed Albarbarawi with violating Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act.
In light of the lawsuit, Attorney General DeWine reminds consumers to take the following precautions when buying a used car:
- Research a dealership's reputation. Check with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau for any complaints on file.
- Be sure to get all verbal promises in writing, especially any repairs or warranties.
- Read the fine print. Make sure you understand the purchase agreement and the financing terms. Ask questions about anything you do not understand.
- Understand that "as is" means the car is not covered by warranty. You will be responsible for repairs.
- Take a vehicle for an extended test drive before buying. Ask a trustworthy mechanic to check it for problems.
- Contact the Attorney General if a used car dealership fails to provide you with a title within 30 days of the sale.
- Keep in mind that in most cases, you cannot return a car once you buy it.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General's Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.