October 18, 2021

Wichita applied-auto seller to pay out $21K to settle grievance

A local applied-car or truck organization and its owner have agreed to shell out $20,000 furthermore far more than $1,697 in court docket fees and other expenses to settle a consumer complaint circumstance alleging the enterprise refused to honor implied warranties on their autos — like on a Nissan Altima that a mend shop explained as a “Fred Flintstone” automobile too risky to drive simply because of a hole in its undercarriage.

Thomas Bland II and High-quality Automotive Group LLC II, 3933 S. Broadway in Wichita, denied wrongdoing but agreed to spend the revenue to settle a Kansas Client Safety Act lawsuit filed by the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Business, according to a news launch. An legal professional for the dealer, Todd Shadid of Klenda Austerman law firm, declined to comment Wednesday.

But Bland informed The Eagle he imagined the dealership “went previously mentioned and further than . . . to go well over what the guarantee said.”

“It’s a thing that I just consider . . . was out of our hands,” he reported. “There was practically nothing malicious accomplished by us. We examine in excess of all our cars as greatest we can.”

The district attorney’s place of work filed the go well with against Bland and Top quality Automotive Team following a Wichita guy, who is a veteran and a safeguarded consumer below Kansas legislation, complained that they unsuccessful to fix a hole in the undercarriage of a 2006 Nissan Altima that he acquired very last summer.

The person purchased the auto for $3,440 in cash soon after viewing an ad on Fb boasting it “Runs and drives terrific. A person proprietor, clear title, no mishaps,” according to court docket documents.

The man stopped by the enterprise and check drove the automobile just before the sale, data say. The dealer also claimed it had been inspected.

But a handful of months afterwards, the male was informed by a nearby maintenance shop the place he’d taken the car to repair a “rattling noise” that there was a hole in the undercarriage that had been “covered about by an aged license plate.”

The license plate, in accordance to court docket records, was “very obvious and was appropriate up coming to the oil pan.”

The gentleman took the car or truck subsequent to a collision restore centre, which told him the injury was structural in nature and “too pricey for just a patch.”

The middle mentioned the car was as well hazardous to push in its feeling and explained it as a “Fred Flintstone vehicle” since the driver “could slide as a result of the ground boards,” according to court docket paperwork. The estimated restore charges have been far more than $4,400.

Three times later on, the gentleman drove the car or truck to the used-automobile seller, confirmed a salesperson a cellphone image of the undercarriage destruction and requested for a refund.

He submitted a shopper complaint with the DA’s workplace following the supplier told him they could repair the auto if he compensated $250 but “that was all they could do,” in accordance to court records.

Bland and the employed-car business enterprise claimed they did not know about the hole and denied violating the Kansas Client Defense Act, but “accepted a consent judgment to settle the subject,” the DA’s office environment stated in the information release. They also explained they wouldn’t market the automobile with out evidence that the gap had been fixed and agreed to a yearlong probationary period of time, the DA’s business office suggests.

Sedgwick County District Court Decide Stephen Ternes authorized the consent judgment Tuesday. The dealer agreed to pay $4,697 of the civil penalty and other prices straight away. The other $17,000 is becoming held in abeyance and will be forgiven if the seller doesn’t receive any other issues for the duration of its probationary time period, court documents show.

This isn’t the initial time Bland has entered into a consent judgment to settle allegations. In 2018, he agreed to fork out a judgment in a different case that also alleged consumer security act violations, according to the DA’s workplace.

If you’re contemplating about obtaining a applied car or truck, the DA’s business suggests inquiring concerns about its historical past just before the sale, taking it for an inspection and examining shopping for guides, which presents getting and warranty details.

For more ideas on getting a utilised motor vehicle, go to www.customer.ftc.gov/content articles/purchasing-utilized-vehicle-seller.

Contributing: Carrie Rengers of The Wichita Eagle

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Amy Renee Leiker has been reporting for The Wichita Eagle considering that 2010. She handles criminal offense, courts and breaking news and updates the newspaper’s on line databases. She’s a mom of three and enjoys to read through in her non-get the job done time. Reach her at 316-268-6644 or at aleiker@wichitaeagle.com.