HARRISBURG – Attorney General Michelle A. Henry announced that her office filed a lawsuit against North Hills Auto Mall and its president for deceiving consumers about the conditions of vehicles – which often broke down shortly after sales, or did not pass inspection.
The suit also alleges that the dealership deceived consumers into believing they were purchasing vehicles in good condition and under warranty. In reality, the dealership had classified the vehicles as being sold “as is,” and the “warranty” was actually a limited service contract from a third party.
Pennsylvania law prohibits the sale of vehicles where the dealer knew or should have known about serious issues involving the offered vehicle – even if the vehicle is sold “as is.”
“This is every used cay buyer’s worst fear – paying hard-earned money and realizing soon after that the vehicle is in poor condition,” Attorney General Henry said. “My office has a duty to uphold state law and regulations that prohibit deceptive car dealers from swindling consumers in this fashion, and we will do everything in our power to uphold that duty. Consumers deserve nothing less.”
The Office of Attorney General filed suit this week in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas against North Hills Auto Mall and its president, Regis Mannke.
The lawsuit calls on the court to order Mannke and North Hills Auto Mall to:
- Pay restitution to all consumers who have suffered losses;
- Be permanently prohibited from doing business as a seller of motor vehicles in Pennsylvania or to Pennsylvania consumers, and engage in any practices that violate the Consumer Protection Law, Auto Regulations, the Vehicle Code, and/or the Board of Vehicles Act;
- Pay civil penalties of $1,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Law and $3,000 for each violation involving a consumer age 60 or older.
According to the lawsuit, North Hills Auto Mall also required deposits of at least $500 to secure availability of a vehicle and did not refund the deposit if, for any reason, the sale did not go through. North Hills Auto Mall also allegedly violated the state Auto Regulations by failing to provide consumers with required documentation, such as the purchase agreement and warranty information.
Consumers who believe they or someone they know may have been a victim of North Hills Auto Mall should file a complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection online, by calling 800-441-2555 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Repair facilities, dealers, or anyone else who may have information regarding the alleged business practices of North Hills Auto Mall or Regis Mannke should also contact the Bureau.
The lawsuit was filed by Deputy Attorney General Jaimie George.
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