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Press Release

AG Shapiro Files Action to Stop ‘Bad Actor’ Cumberland County Motor Vehicle Dealer, Salesman

December 24, 2019 | Topic: Consumers

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a new legal action today against a Cumberland County used-car dealer who has repeatedly violated automotive and consumer laws. The motion for contempt, filed in Cumberland County Court, says New Kingstown Auto, Mechanicsburg, and its sole owner and salesman, Harry D. Laughman, have continued their long history of non-compliance with Pennsylvania dealership laws and should be shut down.

In the six months since the dealer and owner were ordered to cease their illegal business practices, and pay restitution of $25,617.29 to consumers, AG Shapiro said the defendants have failed to meet half of the required restitution payments and sold at least one vehicle that was not roadworthy.

“This business’s ongoing, blatant disregard for the law is a bumper argument for our demand that the Court of Common Pleas hit the brakes on the dealership and its owner’s ability to sell more vehicles,” Shapiro said. “As Attorney General, I will work to keep consumers on a healthy highway and bad actors, like this company, off the road.”

On Oct. 23, a Lancaster County consumer paid $2,000 for a car after Laughman insisted it would pass state inspection. The day after she purchased it, however, the consumer crashed the vehicle after it started shaking and spun out of control off the road. An auto repair shop later said the vehicle could not pass inspection without $1,435 in repairs.

The defendants refused to resolve the consumer’s complaint claiming the dangerously defective vehicle was sold “as is.”

In 2016, the Office of Attorney General sued New Kingstown and Laughman to cease their use of blind dealer ads that misrepresented mileage, stop selling vehicles without appropriate licenses, obtain an installment seller license, and transmit title and tags.

To resolve the violations, the court approved a consent petition six months ago and ordered restitution and for the company to begin legal business practices.

“Our Office will fight to enforce the agreements it enters into to protect Pennsylvanians from unscrupulous auto dealers,” AG Shapiro said. “We actively monitor compliance with all of the agreements we enter into with businesses and will take action if they are violated.”

The motion seeks $27,052.52 in restitution for consumers, civil penalties and, after the court finds the defendants in contempt, a ban from selling cars in the Commonwealth.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Juan P. Sánchez filed the motion in the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas.

Anyone who feels they were victimized by New Kingstown Motors or Laughman is encouraged to file a complaint at www.attorneygeneral.gov/submit-a-complaint or contact the Office of Attorney General at: 800-441-2555 or scams@attorneygeneral.gov.

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