Miller returns to the used-car-dealership lawsuit well

Legal News Line Jan. 26, 2007, 10:40am

Tom Miller

DES MOINES -- Just over two months after settling his last lawsuit against an auto dealership, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has launched his next one. Miller yesterday filed a joint lawsuit - with the Iowa Department of Transportation - against Davenport-based Aardvark Auto Service and Sales and related dealerships and principals, alleging consumer fraud and other violations. A District Court judge reviewing the petition issued an injunction to stop the defendants from "engaging in the deceptive, misleading and unfair practices" alleged in the lawsuit. Last November Miller settled for $300,000 a lawsuit he'd filed two months prior against Ohio-based auto dealership Gunning & Associates Marketing, Inc. Miller's suit charged that the company employed "misleading advertising during so-called sales events." In the current case, Miller alleges that Aardvark targeted low-income consumers with little or no credit history with offers of cars financed with easy terms. In fact, Miller alleged, payments were often higher than advertised and cars were low-quality. If found guilty of Consumer Fraud Act violations, Aardvark could be hit with penalties of up to $40,000 per violation. The suit also asks the court to halt the "alleged unlawful practices" and "order consumer restitution."

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