COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a lawsuit on Wednesday against a Columbus used car dealer, its owner and its general collections manager for alleged consumer law violations.
Kellie Auto Sales, owner Raed Said and general collections manager Rory C. Bowman allegedly offered "zero percent" interest rates but passed on extra costs to the consumer by inflating the price of the vehicles. The company also allegedly collected large down payments and delivered vehicles to consumers without providing a written agreement stating the consumers' responsibilities to pay.
In some alleged cases, the dealer repossessed vehicles even before consumers missed a payment, as the vehicles were equipped with GPS tracking devices the consumers weren't notified about.
"This used car dealership entered into one-sided financing agreements that made it almost impossible for consumers to afford the payments," DeWine said. "The dealership routinely required consumers to make substantial deposits on vehicles, while failing to clearly tell consumers when the remaining payments were due. Then, when consumers missed a payment, the dealer repossessed the vehicles immediately without notice to the consumers."
The lawsuit alleges that Kellie Auto Sales, Said and Bowman have had multiple violations of the Retail Installment Sales Act, Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act, Consumer Sales Practices Act, and Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Law. DeWine is seeking consumers restitution, injunctive relief and civil penalties.
DeWine's office received more than 1,500 complaints involving used vehicle sales in the first six months of 2011.