PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced an addendum to a consent judgment on Tuesday that requires a Tempe transmission shop to cease operations.
A petition was filed by the state in February alleging that Transplant Plus Transmissions violated a July consent judgment by failing to respond to all consumer complaints filed with the attorney general or the Better Business Bureau within two weeks. Transplant Plus failed to respond in a timely manner to 12 BBB complaints since July.
The company also allegedly failed to register its trade name with the Arizona secretary of state by Sept. 5 and allegedly failed to change warranty language that claimed that the company could repossess a customer's vehicle if the customer tried to stop or reverse a payment.
Other language that was allegedly not changed included that transmissions were non-returnable after 30 days, that the company could charge a 20 percent restocking fee on returns and that refunds under the warranty were at the company's discretion.
A consent judgment against Transplant Plus was first obtained in July after Horne filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Garo Enterprises Inc., conducting business under the name Transplant Plus Transmissions, and Robert Brady, its principal.
"This is the third strike for Transplant Plus, and as a result this company will be out of business within 60 days," Horne said.
Transplant Plus was previously sued by the state for consumer fraud violations in 2005 and 2011.
Under the terms of the amended consent judgment, Transplant Plus is required to cease advertising and accepting new transmission and automobile repair work as of May 31. The defendants then have 60 days to complete existing work currently in the shop or return vehicles to their owners and refund monies paid. Additionally, corporate dissolution papers must be filed the the Arizona secretary of state within 60 days. Failure to shut down will result in a $250,000 civil penalty payment.
Robert Brady is permanently prohibited from owning or managing any transmissions shop within Arizona and from owning or managing an auto repair business for a period of 10 years.
The addendum also requires Transplant Plus to pay $27,835.42 in restitution to consumers who have filed complaints and $11,925 in costs and attorney's fees.