Ariz. AG announces $686k judgment against auto shop

By Bryan Cohen | Oct 26, 2012

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has announced a $686,582 judgment against the Phoenix-based Sun Valley Towing after the company allegedly engaged in deceptive business practices.

Thursday's judgment against Sun Valley Towing LLC and Kunselman Industries LLC awarded the maximum available civil penalties of $590,000 and $67,580.59 in restitution to consumers. Horne's office filed the lawsuit against Sun Valley Towing after receiving 59 consumer complaints about the towing and auto repair business.

"This is the second judgment to result from our ongoing undercover auto sting operations." Horne said. "The many serious complaints we received from Sun Valley customers were validated when Sun Valley Towing was caught red handed charging for repairs they never performed."

Horne's office conducted a sting operation in which an automotive repair expert shut off the inertia fuel cutoff switch of a vehicle before calling Sun Valley Towing for service. A mechanic at Sun Valley Towing allegedly reset the inertia fuel cutoff switch to correct the problem before Tim Kunselman, the shop's owner, charged the undercover operator $340.00 for replacing a fuel pump. The unnecessary repair was allegedly never even performed.

Sun Valley Towing's customers alleged that the business failed to make promised repairs, returned the vehicles stripped of parts in the same or worse mechanical condition, kept vehicles for months or years, and lied to customers about the status of vehicles and supposed refunds.

The court additionally issued a permanent injunction to prohibit Sun Valley Towing from engaging in vehicle service, vehicle sales, vehicle repair, tow operations and auto repair. The state also received costs and attorney fees.

The lawsuit continues against Rosemary and Tim Kunselman, the principals of Sun Valley Towing.

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