Wichita employed-automobile dealer to pay out $21K to settle complaint

A local made use of-motor vehicle business and its proprietor have agreed to pay back $20,000 moreover far more than $1,697 in court docket costs and other fees to settle a client grievance circumstance alleging the enterprise refused to honor implied warranties on their automobiles — including on a Nissan Altima that a repair service shop explained as a “Fred Flintstone” vehicle much too risky to generate since of a hole in its undercarriage.

Thomas Bland II and Top quality Automotive Group LLC II, 3933 S. Broadway in Wichita, denied wrongdoing but agreed to spend the revenue to settle a Kansas Shopper Defense Act lawsuit filed by the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, according to a news release. An attorney for the dealer, Todd Shadid of Klenda Austerman legislation business, declined to remark Wednesday.

But Bland told The Eagle he believed the dealership “went higher than and over and above . . . to go properly around what the warranty mentioned.”

“It’s a thing that I just consider . . . was out of our fingers,” he claimed. “There was practically nothing malicious done by us. We look at about all our autos as finest we can.”

The district attorney’s workplace submitted the accommodate against Bland and Top quality Automotive Group soon after a Wichita person, who is a veteran and a safeguarded shopper less than Kansas law, complained that they unsuccessful to correct a gap in the undercarriage of a 2006 Nissan Altima that he acquired past summer time.

The gentleman bought the car for $3,440 in cash right after observing an advertisement on Facebook professing it “Runs and drives great. A person owner, clear title, no mishaps,” in accordance to court records.

The man stopped by the business enterprise and take a look at drove the car or truck right before the sale, information say. The seller also claimed it had been inspected.

But a couple of months later, the person was told by a regional mend store where he’d taken the motor vehicle to deal with a “rattling noise” that there was a gap in the undercarriage that experienced been “covered above by an outdated license plate.”

The license plate, according to court docket records, was “very obvious and was proper up coming to the oil pan.”

The guy took the vehicle up coming to a collision restore centre, which advised him the destruction was structural in mother nature and “too high priced for just a patch.”

The heart explained the auto was as well harmful to push in its opinion and described it as a “Fred Flintstone vehicle” because the driver “could drop as a result of the flooring boards,” in accordance to court docket paperwork. The approximated repair costs have been a lot more than $4,400.

A few days later on, the gentleman drove the automobile to the utilized-motor vehicle supplier, confirmed a salesperson a cellphone image of the undercarriage problems and asked for a refund.

He filed a client criticism with the DA’s office just after the seller explained to him they could fix the motor vehicle if he paid out $250 but “that was all they could do,” in accordance to courtroom records.

Bland and the applied-auto organization explained they didn’t know about the gap and denied violating the Kansas Customer Defense Act, but “accepted a consent judgment to settle the make a difference,” the DA’s office environment said in the information release. They also said they would not offer the car without evidence that the gap experienced been fastened and agreed to a yearlong probationary interval, the DA’s workplace claims.

Sedgwick County District Court docket Choose Stephen Ternes authorised the consent judgment Tuesday. The supplier agreed to pay out $4,697 of the civil penalty and other fees quickly. The other $17,000 is being held in abeyance and will be forgiven if the supplier doesn’t get any other issues all through its probationary period of time, court documents display.

This isn’t the 1st time Bland has entered into a consent judgment to settle allegations. In 2018, he agreed to pay a judgment in a further case that also alleged customer security act violations, according to the DA’s place of work.

If you’re imagining about obtaining a employed car or truck, the DA’s place of work suggests inquiring concerns about its heritage before the sale, getting it for an inspection and examining acquiring guides, which supplies getting and warranty information.

For more strategies on getting a applied vehicle, check out www.shopper.ftc.gov/article content/shopping for-utilised-vehicle-dealer.

Contributing: Carrie Rengers of The Wichita Eagle

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Amy Renee Leiker has been reporting for The Wichita Eagle because 2010. She handles criminal offense, courts and breaking information and updates the newspaper’s on the web databases. She’s a mom of three and loves to examine in her non-do the job time. Arrive at her at 316-268-6644 or at [email protected]

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