(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against Kellie Auto Sales, its owner, and its general collections manager for multiple violations of consumer law.
“This used car dealership entered into one-sided financing agreements that made it almost impossible for consumers to afford the payments,” Attorney General 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.”
Kellie Auto Sales is a used car dealership located at 101 Phillipi Road in Columbus. According to the lawsuit, the dealership offered "zero percent" interest rates, but passed on extra costs to the consumer by inflating the price of the vehicles.
The lawsuit also alleges that Kellie Auto Sales collected large down payments and delivered vehicles to consumers without providing a written agreement stating the consumers’ responsibilities to pay. In some cases, it repossessed vehicles even before consumers missed a payment. It also equipped its vehicles with GPS tracking devices without notifying consumers.
The lawsuit charges Kellie Auto Sales, owner Raed Said, and general collections manager Rory C. Bowman with violations of the Retail Installment Sales Act, Consumer Sales Practices Act, Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act, and Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Law. In the lawsuit, Attorney General DeWine seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil penalties.
Problems with used vehicle sales consistently rank among the top complaints filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section. In the first six months of 2011, the office has received more than 1,500 complaints involving used vehicle sales.
Attorney General DeWine warns consumers to take the following precautions before buying or financing a vehicle:
- Research dealers’ reputations before doing business with them. Check with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau.
- Read the fine print. Get everything in writing, especially verbal promises. When financing, ask about payment schedules, and make sure you receive a receipt each time you make a payment.
- Take a vehicle for an extended test drive before buying. Ask a trustworthy mechanic to check it for problems.
- Understand that in most cases, you can’t return a car once you buy it.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.
Lisa Hackley 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller 614-466-3840
Copy of complaint against Kellie Auto Sales