SAINT CHARLES, MO–(Marketwire – Sep 13, 2012) – The American Arbitration Association rendered a decision awarding a full refund of the purchase price of an automobile to a consumer where the car dealer deceived the consumer during the sales transaction. The hearing on whether the dealer violated the Merchandising Practices Act was held on August 9, 2012 at the St. Charles County Courthouse.
The consumer, Bronson Bush, purchased a 2005 Ford F-150 from Geoff Rogers Motor Company on Veteran’s Memorial Parkway in St. Charles, Missouri. Multiple unsuccessful repair attempts immediately after purchase forced Mr. Bush to seek a more reliable vehicle. Upon attempting to trade the vehicle, another dealership informed him that the truck was a “lemon law buyback,” and offered him less than half of what he paid. Mr. Bush called the national consumer protection law firm Krohn & Moss, Ltd., who agreed to represent him free of charge.
Geoff Rogers stated it did not know the vehicle was a lemon law buyback and that it had no duty to disclose the “lemon law” history of the vehicle. The consumer’s expert witness, James Ray, a certified inspector with the International Vehicle Appraiser’s Network, disagreed: “Any professional automotive expert could see the evidence of the lemon law buyback by noting the decal installed by Ford Motor Company when verifying the vehicle’s VIN.” In rejecting Geoff Rogers’ position and agreeing with Mr. Ray, the arbitrator ruled that the company “should have known about the Lemon Law buy-back status of this vehicle, or discovered this fact through reasonable due diligence.”
The consumer’s attorney, Adam C. Maxwell of Krohn & Moss, Ltd., was pleased with the result: “Dealerships have superior knowledge about the products they sell, and this decision reinforces the fact that the law requires dealerships to be forthcoming about the history of the vehicles they sell.”