INDIANAPOLIS -- Hoosiers should take a "buyer beware" approach when doing business with used car dealers, the office of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill warned Friday.
The advice followed the resolution of two cases where used car dealers failed to deliver titles or provide promised warranties to customers who paid for vehicles.
In Delaware County, Capitol Motors LLC failed to procure warranties for 185 consumers, Hill said.
The business, owned and operated by Naim Mahmoud, advertised that each vehicle it sold came with a three-month or 3,000-mile warranty. But after selling the vehicles, Capitol Motors failed to send payments to a third-party provider, leaving buyers without warranty coverage.
In addition, Capitol Motors failed to deliver valid vehicle titles within 31 days from the date of sale to 22 consumers. Buyers couldn't register or legally drive newly purchased cars and trucks.
The attorney general's office filed a complain, and, on March 27, a Delaware County Circuit Court judge ordered restitution totaling $62,480 for 185 consumers who purchased extended vehicle warranties they never received.
The judgment also requires the defendants to pay civil penalties of $180,500 and state costs of $450, for a total judgment amount of $243,430.
The judgment prohibits Mahmoud from owning, operating or managing another auto dealership in Indiana.
In Allen County, Shaver Motors and its owner, John B. Shaver III, accepted payment from 35 consumers for vehicle service contracts, such as warranties, and failed to forward the customers’ money to the warranty provider.
On March 26, a judge ordered Shaver Motors to pay $65,507 to 37 consumers who purchased extended vehicle warranties that they never received. Shaver was ordered to pay $3,000 to the state for costs associated with the case.