Auto Dealership Caught In Deceptive Trade Practices Act

People in Arlington, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Burleson, Dallas, Fort Worth, Irving, Mesquite, Garland, and all over the State of Texas buy cars. When they buy cars they buy them from dealerships rather than individuals 95% of the time. Have you ever wondered if those dealerships are deceitful in their dealing with you. The answer is yes, and in fact a lot of people are convinced the dearlerships are not honest.
Here is a victory for the books, and car purchasers across the nation. The Kansas City Star ran an article on August 12, 2010. The article was written by Meredith Rodriguez and was titled, “Couple Wins More Than $1 Million in Court Case Against Owner of Defunct Auto Dealership.”
The article tells of a Kansas jury in Clay County, Kansas, that awarded a Harrisonville couple more than $1 million in damages against Chad Franklin and his defunct Suzuki dealership in North Kansas City.
The jury found that Chad Franklin Auto Sales North violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act when it lured Glenna and Max Overbey into buying a Suzuki with a too-good-to-be-true promotion. It turns out it was too good to be true.
The Overbey’s responded to an advertisement in 2007 that promised they could pay $49 per month for six months on a new Suzuki and at the end of the period trade in their car for another to keep the same low monthly payments. This was stated by their attorney. But when the Overbey’s returned at the end of six months, they alleged, the dealership did not honor the agreement, and their monthly payment rose to $719.
Noteworthy here, is that atleast thirty five other people made the same complaints about this promotion.
The attorney for the dealership and Franklin did not have any comments to make.
This article tells us that similar lawsuits have been filed against Chad Franklin Suzuki dealerships in North Kansas City and Kansas City, Kansas, but this case was the first one that came to a judgment.
The jury awarded $76,000 in actual damages and $250,000 in punitive damages against Chad Franklin National Auto Sales North, and $4,500 in actual damages and $1 million in punitive damages against Franklin.
In Texas, a dealership doing something similar to what was done in Kansas would be liable for violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. There could be several provisions of this act that a consumer could file suit for relief but the most obvious would be Section 17.46(b)(9) which says it is a violation to advertise goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised.
Section 17.50 sets out some of the relied that a consumer who prevails in one of these cases is entitled to receive.
Advice for anyone who thinks they have been deceived by a business would be to seek out the assistance of an attorney who can handle Deceptive Trade Practice claims.