Mesa Used Car Dealer Settles In Odometer Rollback Case

LCD Digital Odometer Blue Display from 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. [Photo from Wikipedia/Commons by Common Good]

A judgment against a Mesa used auto dealer, Santiago Ramirez Montelon, has been obtained by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office for deceptive practices.

Montelon, owner of Pacific Auto Sales is accused of violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

The judgment bars Montelon from engaging in the business of selling or financing used motor vehicles or owning a used car dealership.

According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, the lawsuit alleged that Montelon altered odometers of approximately 23 vehicles from April 2014 to December 2017. Montelon purportedly advertised the vehicles using false mileage figures on Craigslist and then sold those to unsuspecting Arizona buyers.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO) alleged that Montelon failed to honor the statutorily mandated implied warranty of merchantability for used motor vehicles (also commonly known as the Used Car Lemon Law A.R.S. § 44-1267) and failed to disclose the finance terms for vehicles his dealership financed, including the interest rate and the number of required payments.

The AGO also asserted that Montelon’s sales contracts included impermissible late fee amounts and time limits.

“My administration will not tolerate odometer tampering,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Odometer fraud costs American car buyers over $1 billion a year, and we will hold unscrupulous auto dealers accountable for their deceptive actions.”

The settlement provides $30,000 of restitution for consumers harmed by Montelon’s deceptive practices and up to $80,000 in civil penalties. The Attorney General’s Office has been in contact with eligible consumers.

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