Georgia Auto Fraud Victory – Emissions
A client from Jonesboro, GA contacted our office in regards to her purchase of a 2004 Kia Spectra. The dealer had told our client that nothing was wrong with the vehicle, representing the vehicle as a good running, clean vehicle. Our client was never told prior to her purchase that the vehicle did not have a valid passing emissions certificate, meaning that the vehicle could not lawfully be driven or registered for use in Georgia. Our client brought her vehicle back to the dealer and demanded her money back because the check engine light was on and the hood on the vehicle flew up and shattered her windshield. The dealership told our client that they would repair the vehicle and acquire a passing emissions certificate. Right after the dealer returned our client’s vehicle to her, the check engine light came on again. Our client took the vehicle to her local auto zone to have them read the error code, only to discover that the port for emissions testing had been disabled.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Used Car Dealer regulations do not allow for used car dealers to sell a car to a resident of a clean air county if the car does not have a then valid passing emissions certificate. In addition, the dealer also never informed our client that her vehicle carried a branded title after being declared a total loss in another state. Selling the car without disclosing the emissions or branded title was a violation of Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act.
Our client had paid $2,383.00 in payments for the vehicle and $394.65 for a mechanic check out fee. Our client was without her car that she had made payments on for 11 months. Her transportation costs due to being without her vehicle were $400.
Attorney T. Michael Flinn represented this client in the Superior Court of Fulton County. Our client was awarded damages on all four counts of the complaint. There was a total of $8,177.69 in actual damages. The Court found that the dealer had acted in violation and intent in violating the Act, and therefore trebles the actual damage award. This means that the actual damages of $8.177.69 were tripled to equal $24,533.07. The court also found that our client was entitled to attorney’s fees, which means more money for our client.
If you think you think you have been a victim of auto fraud or are resident of a clean air county and were sold a vehicle without a passing emissions certificate, please do not hesitate to contact our office by calling 770-832-0300 or visit our website and use our online form to request a free case review of your lemon car claim.