State Settles with Defunct Dealer for $450,000 Featured

By Staff Writer December 19, 2018

A Massachusetts used-car dealership and its former owner will pay $450,000 to resolve allegations that the dealership sold unsafe and defective vehicles.

The consent judgment settles a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general’s office against now-defunct F&R Auto Sales Inc. and its former owner Francis Correiro. The complaint alleged F&R Auto and Correiro sold unsafe and defective vehicles between August 2012 and December 2016 when the business closed. 

The AG’s office began its investigation after receiving more than 100 individual consumer complaints alleging deceptive auto sales and practices by F&R Auto, including the routine sale of defective vehicles and the failure to provide proper transactional documents to consumers.

The investigation revealed the defendants frequently misrepresented to buyers that vehicles were safe and reliable in order to make sales. When consumers discovered issues with their vehicles, the dealership would frequently dismiss them or refuse to make repairs.

The investigation found that in addition to selling defective vehicles, F&R Auto and Correiro failed to assign titles to vehicles or provide consumers with copies of the appropriate documents relating to the sale of vehicles.

F&R Auto and Correiro also failed to safeguard consumers’ information, including Social Security and financial account numbers.

Under the terms of the settlement with the AG’s Office, F&R Auto and Correiro will pay $400,000 to affected consumers and $50,000 in penalties, and another $50,000 in suspended penalties for any violation of the settlement. The settlement also permanently prohibits Correiro from selling unsafe and defective cars and requires him to notify the AG’s office if he ever participates in the sale of used vehicles again.

Last modified on Wednesday, 19 December 2018 14:31

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