90 Day Window for Consumer Victims to be Eligible for Restitution
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro is announcing a $50,892.29 settlement that allows restitution for consumer victims of a Mechanicsburg motor vehicle dealership, New Kingstown Auto, LLC, the owner of the dealership, Harry D. Laughman, and an employee, Dana L. (Blosser) San.
The settlement, in the form of a petition requiring court approval, comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer protection alleging that the defendants:
- advertised used motor vehicles for sale without disclosing the business name and address of the advertiser or the word “dealer”;
- sold a used motorcycle as having 69,000 miles, when in fact the motorcycle had 153,000 miles;
- sold motor vehicles without a valid dealer or salesperson license;
- failed to forward to Penn DOT money and forms submitted by a consumer who purchased a motor vehicle with temporary registration tags in timely manner;
- engaged in lease transactions with consumers that did not include required lease disclosures and were not compliant with applicable laws;
- accepted installment payments from consumers on vehicles without holding the required installment seller license;
- provided a consumer an installment sale contract that did not comply with requirements.
“Unscrupulous business dealers can’t dodge our Bureau of Consumer Protection,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “I’m grateful for their hard work to put a stop to the defendants’ shady practices and deliver results for the people of Pennsylvania. I encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of New Kingstown Auto’s unlawful practices to contact my Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555 or firstname.lastname@example.org within the 90 day window so your complaint can be reviewed.”
One consumer, Richard Ridley of Carlisle, purchased a vehicle from New Kingstown Auto in 2017. Despite assurances from the dealership that they would fix outstanding issues with the car, such as a check engine light and cracked windshield, they did not complete the repairs. Ridley paid his car off early, but was then told by the defendants that he voided his contract and was forced to enter into a new purchase agreement that was unlawfully executed. Ridley is now in line to receive more than $800 in restitution for the repairs he had to pay for himself.
“I was manipulated by New Kingstown Auto every step of the way and provided false information about my car, my lease agreement, and the services the dealership would provide,” said Ridley. “As a result, I paid hundreds of dollars out of pocket on repairs. The experience was incredibly stressful, but I’m grateful to the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection for their hard work to hold this dealership accountable and obtain restitution for consumers like me.”
SOURCE: PA Attorney General press release