Slick Scheme of Alleged Mercedes Dealer Fraud

What happens if a dealer doesn’t use “genuine parts” as advertised?

Dealer fraud lawsuits continue to feed society’s stereotypical image of the sleazy used car salesman out to pull a fast one on unsuspecting car buyers.

Fortunately, consumer protection laws exist to compensate buyers who have fallen victim to any number of auto dealer fraud offenses. Some common examples include:

  • inflating the invoice price
  • bait and switch
  • add-on concealment
  • car misrepresentations
  • prior accidents/flood damage
  • and more.

Following the dismissal in 2016 of a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act lawsuit accusing Mercedes-Benz of alleged fraud, a class action lawsuit with similar complaints followed.

The class action lawsuit included alleged dealer fraud “claims against Autobahn Motors, a Mercedes-Benz dealership owned and operated by Sonic Automotive, a company that operates more than 100 car dealerships in 14 states”.

Among the complaints of the class members are allegations that:

  • Autobahn deceived customers into purchasing what they thought were “genuine Mercedes auto parts” when they were not
  • Autobahn sold used vehicles advertised as reconditioned using genuine Mercedes parts when they weren’t and
  • Autobahn allegedly forced customers to buy Zmax oil additive during standard oil changes—even though it could potentially void warranties and/or cause engine damage.

The plaintiffs allege that Autobahn and Sonic profited significantly from the alleged forced sales of the Zmax product claiming its allegedly manufactured by a company founded by the current chairman of Sonic Automotive.

The classes of the dealer fraud lawsuit include:

  • all consumers serviced by Autobahn between January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2018 and
  • all consumers who bought certified used vehicles from Autobahn between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of auto dealer fraud, Timothy Abeel & Associates can help you. Call our office today for a free consultation.

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