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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 08, 2008
Lemon drop costs Fife dealership

McCann Motors agrees to make amends with 79 luxury car buyers

FIFE – Lemon aid is on its way to 79 car buyers whose secondhand Hummers and Cadillac Escalades didn’t come equipped with a must-have feature – a notice that the cars were reacquired by their manufacturer under California’s Lemon Law then resold in Washington.

“The price of prestige probably was too high for some of these buyers who paid up to $50,000 for luxury cars, but may have negotiated differently had they received the required Lemon Law disclosures,” said Consumer Protection Division Chief Doug Walsh.

The Washington Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement today with McCann Motors, in which the Fife dealership agreed to contact the buyers, tell them what happened and offer to work out a suitable resolution. The dealership also agreed to pay $12,000 in state attorneys’ fees and costs. The state’s complaint and settlement were filed today in Pierce County Superior Court.

The Attorney General’s Office claims that McCann Motors bought 79 cars at auction between 2005 and 2007, transported them to Fife and sold them as used on its lot.

Walsh said the new buyers signed paperwork that includes a notice that the cars had been repurchased under a California Lemon buyback law. But they should have also received special disclosures required under Washington law – disclosures that the state contends would have made it more obvious that these cars could have potential problems.

For starters, Washington law requires that a bright yellow flyer be placed in the window which reads, “Lemon Law Resale Notice of Nonconformity or Serious Safety Defect.” The buyers also should have received documents informing them that the car title will include a comment that the vehicle was previously returned to the manufacturer and this may affect the vehicle’s future resale value. The state alleged that failure to provide those disclosures violated Washington’s Lemon Law and Consumer Protection Act.

Walsh said McCann Motors didn’t admit any wrongdoing but was cooperative during the investigation.

Most of the buyers live in Washington, but others live in Georgia, New York, Idaho, Oregon, Alaska and California. McCann is offering buyers $1,000 each if they agree to release all claims. Vehicle owners will receive a check and a letter in the mail. The settlement requires the dealership act in good faith to resolve any disputes and inform the Attorney General’s Office of any unresolved claims.

The cars were sold with the manufacturer’s disclosure of the prior defect and repurchase history. These types of vehicles often come with a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty or the balance of the original factory warranty. By now, most buyers have hopefully discovered any potential issues with their cars, Walsh said. It’s also possible that General Motors may have repaired the cars when they were previously returned and that the new owners may be satisfied with how the cars perform.

DOCUMENTS:

McCann Motors Complaint

McCann Motors Consent Decree

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Media Contacts: Kristin Alexander, Media Relations Manager – Seattle, (206) 464-6432

 

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