State says Brooks Biddle neglected to provide “Lemon Law” resale notices
SEATTLE – Washington’s Lemon Law requires that dealers inform buyers if a car has ever been returned to a manufacturer. The Attorney General’s Office, which enforces the law, says a Bothell Chevrolet dealer neglected more than once to provide the required disclosures.
Brooks Biddle Chevrolet violated a November 2009 settlement when it sold a 2002 GMC Yukon on Jan. 16, said Consumer Protection Division Chief Doug Walsh. The dealership failed to inform the buyer that the SUV had been returned to the manufacturer under a Lemon buyback program then resold at a California auction.
“Consumers deserve to know whether a car may have potential problems,” Walsh said. “An informed shopper may still buy the vehicle, but likely would negotiate differently had they received the required Lemon Law disclosures. Lemon buyback cars have branded titles, so the resale value is lower.”
Washington’s law requires that a bright yellow “Lemon Law Resale Notice” be placed on a car window. Buyers must also receive 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.
Brooks Biddle paid $4,000 in legal costs and attorneys’ fees to resolve the state’s earlier allegations that the company failed to provide the appropriate forms to 21 buyers. That settlement also required the dealership to make a good-faith effort to resolve disputes.
The new agreement filed in King County Superior Court requires Brooks Biddle to pay $3,140 in civil penalties and an additional $2,750 in legal costs and attorney fees. If the company fails to comply with the law, the state can seek a $25,000 penalty for each future violation.
November 2009 Consent Decree
August 2010 Stipulated Judgment
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