Defendant Barred from the Used Car Business
MESA - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced today that his office obtained a judgment against Santiago Ramirez Montelon, owner of Pacific Auto Sales in Mesa, related to violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. The judgment bars Montelon from engaging in the business of selling or financing used motor vehicles or owning a used car dealership.
The State’s lawsuit alleged that Montelon altered odometers of approximately 23 vehicles from April 2014 to December 2017. Montelon purportedly advertised the vehicles using false mileage figures on Craigslist and then sold those to unsuspecting Arizona buyers. The State alleged that Montelon failed to honor the statutorily mandated implied warranty of merchantability for used motor vehicles (also commonly known as the Used Car Lemon Law A.R.S. § 44-1267) and failed to disclose the finance terms for vehicles his dealership financed, including the interest rate and the number of required payments. Additionally, the State asserted that Montelon’s sales contracts included impermissible late fee amounts and time limits.
“My administration will not tolerate odometer tampering,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Odometer fraud costs American car buyers over $1 billion a year, and we will hold unscrupulous auto dealers accountable for their deceptive actions.”
The State’s settlement provides $30,000 of restitution for consumers harmed by Montelon’s deceptive practices and up to $80,000 in civil penalties. The Attorney General's Office has been in contact with eligible consumers.
Assistant Attorneys General Alyse Meislik and Samuel Fox handled this case.
Consent judgment can be found here.
If you believe you have been a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, or outside the metro areas at 1(800) 352-8431. Bilingual consumer protection staff is available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online.