Ohio AG Sues GMAC, Midway Motor on Odemeter Rollback Violations

January 10, 2005

Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro has filed suit against General Motors Acceptance Corp. (GMAC) and Midway Motor Sales Inc. The lawsuit alleges that Midway Motor Sales rolled back odometers of motor vehicles in the state of Ohio, violating Ohio’s Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act. These vehicles, owned by GMAC, were ultimately sold with inaccurate odometer readings.

“My office will not tolerate such acts of deception upon consumers,” Petro said. “Misrepresenting the mileage of these automobiles that ultimately are resold to consumers at inflated prices is an unfair and deceptive act under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and violates the Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act.”

Upon receipt of information from GMAC, Petro’s investigation reportedly revealed that Midway Motor’s rollback scheme began as early as 2000 and continued into 2004. Midway had a lease agreement with GMAC to lease GMAC cars for two years with an allowance of 30,000 miles.

Midway, however, leased the cars to a business with a two-year allowance of 60,000 to 80,000. At the end of two years, the cars were returned to Midway with the higher mileage reflected on the odometers. Upon the vehicles’ return, Midway reportedly altered the odometers in order to reflect the typical mileage for leased vehicles under GMAC’s 30,000-mile lease agreement. These vehicles were reportedly then sold by either Midway or GMAC with lesser or inaccurate odometer readings, as identified by the transfer documents.

Midway is located in New Waterford, Ohio. The vehicles were sold at different locations, including the Columbus Fair Auction in Franklin County.

Petro is asking the judge to prevent GMAC or Midway from any further violations of the Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act. He is also asking that Midway and GMAC reimburse or otherwise fully compensate all consumers who received motor vehicles with altered odometers in the amount of three times their actual damages, or $1,500, whichever is greater. Civil penalties for violations of both acts are being sought.

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