NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - Attorney General Andy Beshear's office has filed a lawsuit against Auto Plaza USA.
According to the lawsuit, the Nicholasville dealership violated Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act by defrauding more than 1,400 customers.
“Every Kentuckian deserves an honest and fair car buying experience,” Beshear said. “Today’s action sends a strong message that my office will defend Kentucky families against bad actors and hold dishonest businesses accountable.”
WKYT's investigation into customer complaints against Auto Plaza USA started in May when a former customer said the Department of Revenue billed him for unpaid title taxes that he believed had already been paid. Since then, hundreds of former customers have contacted WKYT with the same concerns. "I never would have thought we'd be in a mess like this," Kayla Shearer told WKYT's Miranda Combs from her office in Mt. Vernon. She and her husband bought a used car from Auto Plaza USA in Nicholasville two years ago. "I was eight months pregnant, due in October, and we just wanted a bigger family vehicle," she recalled.
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"WKYT's investigation was very thorough. It brought to light certainly some of the real stories of people and how they were harmed. And it showed how it was a community wide issue that people were being harmed," Attorney General Beshear said. "We certainly were able to receive more complaints in our office which helped us move forward in the lawsuit because of that coverage."
Beshear wants $465,000 from Auto Plaza USA for customers who paid the extra taxes. He also wants $685,000 because Auto Plaza the lawsuit also alleges the defendant charged each customer a $489 fee for preparation of documents and services that the dealership did not correctly perform.