AG Brnovich Obtains Judgment Against Used Car Dealer in Odometer Rollback Case
PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) 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. 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.