Arizona Attorney General says Valley auto shop made false promises to consumers

A Valley car dealer is accused of selling cars with hazardous defects and hidden collision damage unknown to its customers.
 
The Arizona Attorney General's office announced Tuesday a judgment against Prieto's Auto Sales in Phoenix.
 
It bars the used car dealer from what the AG's office calls "deceptive and unfair acts."
 
We know about Prietos after trying to help Monica Tsosi get her car last year. Monica said she paid the dealer more than $5000 for it, but said Prietos told her there were some repairs that needed to be made.
 
And Monica never did get that car. Instead, she got a piece of paper promising her money back. However, Monica didn't get her money back. So, we visited Priesto's Auto Sales, and took Monica with us.
 
Here's how it went:
 
Dealer: "You guys need to leave."
 
Joe: "You are going to tell me why you're not giving her money back.?
 
Dealer: "No, there's nothing to say."
 
Joe: "Don't touch me."
 
The worker tried forcing us out as we were leaving the dealership. Since then, other consumers have complained to us about Prietos.
 
One said "they won't give me my plates for my truck."
 
And she said Prietos told her "they would fix all of the voiced concerns." She said that did not happen.
 
Among other things, the AG's office accused Prietos and owners, Gustavo and Rita Prieto, of:
 
-Selling vehicles without proper titles
-Making false repair promises
-Keeping refundable deposits. 
-Failing to abide by warranties
-Hiding damage
 
Prietos must pay $15,716 to consumers and $80,000 in civil penalties.
 
But is it enough of a deterrent?
 
Back in 2006, the AG's office announced a similar settlement with the dealer.
 
It asked for $54,000 for consumers. 
 
At that time, Prietos agreed to "not sell vehicles with any substantial defects" and to "make promised repairs before a new owner takes possession."
 
They are similar to allegations in today's announced judgment eight years later.
 
Read the Arizona Attorney General action involving Prieto's Auto Sales.
 
Monica was able to get her money back through the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions , which regulates the dealers.
 
Need my help? Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers live Wednesdays and Fridays 11-1 at 1-855-323-1515 or leave a message anytime.
 
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