South Shore Used Car Dealership to Cease Operations, Owner to Pay Restitution to Consumers for Selling Unsafe Motor Vehicles
Owner of Auto Number One Failed to Make Promised Repairs; Business Operated in Unlicensed Locations
BOSTON – A South Shore used car business will cease operations and its owner will pay restitution after they were sued for selling unsafe and unreliable used cars, failing to make repairs which were promised or required under warranties, and operating in unlicensed locations, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
“This dealership scammed hard-working Massachusetts residents who were looking for a good deal and sold vehicles that put consumers’ lives, families, and others at risk,” AG Healey said. “Not only were these vehicles dangerous, many of the drivers were left with unreliable or unusable cars and significant debt.”
The consent judgment, entered in Suffolk Superior Court, resolves allegations that Auto Number One, Inc. and its owner Mark Hanna, of Abington, routinely made false representations to consumers that cars were in good working order or would be repaired.
Pursuant to the settlement, Auto Number One will cease all operations in Massachusetts. The company and Hanna will also pay nearly $25,000 in consumer restitution. An additional $85,000 in civil penalties and attorneys’ fees will be suspended pending the defendants’ compliance with the terms of the consent judgment.
According to the AG’s complaint, which was filed in January 2015, Auto Number One frequently sold vehicles that failed to pass inspection and refused to provide refunds or make repairs or promised to make repairs but then did not do so. Additionally, the complaint alleged that Auto Number One retained vehicles during consumers’ seven-day inspection period, so that consumers would be unable to exercise their rights under the Lemon Aid Law.
Consumers reported a variety of issues with their vehicles from Auto Number One, including lack of heat, oil and other fluid leaks, a broken catalytic converter, and transmission issues. Many consumers spent weeks or months trying to get their vehicles repaired, often making multiple unsuccessful repair attempts. Several consumers took their vehicles off the road altogether because they could not get them in safe working order.
Auto Number One has operated out of locations in Weymouth, Quincy, and Abington. The AG’s complaint alleged that Auto Number One advertised and sold vehicles from locations where it was not licensed to do so, including a location on Washington Street in Weymouth and on Adams Street in Quincy. In order to operate as a used vehicle dealership, or to display used motor vehicles for sale, a person must obtain a license from the city or town.
The AG’s Office continues to look into deceptive practices in the auto industry. In September, the AG’s Office sued a Westport used auto dealership for selling unsafe and unreliable vehicles to consumers.
For questions about this case or about the auto industry in general, consumers may call the Attorney General’s consumer hotline at 617-727-8400 or file a complaint with the office.
The matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Ann E. Lynch and Paralegal Sharon Coles of AG Healey’s Western Massachusetts Regional Office and Investigator Anthony Crespi in the AG’s Boston Office.