George Harte Nissan, a West Haven, CT car dealership, is accused of selling an unsafe car to the family of a Connecticut serviceman who was about to be deployed to Afghanistan.
According to a federal lawsuit filed on June 26, 2014, Nebiyou Masresha, a member of the Connecticut National Guard, wanted to obtain a safe and reliable car for his wife and their young son before he left for a one-year tour of duty.
Masresha and his wife, Treatta Glasper-Masresha, allege that, in August of 2012, they were steered by a dealership employee to a used Nissan Altima that had a sticker claiming that it was a “Nissan Certified Pre-Owned” vehicle.
They claim in the lawsuit that although the employee emphasized that the car, as a certified pre-owned vehicle, had been inspected and met stringent standards, the Altima had previously been in a significant accident and had not been properly repaired.
The lawsuit also alleges that, earlier this month, after they were advised by an independent auto body expert that the car was not safe to drive, they returned it to the dealership.
The next day, however, the dealership returned the car to the Masreshas’ residence, leaving it in front of their home without license plates.
The dealership did not respond when contacted for a comment on the suit by CtWatchdog on Friday.
The lawsuit followed a refusal by the dealership to refund their money and pay damages. The lawsuit seeks actual and punitive damages in an unspecified amount, and the Masreshas have claimed the case for a jury trial.
“It is deplorable for a car dealership to sell an unsafe car to anyone. It is especially reprehensible to sell an unsafe car to someone who is serving his country and trying to arrange reliable transportation for his family while he is overseas,” said the Masreshas’ attorney, Daniel Blinn of Consumer Law Group in Rocky Hill, CT.,. “Unfortunately, my office has seen many instances of dealerships selling damaged cars as “certified pre-owned”. Blinn recommends that consumers obtain an independent inspection before buying a used car, even if it has been certified by a dealership.
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