LANSING, MI (WLNS) – There have been 43 complaints so far and the Secretary of State’s Office says they keep coming in from customers at University Motor Mall.
State officials say customer complaints that the dealerships in Lansing and Mt. Pleasant were not issuing licenses or registration, triggered an investigation into the business and a suspension.
We’ve been receiving dozens of calls from customers-and employees.
Christa Lamendola shares another piece to the story the owner’s side as to what happened.
After a suspension from the state and more than forty complaints of customers not getting their titles, one of the owners of University Motor Mall’s attorney says the dealership will *not reopen
“University Motor Mall had to make a decision frankly an upfront and wise decision to wind up their business,” said Edwar Zeineh, representing James Prater.
In fact, Zeineh says the dealerships actually shut down before the suspension- from the state- making the timeline of events a little blurry.
The state says they suspended university motor mall because the dealership could not show titles or proof of sales, while Zeineh says they couldn’t show titles because they were already closed for business.
“Their suspension was because the dealership had in fact closed its doors,” said Zeineh.
“reporter: I read the suspension by the secretary of state’s office and it was because when they went there they could not see the records they could not see the titles, they did not say anything like oh they’re closing their doors, they said it’s because there’s no titles.”
“I think you’re missing the contextual, exactly. The context of somewhat the communication between the state had broken down. I have some frustration of what was inside or contained within that document,” said Zeineh.
Zeineh says he was there when the secretary of state’s office came to the dealership and there wasn’t enough time to provide the documents.
He says the delay may be part of the suspension, but they plan to provide all of the necessary documents to the state to clear things up, and finish closing the dealerships.
But customer complaints did not end at not being issued titles.
The Sec. Of state’s office says on top of title complaints—one of those complaints was for problems with a warranty.
Something a previous employee says was a constant problem with customers.
The employee, who wished to remain anonymous, says University Motor Mall promised warranties to countless customers but never gave it to them on paper.
Our source says the dealership did this to charge customers more money for repairs.
The attorney for owner James Prater says he cannot comment on those accusations but says any current warranties are still binding.
The attorney also addressed employee complaints that they had not been paid since the dealership shut its doors.
He says every employee will be paid the money they are entitled to, and the payments are being processed.
In the meantime, the business is looking to wrap up operations in future meetings with the state. And says, although they are no longer doing business, the customers are still their top concern, and they plan to
“Rest assure, it’s just a matter of time the secretary of state has parameters in place to protect consumers to allow those consumers to continue to drive the vehicle in a lawful fashion while the paperwork catches up,” said Zeineh.
Zeineh says he is not aware of any pending lawsuits at this time.