Rusted 'new' car leads to suit against Mike Smith

By David Yates | May 14, 2007

"An elderly gentleman" says the "new" car Mike Smith Autoplex, Inc. sold him was damaged by floodwater. He claims the dealer knew the bottom of the car had been rusted out but fraudulently and deceptively sold the vehicle as if it were in flawless condition.

John Read filed his deceptive trade practices lawsuit against Mike Smith and General Motors with the Jefferson County District Court on May 10. He is suing for around $65,000 in damages.

According to the plaintiff's petition, on Sept. 26, 2006, Read purchased a 2006 Buick from the Beaumont dealership.

"Defendants represented the vehicle as new, safe, dependable and fit for the purpose for which it was marketed and sold," the suit said, adding that Read purchased the vehicle for $21,397.89 and additionally purchased $189 worth of after-market accessories.

"When plaintiff went to have the after-market accessories installed on his 'new' car, hew was shown by the mechanic that the vehicle was rusting out underneath�advising him to get something done about the problem quickly�or the vehicle would become unsafe," the suit said.

Read alleges that he took the car back to the dealership. The Mike Smith mechanic "changed some bolts" and told him there was nothing more he could do to repair the vehicle, the suit said.

Read says it immediately became clear to him that the defendants had deceptively misrepresented the condition of the vehicle. "Plaintiff would show that the vehicle, although sold as 'new,' was most likely either used or floodwater damaged," the suit said.

Citing the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act, Read claims the defendants had actual knowledge of the vehicles condition; therefore, he is entitled to around $65,000 in damages, three times the amount of the car's purchased price.

He is represented by attorney Brandon Monk of the Port Arthur law firm McPherson, Monk, Hughes, Bradley, Wimberley & Steele.

Court assignment is pending.

Case No. B179-284

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