Dealership won't take back wrecked car, suit alleges

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 13, 2011

A man claims a dealership refused to offer him a fair trade after selling him a vehicle that had previously been involved in a collision.

James Acker filed a lawsuit June 3 in Jefferson County District Court against Mike Smith Nissan.

In his complaint, Acker claims he purchased a certified pre-owned 2009 Nissan Altima from Mike Smith Nissan on June 25, 2010. After buying the vehicle, however, Acker discovered that it had been involved in an accident and had been poorly repaired, according to the complaint.

Immediately after his finding, Acker attempted to return the vehicle to Mike Smith Nissan, the suit states. However, instead of accepting the return, Mike Smith Nissan attempted to sell Acker a second Nissan, the complaint says.

"The problem with this deal was that Mr. Acker would have to trade in the first Altima in which he owed $14,368.22 but Mike Smith Nissan would give him a dealer trade in allowance of only $13,000 which meant that Mr. Acker would lose $1,368.22 as well as the original $5,000 down payment on the Altima," the suit states.

Because of Mike Smith Nissan's actions, Acker incurred out-of-pocket costs, lost use of his vehicle, incurred replacement and repair costs, sustained damage to his credit reputation and suffered from a diminished value to his vehicle, according to the complaint.

In his complaint, Acker alleges Mike Smith Nissan violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act by causing confusion as to the certification of goods and services, among other violations.

"Mr. Acker relied on Dealer and Manufacturer's claim that a Certified pre-owned vehicle was of a higher quality than those that were not certified," the complaint says.

In addition, Acker claims Mike Smith Nissan engaged in common law fraud, in negligent misrepresentation and in breach of contract.

In his complaint, Acker seeks economic and actual damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum legal rate, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Antoine L. Freeman of Port Arthur will be representing him.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E190-201

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