A customer’s AMKO Auto complaint resulted in AMKO Auto of Waldorf, Inc. (“AMKO Auto”) paying a $57,563 judgment to Whitney, LLP’s client after prevailing on claims of Fraud and violation of Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act. Our client, age 66, is an African American Vietnam Veteran and retired federal government worker who simply went to AMKO Auto to purchase a used vehicle he found online. He had a terrible experience and felt he was badly taken advantage of.
As discussed below, our client’s AMKO Auto complaint arose after he was tricked into trading in two cars, and receiving only a $500 trade-in credit for the first one. In other words, he was tricked into trading in a second car, and giving the title and keys for that second car to AMKO Auto’s manager, who then kept the car and later sold it. Our client did not receive any trade-in credit from AMKO Auto for the second trade in.
Once our client realized he had been cheated, he called AMKO Auto. Our client testified that he was laughed at and then ignored. Our client then searched Google to find a lawyer to help with his AMKO Auto Complaint, and found Whitney, LLP. Whitney, LLP then filed a lawsuit against the dealer and later agreed to arbitrate with an experienced judge.
Although AMKO Auto denied liability, the Arbitrator agreed with Whitney, LLP and found that AMKO Auto, through its manager, had perpetrated a “fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practice” on our client.
There are two other AMKO car dealerships operating at AMKO Auto Laurel, 3520 Laurel Fort Meade Rd Laurel, MD 20724, and AMKO Auto Temple Hills, Maryland, 4732 St Barnabas Rd Temple Hills, MD 20748.
Whitney, LLP offers Free Claim Evaluations for victims of car dealers.
Table of Contents
Whitney, LLP Represents Car Buyers with AMKO Auto Complaints
If you bought a car from AMKO Auto and have AMKO Auto Complaints, call Whitney, LLP.
Whitney, LLP represents car buyers with AMKO Auto Complaints and complaints against other car dealers, including in Laurel, Maryland and Temple Hills, Maryland. We have brought lawsuits and arbitrations against many of the new and used car dealers in Maryland.
Whitney, LLP’s car dealer fraud lawyers have experience fighting back against dishonest car dealers in a variety of claims. We help our clients obtain compensation, unwind car deals, recover down payments and take legal action to make things right.
Beginning of the AMKO Auto Complaint – Looking for a Used Car
Our client’s initial interaction with AMKO Auto occurred when he drove by one of their locations and spotted a Dodge Super Bee classic muscle car that he liked. He went in and engaged in discussions with AMKO Auto’s manager.
Although he arrived in his 2008 Jaguar, his intention was to trade in his old 2005 Buick Rendezvous for a newer vehicle. He testified that AMKO Auto’s manager told him he could not finance the Dodge Super Bee due to its age, redirecting his attention to a 2014 Jaguar. Our client, who likes Jaguars, was convinced by AMKO Auto’s manager to purchase the 2014 Jaguar instead of the car he was initially interested in.
Despite not intending to trade in his 2008 Jaguar, our client was convinced by AMKO Auto’s manager that trading in both his cars was necessary to secure the desired monthly payment for the new Jaguar he was going to buy.
Our client testified at the arbitration hearing that he told AMKO Auto’s manager that he did not have his glasses, and that the manager then told him to sign in the highlighted areas. He testified that, trusting AMKO Auto’s manager’s guidance, our client signed the contract without his glasses. He also testified that he remembered a piece of paper being put over one page while he was signing.
As part of the purchase process, our client testified he was told to go get the title to his 2008 Jaguar and bring it back to AMKO Auto’s manager, which he did, along with the keys to the2008 Jaguar and the car itself.
Client Testified He was Ignored and Laughed at by AMKO’s Employees
After purchasing the 2014 Jaguar from AMKO Auto, our client began to have mechanical problems with the car he had just purchased. He was not happy with how the mechanical problems were being handled by AMKO Auto and then reviewed his sale paperwork.
Upon reviewing his sales documents, our client discovered that the 2008 Jaguar he was told he had to trade in was not listed on any sales documents.
He became upset and concerned once he realized that he had not received any trade-in credit from AMKO Auto for trading in his second car.
He called AMKO Auto numerous times and asked what happened to his second trade in. He testified he was treated arrogantly, laughed at and hung up by AMKO Auto’s employees.
Whitney, LLP Hired to Represent Car Buyer in AMKO Auto Complaint
Once our client was laughed at and ignored by AMKO Auto’s manager, he searched Google and found the car dealer fraud lawyers of Whitney, LLP.
After speaking with our client and reviewing his documents, it was obvious that something had gone very wrong and that he had not received compensation for the second trade in. It also appeared that our client had been taken advantage of due to his age.
Whitney, LLP Investigates AMKO Auto Not Paying for the Trade In
Our investigation included running a CarFax that showed the 2008 Jaguar had been retitled in Virginia shortly after our client was tricked in providing it to AMKO Auto’s manager.
We then obtained a Virginia title history. The title history revealed that the 2008 Jaguar had been titled in AMKO Auto’s manager’s name with a sales price of $4,000, and then subsequently transferred to another individual for a purported price for $1,700.
Our research indicated the value of the 2008 Jaguar at the time our client was cheated out of it was approximately $11,000.
AMKO Auto’s Defense to Avoid Responsibility Failed
AMKO Auto owner testified that AMKO Auto was the victim of its “rogue” manager, and that AMKO Auto was also a victim of its manager’s deceptive actions. AMKO Auto owner also argued it was not liable for any of our client’s losses. However, if a business could always argue that they were not responsible for the actions of their employee, it would be impossible to hold any business accountable.
The legal reality, which AMKO Auto appeared to ignore during the course of the entire case, is that a business is responsible for the actions of its employee that are taken within the scope of that employee’s responsibilities. A business is responsible for the representations made by their employee or agent in connection with the scope of that employee’s responsibilities.
Arbitrator Finds Fraud and Unfair and Deceptive Conduct by AMKO Auto
The Arbitrator found that AMKO Auto perpetrated fraud and an unfair or deceptive trade practice against our client. The Arbitrator found that AMKO Auto violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act by doing so. The Arbitration Award can be reviewed here.
- Fraud Against AMKO Auto – The basis for the Arbitrator’s finding that AMKO Auto perpetrated fraud against our client was its manager’s actions and misrepresentations in deceiving our client. The arbitrator found there was no corporate intent, apart from its employee’s intent.
- Violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act – Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices against AMKO Auto – The basis for the Arbitrator’s finding that AMKO Auto violated the Maryland Consumer Protection Act against our client was its manager’s actions and misrepresentations in deceiving our client.
$57,563 Awarded for Monetary Loss and Emotional Distress
$11,313 was awarded for financial losses. The Arbitrator found that the financial loss was determined to be the value of the 2008 Jaguar at the time of the trade-in, which was $11,313.
$15,000 was awarded for emotional distress. The Arbitrator found that the emotional distress caused by the incident deeply affected our client, resulting in feelings of embarrassment and ongoing upset for over a year. AMKO Auto Complaint – Pays Whitney, LLP’s Attorney’s Fees
$31,250 was awarded for attorney’s fees and costs. The Arbitrator found that Whitney, LLP’s attorney’s fees incurred in representing our client were reasonable and necessary and that AMKO Auto had to pay the arbitration fee of $1,250.
AMKO Auto Initially Refuses to Pay $57,563
In total, the Arbitrator awarded $57,563 against AMKO Auto, including the award to our client and attorney’s fees. However, AMKO Auto refused for over 90 days to voluntarily pay that amount and attempted to negotiate payment of a lesser amount. Our client was not willing to negotiate at this point.
In order to force AMKO Auto to pay the $57,563 that the Arbitrator awarded, Whitney, LLP filed the necessary documents with the Circuit Court of Charles County, including the Petition to Confirm Arbitration Award. The Court granted our Petition, and then entered the Notice of Recorded Judgement totaling $57,563.
AMKO Auto Finally Pays After Sheriff Goes to the Dealership
It was not until a Sheriff went to AMKO Auto’s dealership to execute the Writ of Garnishment that AMKO Auto finally paid. Had AMKO Auto not paid, a Sheriff would have seized the cash at the dealership, and prevented AMKO from selling any vehicles, with that inventory to be sold at auction to satisfy the judgment.
Without being to sell any vehicles, a car dealer will have financial problems. It was the threat of being prevented from selling any more vehicle that finally forced AMKO Auto to pay the judgment awarded against it.
AMKO Auto Sues Their Own Ex-Manager
AMKO Auto ended up filing a lawsuit against their own ex-manager who they blamed for deceiving our client. They did so in order to recover the money from their manager for the money that AMKO Auto had to pay to our client.
Nonetheless, AMKO Auto was and is responsible for the actions of their owners, managers, salespeople and agents for the actions taken towards customers within the scope of their employment role.
AMKO Auto Settlement Attempts Had Failed
As with many cases involving other car dealers, reasonable efforts to settle the case were made early on. The early settlement efforts were designed to make our client whole, and cover the value of the second trade in.
However, AMKO Auto denied responsibility and did not respond to these early efforts in a way that was considered reasonable by our client, or by Whitney, LLP.
In other words, AMKO Auto could have resolved the case for much less than $57,563, but chose not to, and forced our client to hire Whitney, LLP bring legal action.
AMKO Auto Complaints – Online Reviews
Online Reviews for AMKO dealers can be viewed below.
AMKO Auto Reviews – Yelp
AMKO Auto Review Better Business Bureau (BBB)
AMKO Auto Reviews Google
Whitney, LLP – Lawyers for AMKO Auto Complaints
If you have AMKO Auto Complaints or feel you have a claim against AMKO Auto, contact Whitney, LLP for your Free Case Evaluation.
Whether you purchased a vehicle at AMKO Auto Laurel, Maryland, 4732 St Barnabas Rd Temple Hills, MD 20748, if you have questions or concerns about your purchase, call Whitney, LLP.
Whitney, LLP has years of experience fighting back against new and used Maryland dealerships on a variety of claims that involving down payments, trade-ins, pay offs, pricing, illegal fees, financing problems, repossessions, representations and the behavior of dealer employees.
Prior results are not a guarantee of future results, and all cases are different.Read More