CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office has settled a lawsuit against a used car dealer alleged repeated violations of state law.
The settlement subjects Shawn Dunfee and his business, Dunfee’s Used Cars in Cabell County to enhanced penalties and increased monitoring.
The lawsuit, the third action taken against his company since 2010, alleged the dealership sold used vehicles with mechanical defects, illegally altered warranties and failed to display car buyer’s guides.
“Protecting consumers against bad business practices is a top priority,” Morrisey said in a statement. “We vigorously enforce our state’s consumer protection laws and work to ensure that businesses in violation of those laws are held accountable for their actions.”
The settlement requires Dunfee to stand behind all warranties, post unaltered buyer’s guides and ensure every vehicle his dealership sells will pass a state safety inspection. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division will monitor compliance with periodic, unannounced checks.
Dunfee was first under investigation in 2010 after the office received complaints from consumers who were sold defective vehicles and then were unable to get necessary repairs because the warranties had been unlawfully modified.
That year, Dunfee entered into an agreement to change his business practices but failed to comply.
The company underwent another investigation in 2015 for the same violations, entered into a second agreement but, again, failed to comply.
Now the owner must pay a civil penalty of $5,000 to resolve the latest allegations, in addition to a $2,500 penalty still owed to the state in relation to the 2015 case, according to the settlement.
Shawn Dunfee also must pay $1,350 in restitution to an affected consumer.
The settlement, entered in Cabell Circuit Court, orders Dunfee to pay restitution and civil penalties by April 30.