BECKLEY — Two lawsuits were filed against Beckley Buick-GMC Auto Mall for deceptively inducing consumer sales.
The complaints were filed by Michael Thomas and Nina Shorter. Thomas' is just against Beckley Buick-GMC Auto Mall, while Shorter also names The Huntington National Bank as a defendant.
Thomas claims he has a fixed monthly income of less than $1,200 and on May 19, he saw a tent sale set up at Crossroads Mall hosted by Beckley Auto Mall and decided to go to the tent sale.
Thomas found a used 2014 Chevy Silverado and a salesperson began pressuring him to purchase the vehicle, according to his suit.
The plaintiff advised the salesperson that he was on a fixed income and the salesperson went into a motorhome for more than two hours, leaving Thomas out in the sun, according to the suit.
Thomas claims when he attempted to leave due to the rain, another salesman convinced him to stay and said their systems were down but that they would be able to obtain financing for the plaintiff with a low monthly payment.
Several hours later, the salesperson came to Thomas and claimed the system was up again and that he needed to give the authorization to run his credit, according to the suit.
Thomas claims he was not given copies of the documents prior to signing them and had no opportunity to review them.
The defendant then informed him that the title to the vehicle had been transferred to him, according to the suit.
One week later, Thomas claims he received a phone call from Chase Bank to review his loan application and Thomas said he did not know he had completed a loan application.
Thomas claims Chase then informed him that his income was listed as $4,000 per month and went to the dealership to get the dealership to provide accurate information to the bank.
Thomas claims the dealership instead returned his traded-in vehicle and took back the Chevy Silverado.
In her lawsuit, Shorter claims she received a mailer in March containing a "scratch off" card telling her to present the card to a tent sale for a prize, so she went to the tent sale.
Shorter had never purchased a vehicle from a car dealership and was not experienced with sales tactics. Shorter claims a salesperson began pressuring her to purchase a 2017 Chevy Cruze and promised her a good deal.
The plaintiff informed the dealership about her monthly income, which was $949.24 in Social Security and informed them she could not afford much of a car payment, according to the suit.
Shorter claims after closing on the vehicle, she later discovered the car payment was $399.55, which was nearly half of her monthly income.
The defendants falsified her income as $3,200 per month, according to the suit.
Shorter claims when she discovered the monthly payments, she attempted to return the vehicle and was told it was too late and the dealership would not buy back the vehicle from her.
Thomas and Shorter are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are represented by Daniel F. Hedges and Jed Nolan of Mountain State Justice.
Raleigh Circuit Court case numbers; 18-C-484, 18-C-485