PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A Valley used car dealership is paying out thousands of dollars to customers who unknowingly purchased cars involved in serious wrecks, but they were never told so.
One customer says he purchased a car from the company; they told him it had a clean history, but the Arizona Attorney General's Office says the dealership would buy totaled cars from insurance companies in other states. It would make major repairs on the vehicles and sell the cars in Arizona. The AG's office says the company wouldn't reveal the repair history to consumers.
Ismael Hernandez says he was scammed into buying a previously wrecked car from Discount Auto Sales in Phoenix.
He says within weeks after buying a Jeep from the dealership it began breaking down. The AG's office says Hernandez is not alone. The dealership must now pay $125,000 for failing to disclose repairs they made to vehicles before selling.
AAA Auto Expert Jim Prueter says the practice is illegal and dangerous.
"All the safety features may not be intact, and the only way you will find out is if you have an accident with the vehicle," said Jim Prueter.
Prueter tells car buyers to ask for the repair history.
"You always want to get a CarFax report on the vehicle, all you need is the VIN," he said.
Discount Auto Sales declined to be interviewed for the report, but Hernandez has a message for the company.
"If this car is salvaged or restored, tell the truth about what someone is buying," said Hernandez.
He says he hopes the company now will tell the truth about the cars before they cause any more damage down the road.