Attorney General Investigates Gilbert Auto, Dealerships Declare Banktruptcy
The Washington State Attorney General's office has "impounded" several auto dealerships owned by Mark Gilbert for failure to pay off traded-in vehicles among other violations. Court documents released this month show 42 complaints against the various Gilbert Auto dealerships for failing to comply with Washington and Idaho law. According to the complaint:
The complaint also claims Gilbert violated sales agreements with American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC) and Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC), the lending arms of Honda and Nissan. Audits between August 2012 and January 2013 showed Gilbert dealerships sold a total of 96 vehicles financed by the two companies, but did not send in required payments for each vehicle.
Vehicles are supplied to dealerships for sale and are financed by the auto lenders. When they are sold, the dealership by contract must "pay back" the finance company. It's considered a type of credit. AHFC has since declared Gilbert to be in default of their agreement, and according to the complaint:
As of February 7, 2013, the amount owed to AFHC because of credit extended to the dealership and GA (Gilbert Auto) Properties exceeds $5,232,016.81. Interest, attorney's fees and other charges continue to accrue."
NMAC claims the value of vehicles sold exceeds $1.3 million. Some payments to AHFC and NMAC were made -- late -- and one payment for over $68,000 failed because of insufficient funds.
The complaint demands Gilbert promptly pay off the trade in vehicles and transfer the titles. Gilbert could also be facing a fine of up to $2,000 for each of the 42 violations listed in the complaint, as well as other penalties.
The dealerships affected include:
Gilbert Auto Honda of College Place; Gilbert Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Walla Walla; Gilbert Auto Nissan of Moses Lake; and Gilbert Auto Ford of Moscow, Idaho. The Ford, Chevrolet, Nissan and Chrysler dealerships have all declared bankruptcy. Mary Lobdell, Senior Council for the AG office, says Gilbert continues make progress in paying off traded-in vehicles. There is apparently on-going litigation between Gilbert Honda and AHFC.
Janet Guthrie, Communications Director for Washington State AG Bob Ferguson, said any consumers who believe they may have encountered any such issues with the Gilbert Auto dealerships can file an official complaint by contacting the AG office.