May 18, 2005
Springfield, Mo. — Automobile dealer Reliable Imports and Motorhomes Inc. of Springfield will pay $70,000 for its deceptive advertising practices and must verify it has offered refunds to all customers who purchased vehicles between June 8 and June 12 of last year in a court-approved agreement reached today with Attorney General Jay Nixon.
The consent injunction and final judgement, signed by Greene County Circuit Judge Dan Conklin, concludes legal action launched by Nixon's office in June 2004. In the original court filing, Nixon said that Reliable Imports, 438 S. Ingram Mill Road, sent a mailing advertising the sale of inventory from a rental car company that went bankrupt, that a court had ordered a certain number of vehicles sold, and the sale was "by invitation only." Nixon said all of these statements were false.
In addition, Reliable Imports misrepresented credit information by telling consumers they had a particular credit rating that would help them obtain favorable financing. Reliable never knew the credit rating of specific consumers, Nixon said.
"It's time Reliable Imports lived up to its name," Nixon said. "Through this judgment, this company has been ordered to clean up its act. Failure to do so will, indeed, result in dire consequences."
By order of the court, Reliable Imports cannot advertise without having an individual designated as advertising director who must, under penalty of perjury, attest to the truthfulness of each ad. The company must also show proof that it has contacted all customers who purchased vehicles between June 8 and June 12, 2004, and offered them a full refund.
In addition, Reliable Imports will pay $35,000 to the Greene County Public School Fund, and pay $35,000 to the state Merchandising Practices Revolving Fund. Future violations of the agreement will cost the company up to $5,000 per violation.