Oregon auto dealer pulls $650,000 fine for hiding motorcycle damage histories


An Oregon judge has slapped a maximum fine on a Tigard auto dealership Attorney General John Kroger says sold totaled bikes as “never crashed.”

Kroger announced $650,000 in fines for deceiving consumers about the damage history of vehicles for sale.

"This sends an important message that there is a steep penalty for violating consumer protection laws in Oregon," he said.

The case involved Matt and Anousone Marlin. Matt Marlin lost his dealership license to operate Marlin Motorworks after admitting he forged title documents to deceive consumers about the damage history of "totaled" vehicles. In the weeks following the effective date of the suspension, Marlin created PNW Auto, LLC, in the name of his wife, Anousone.

“The new dealership violated Internet advertising rules on motorcycle sales, Kroger says, because some of the motorcycles advertised on Craig's List as "never crashed" were actually "totaled."

Although insurance companies that "totaled" the vehicles documented several thousand dollars in damaged parts, PNW routinely put only a few hundred dollars into repairs, leaving wheel, frame and handlebar damages unrepaired,” according to a Kroger press release. “Two motorcycles sold by PNW to unsuspecting consumers had Non-Repairable Titles, which means they cannot be licensed in Oregon.”

A Marion County judge last week ordered the Marlins to pay $650,000 -- the maximum penalty of $25,000 per violation under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act – plus attorney fees and costs.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Greg Smith handled the case for the Oregon Department of Justice. The Driver and Motor Vehicle Services helped investigate the case.

Posted by Holly Wagner