Texas AG Accuses ATVDiscounter.com of Bait-and-Switch Scheme

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today filed an enforcement action against a Dallas-area ATV, moped, Go-Kart and scooter dealership.

The state action alleges Frontier Imports Inc., dba ATVDiscounter.com, and several individual defendants violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) with bait-and-switch and failing to deliver ordered vehicles.

Abbott says the defendants promised vehicles that customers personally selected – which the dealer claimed were in stock – but customers who ordered by phone or online either got different vehicles, often months after the order was placed, or nothing at all. Other customers got cheaper vehicles than what they paid for, but the company refused to provide refunds or exchanges.

Abbott’s case contains a litany of other tactics to game buyers. Customers received damaged or mud-caked vehicles with mileage on the odometers. Customers often had trouble starting vehicles, and when they were actually able to start the vehicles, they malfunctioned after being driven 100 miles or less. In addition to obvious damage to mirrors and lights, customers complained about leaking fuel lines and defective brakes. Other customers had accidents resulting in minor injuries from throttles that froze in the open position. Finally, defendants promised the vehicles were “street legal,” but customers failed to receive a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin, making it impossible to register them with the state.

Other named defendants in this legal action are ATVDiscounter.com of Dallas, LLC, Sheri Lynn Barling, Glenn Mark Barling and Nathan Barling. Because the defendants are charged with violating the DTPA, the state is seeking penalties of up to $20,000 per violation of that law, plus attorneys’ fees. Restitution to harmed customers is also requested under this court action.

Texans who believe they have been deceived by similar fraudulent business practices may call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 252-8011 or file a complaint online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.

Posted by Holly Wagner