Pa. couple says car dealer misrepresented condition of 'Transformers'-inspired car

By The Penn Record | Aug 19, 2014

A Pennsylvania couple looking for a replica of a car featured in the Transformers movie

says that a Delaware dealership sold them a vehicle with more miles and damage than advertised, according to a federal suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Richard and Donna Lynn Rotandi allege that the Porter Auto Group in Newark, Del., violated the Motor Vehicle and Cost Saving Act (Odometer Act), the Pennsylvania Odometer Disclosure Law and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. The plaintiffs seek to rescind the transaction, plus compensatory and treble damages for what they say was a breach of contract and deceptive business practices.

According to the suit, the Rotandis began looking for a new car in the summer of 2013. Specifically, they wanted a fifth generation GM Chevrolet Camaro Coupe, painted yellow with a black double stripe down the middle, resembling the car called "Bumblebee" in the 2006 Transformers movie.

After some Internet hunting, the plaintiffs say they found a pretty close match advertised as new with 12 miles on the odometer by Porter Auto, a GM-authorized dealer. After some e-mail correspondence with a sales representative, the Rotandis traveled to Newark, Del., to check out the car. When they arrived, the sales associate told the plaintiffs that the car was new, but it had more miles than advertised, 58 miles, to be exact.

Regardless, the couple agreed to purchase the vehicle, with a financing package provided by Ally Financial Inc. Numerous forms of paperwork, including an Odometer Disclosure Statement, said the Camaro had 59 miles recorded. The suit says that by signing the documents and executing the agreement, Porter Auto Group represented as fact that the car was new, had no previous owners, had only been driven 59 miles and had no damage of any kind.

Immediately after the purchase, the complaint says, Richard Rotandi climbed into the car to drive it home and saw that the odometer read 583 miles. When he called the sales associate, Rotandi could not get a hold of him and left a voicemail. He called again the next day and left another voicemail, but never received a reply.

On July 31, 2013, Donna Lynn Rotandi pulled up a CarFax report on the Camaro, which stated that the car was first offered for sale by Porter Auto on Dec. 12, 2012, and reported to have 12 miles on the odometer. The CarFax sheet also allegedly said in March 2013, Porter Auto reported the Camaro had been driven for 565 miles.

The complaint also says that when Richard Rotandi gave a closer inspection of the car, there were signs of repairs made to the body, such as excess yellow spray paint on the rims, undercarriage and engine, a visible hump on the front bumper, uneven hood spacing and hairline cracks and peeling paint.

The plaintiffs say that if they had full knowledge of the car's condition, they would not have agreed to the purchase and says that Porter Auto deliberatly misrepresented the odometer readings.

They are represented by attorney Demetri Braynin in Huntingdon Valley, Pa.

The federal case ID number is 2:14-cv-04786-MMB.

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