Glendale Mitsubishi Pays $180,000.00 to Consumer for Allegedly Failing to Provide Spanish-Language Contract and For Selling Car with Undisclosed Collision Damage

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Glendale Mitsubishi has settled with Maria Lourdes de Guevara for approximately $180,000.00, for allegedly failing to provide her with a Spanish-language purchase contract when she requested it and for selling her a vehicle with serious undisclosed collision damage.

Glendale Mitsubishi has settled with Maria Lourdes de Guevara for approximately $180,000.00, for allegedly failing to provide her with a Spanish-language purchase contract when she requested it and for selling her a vehicle with serious undisclosed collision damage. Ms. Guevara was represented by Robert F. Brennan of Brennan, Wiener & Associates in La Crescenta, Ca.

Brennan explained the essential facts of the case: "When Maria Lourdes de Guevara visited Glendale Mitsubishi, seeking to buy a safe and reliable used car, she had no idea that she was being tricked into purchasing a dangerous used vehicle with serious undisclosed collision damage.

"Maria needed a safe and reliable vehicle to get to and from work and to take care of her family. Maria’s primary language is Spanish, and she has difficulty speaking or reading with English. She trusted Glendale Mitsubishi’s Spanish-speaking salespersons to treat her honestly. They sold her a 1999 Isuzu Rodeo, assuring her in Spanish that it was a good car and would serve her needs well. Glendale Mitsubishi’s salespersons then handed her a contract, in English, which she could not read. She asked for a Spanish version, but the salespersons would only provide Ms. Guevara with an English version of her purchase contract, depriving her of the opportunity to find out about the deal in her own language.

"Not long after she took delivery, she found out that the vehicle had been in a serious collision and had undisclosed frame damage. When she went to the dealership to confront the salespersons and manager who had misled her, they ignored her, believing her to be a helpless, hapless Spanish-speaking consumer with no ability to hire an attorney."

They were wrong. Maria hired Brennan, Wiener & Associates (“BWA”) of La Crescenta, Southern California’s leading car dealer fraud and lemon law attorneys. BWA filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ms. Guevara, alleging fraud for not disclosing the frame damage and also alleging that the dealership had violated California law concerning taking advantage of persons who cannot speak English with English-only contracts. BWA litigated the case for the better part of a year. As trial approached, Glendale Mitsubishi “heard the footsteps” and settled the case for over $180,000.00. Guevara v. Glendale Mitsubishi, et al. Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 315 607.

“It’s high time that dealers start respecting the rights of less fortunate consumers who have trouble with the English language”, comments Brennan. “All too often we see the same story played out over and over again: dealers assume consumers are too dumb or too weak to stand up for their consumer rights. We see this particularly among immigrant communities, where dealers are most likely to exploit people with little or no sophistication and little or no ability to stand up themselves to redress the fraud. They’re banking on the fact that many recent immigrants are afraid to get involved with the legal system, making them easy prey for unscrupulous dealers and finance companies. I’m particularly happy that Glendale Mitsubishi had to pay Ms. Guevara, because hopefully it teaches them a lesson about exploiting people who otherwise have little ability to stand up for their rights.”

Brennan offers a few tips to consumers who cannot read English purchase contracts: “It’s the law in California that car dealers—and pretty much every retail store of any kind that uses contracts—must provide a version of the contract to the consumer in his or her native language. This not only applies to Spanish-speaking consumers, but to Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese or Tagalog as well. If the deal is discussed and negotiated in one of these languages, then the selling dealer or retailer must provide a contract to the consumer in that language, not just an English-only contract. This is all found in California Civil Code Section 1632. If they don’t provide the consumer with the contract in his or her own language after they have negotiated the deal in that language, the consumer can unwind the deal.”

About Brennan, Wiener & Associates: Brennan, Wiener & Associates of La Crescenta, Ca. is widely considered the best, smartest and most aggressive car dealer fraud, lemon law and wrongful credit damage law firm in greater Southern California. Its lawyers have over 40 years of experience and have received an “AV” rating, the highest possible rating, from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell attorney rating agency. In 2006, the firm’s founder, Robert F. Brennan, was honored by being selected as a 2006 Southern California “Superlawyer,” an honor reserved for the top 5% of practicing attorneys in a given geographical area.

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