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Attorney General DeWine Seeks Consumer Restitution from Used Car Dealership


(HAMILTON, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against a Fairfield used car dealership accused of failing to clearly disclose contract terms, repossessing vehicles without giving proper notice to consumers, and failing to deliver titles according to Ohio law.

The lawsuit accuses Dixie Imports, its owner, Mustapha Aitmouha, and its manager, Earl Burns, of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Retail Installment Sales Act.

In the lawsuit, filed in Butler County Common Pleas Court, the Attorney General seeks reimbursement for consumers and an end to any unfair or deceptive practices committed by the dealership.

“We are filing this lawsuit because we have an obligation to protect consumers,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We want to bring the dealership’s practices into compliance with Ohio law and obtain refunds for consumers who deserve to get their money back.”

Dixie Imports is a used car dealership with locations at 4597 Dixie Highway and 5210 Dixie Highway in Fairfield.

In the past two years, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has received more than 50 complaints against Dixie Imports.

Consumers reported a variety of problems after buying a vehicle from the dealership, including failing to receive a certificate of title, finding out that their financing was not approved, and problems with repossession.

An investigation by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section found that Dixie Imports used a “spot delivery agreement,” which allowed consumers to leave the lot with a vehicle after making a large down payment but before consumers were approved for financing. If the financing was not approved, the dealership often took back the car without refunding the consumer’s down payment.

The Attorney General’s Office also found that in some instances the dealership did not provide the required notices or accounting after repossession, and in some instances, the dealership failed to deliver the title within 40 days after the sale of a vehicle.

In light of the lawsuit, Attorney General DeWine offered consumers the following tips for buying a motor vehicle:

  • If you pay for the vehicle through installment payments, the seller should give you a dated receipt each time you make a deposit. The receipt should clearly state if your deposit is refundable and under what conditions you can get your money back.
  • If you fail to receive a certificate of title within 40 days following the date you bought a vehicle, you may have the right to cancel the transaction and get your money back. Contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for help determining what steps to take.
  • If a dealership repossesses your vehicle, the dealership is required to provide you with a notice about when the vehicle will be sold and how much you would need to pay to recover the vehicle. The dealership also later must tell you how much the vehicle was sold for.

Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at or 800-282-0515.



Lawsuit (PDF)

Media Contacts

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Kate Hanson: 614-466-3840

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