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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > June 2023 > ‘Consumer Protection Up Close’

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‘Consumer Protection Up Close’

Consumer Protection Up Close is an occasional column that examines and explains cases filed by the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section.

In February 2023, Attorney General Yost sued two used-car dealerships in the Columbus area in an effort to dial back alleged odometer-tampering schemes by the company owners.

The lawsuits, filed against S Automotive and owner Simon Nwaru Jr. and Kalango Links and owner Korite Michael Kalango, also accuse the defendants of failing to inform customers that they were buying rebuilt salvaged vehicles.

“These dealers went out of their way to make sure that customers had no idea what they were actually buying,” Yost said. “Consumers didn’t realize their car would come fully equipped with buyer’s remorse.”

The Attorney General’s Office received 57 consumer complaints about the dealerships, prompting Yost to file suit in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Thirty-nine complaints centered on S Automotive, currently operating in Whitehall. Of those, 33 were about the dealership’s failure to deliver titles, three were about misrepresentations, and three were about odometer discrepancies. Twenty-six of the consumers who filed complaints about title issues were not aware that the vehicles they bought had odometer discrepancies.

In the Kalango Links case, the Attorney General’s Office received 18 consumer complaints, with most alleging odometer tampering. The dealership operates on Cleveland Avenue in Columbus.

Yost’s investigation of S Automotive and Kalango Links found in some cases that the dealerships had been selling cars with rebuilt titles but did not disclose the information in writing to consumers – as required by law. A rebuilt title is issued to vehicles that have been repaired after having been declared a total loss by an insurance company as a result of collision damage, fire or flood, or even because of a manufacturer’s buy-back due to a Lemon Law claim.

The lawsuit accuses S Automotive of violating the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, the Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Act, and the Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act by:
  • Failing to file applications for certificates of title within 30 days after the assignment or delivery of motor vehicles.
  • Selling motor vehicles to consumers and then failing to obtain certificates of title on or before the 40th day after the sale.
  • Failing to disclose to consumers that they were purchasing a rebuilt salvaged vehicle.
  • Misrepresenting the odometer disclosure statements. 
  • Failing to provide true and complete odometer disclosures.
  • Adjusting, altering, changing, tampering with or setting back an odometer of a motor vehicle.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is seeking reimbursement from Nwaru for the vehicles that consumers bought and seeks to recover the amount of money the Title Defect Recision Fund paid to resolve the consumer complaints. Additionally, the complaint asks the court to impose civil penalties and prohibit Nwaru from maintaining or applying for auto-dealer or sales licenses.

Likewise, the lawsuit against Kalango Links accuses the dealership of violating the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act.

In this case, Yost is demanding that Kalango reimburse consumers for the vehicles they bought, and pay civil penalties and court costs. The suit also seeks to prohibit Kalango from maintaining or applying for auto-dealer or sales licenses.

In late April, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a judgment against S Automotive. The case against Kalango Links remains pending.

When buying a used car, consumers are urged to take the following steps:
  • Check with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against the dealership. 
  • Get everything in writing and read the fine print.
  • Take the vehicle for an extended test drive.  
  • Ask about prior damage, defects and repair history. Check out the vehicle’s history through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System at
  • Ask a trustworthy mechanic to check the car for problems.
If a dealer does not provide the title within 30 days of the purchase date, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. Ohioans who suspect unfair or deceptive business practices should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.