The State filed the contempt petition in February alleging that Transplant Plus had violated the consent judgment they entered with the State in July 2011 by:
- Failing to respond to all consumer complaints filed with the Attorney General or the Better Business Bureau within two weeks. The BBB reported that they had received 12 complaints since last July and none had been timely responded to;
- Failing to register their trade name or “DBA” with the Arizona Secretary of State by September 5, 2011;
- Failing to change the language in their warranty which claimed that the company could repossess the customer’s vehicle if they tried to stop or reverse a payment; transmissions were non-returnable after 30 days, the company could charge a 20% restocking fee on returns, and that refunds under the warranty were at the company’s discretion.
The Attorney General’s office obtained a consent judgment in July 2011 after filing a consumer fraud lawsuit against Garo Enterprises, Inc., a Tempe transmission shop which conducted business under the name Transplant Plus Transmissions, and its principal Robert Brady. Transplant Plus Transmissions sold and installed remanufactured transmissions at 1750 E. Elliot Road, Tempe, Arizona.
“This is the third strike for Transplant Plus, and as a result this company will be out of business within 60 days,” Horne said, noting that this company has been sued twice by the State for consumer fraud violations, once in 2005 and again 2011.
The Judgment requires that as of May 31, 2012, Transplant Plus was to cease advertising and accepting new transmission and automobile repair work. Defendants have 60 days to complete any existing work currently in the shop or return vehicles to their owners and refund monies paid. Defendants must also file corporate dissolution papers with the Arizona Secretary of State within 60 days. Failure to shut down the business as required will result in a civil penalty payment of $250,000.00 to the State.
In addition to shutting down this business, the Addendum also permanently prohibits Transplant Plus’ owner, Robert Brady, from owning or managing any transmission shop within Arizona and from owning or managing an auto repair business for a period of 10 years.
The Addendum requires Transplant Plus to pay the State $27,835.42 for restitution to consumers who have filed complaints with the Attorney General or the Better Business Bureau since July 2011, and $11,925.00 in costs and attorney’s fees.
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Salisbury of the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Section.