Dealership ordered to stop selling unsafe vehicles

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) — A Westport used auto dealership and its owner have been ordered to stop selling unsafe and unreliable vehicles in an enforcement action filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

A New Bedford Superior Court Judge granted the emergency injunction against F&R Auto Sales, Inc. and owner Francis Correiro, prohibiting them from selling unsafe and defective vehicles and refusing to repair them.

Correiro said the bad reviews for his business aren’t true.

“Most people that buy a car love us,” he said. “Unless the car breaks. When the car breaks, they get upset.”

The AG’s office sued Correiro and the dealership – which made the news in 2015 after video of employees berating a pizza deliveryman went viral – on Sept.13 after receiving more than 100 consumer complaints since 2012.

Complaints allege unfair and deceptive practices, including the routine sale of defective vehicles and the failure to provide proper transactional documents to consumers.

In one case, a consumer reported getting a quote of nearly $16,000 for repairs needed on a car he purchased from the dealership, a price that far exceeded what he paid for the car.

“These defendants not only took advantage of consumers, they also put the safety of the public at risk by knowingly allowing unsafe vehicles onto the roads,” said Attorney General Maura Healey.

The injunction also requires the dealership and owner to supply consumers with all required transactional documentation.

During a series of inspections in 2015 and 2016, Westport police, in cooperation with the AG’s office and Westport Board of Selectmen, found vehicles in decrepit condition and evidence of shoddy repair work being done.

When asked if he knowingly sold unsafe vehicles, Correiro said,”never. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. I’m an honest person. I’m a hard-working guy. I started from the ground up, nobody gave me nothing. I would never do that to somebody.”

Police said they also found documents containing sensitive personal information, including consumers social security numbers and financial account information in an open dumpster on the property.

Consumers who believe they may have been victim of F&R’s sales practices should contact the AG’s dedicated hotline at (508) 742-4514.

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