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Ohio Attorney General sues Westwood dealership for 'ripping customers off'

Yost: Owners did not give customers car titles
Posted: 6:12 PM, Jan 16, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-17 15:17:29-05
Economy Motors Westwood Sign

CINCINNATI — The state of Ohio is suing a former used car dealership on the West Side because it failed to give people titles to the cars they bought, according to Ohio Attorney General David Yost.

The suit claims Jeremy Skeens and Kristopher Wolfe, owners of Economy Motors at 3030 Glenhills Way in Westwood, violated Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices and Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Act.

“The car title is 90 percent of ownership,” Yost said. “These guys were ripping customers off for 90 percent of the value of the deal, and they’re not going to be able to do it anymore.”

The lawsuit, filed in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, seeks reimbursement from Skeens and Wolff. It also seeks civil penalties and an order to prevent the owners from holding dealer or salesperson licenses in Ohio.

The consumer protection division of Yost’s office has already provided over $18,000 to eight car-buyers who said they never received titles for vehicles purchased at Economy Motors. The money came from the Title Defect Recision Fund, a program that helps used car buyers resolve title problems.

A WCPO photographer visited the Economy Motors location on Glenhills Way Thursday afternoon. The dealership also went by the name “Gas Hogs.”

A sign on the door said “Economy Motors has relocated to Reading Road. For all title inquiries please contact Kris at 513-720-4567.” The dealership appeared to be closed, and there was no other signage or any cars for sale in the surrounding parking lot.

WCPO reached out to the number listed on the sign for comment and has not heard back.

A spokesman from Yost’s office said a representative visited all of the listed locations for the dealership, including the Reading Road and Glenhills Way locations, and saw similar signage at each location. The spokesman told WCPO his office is “not aware of any Economy Motors locations in operation at this time.”

Yost’s office recommends taking these steps when buying a used car:

  • Check for any complaints against the dealership with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau.
  • 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 nmvtis.gov.
  • Ask a trustworthy mechanic to check the car for problems.