Elite Motors Sued by Pennsylvania Attorney General

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- A Newswatch 16 investigation looks at a local used car dealer with a trail of angry customers.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office now says Elite Motors at its two locations in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties broke consumer protection laws with at least 30 deals.

What the attorney general's office calls violations involve cars, trucks, and SUVs sold at Elite Motors dealership in Plains Township and a branch in Scranton, all in the past five years.

The most common complaint is that the dealer sold vehicles that would never pass state inspection.

Right after Annmarie Medina's family bought a 2012 Kia from Elite Motors in Plains Township last year, the car failed to pass the state's safety inspection.

"Bad brakes, bad rotors, tires are bad," Medina recalled.

Jonathan George bought a flatbed truck online from Elite Motors in Scranton two years ago.

He flew in from Texas to drive it home.

"I'm hopping in the truck, and the whole thing just falls out from underneath me.  I mean, this seat should be bolted in pretty well," George said. "There's no seat belt to be found at all."

"Then I start to drive the truck, and the gas pedal is held on by a nail," George added.

The Iraqi War vet from Texas and the office worker from Scranton are just two of 30 car buyers who told the state attorney general's office that Elite Motors ripped them off.

"We want this car dealership to follow Pennsylvania law," said Deputy Attorney General Tom Cummings.

The attorney general's office is suing Elite Motors and its owner Robert Ferri in Commonwealth Court.

The suit accuses the dealership of selling cars that cannot pass state inspection, false advertising, and failing to get buyers the titles to the vehicles sold.

"Elite Motors is much higher (in complaints) than other used car dealerships, and it stood out for that reason," said Cummings.

At Elite Motors' Scranton lot, about 15 cars and SUVs face Keyser Avenue. Would they pass inspection? When we looked at the windshields, all vehicles either had no state inspection sticker or expired stickers.

Jonathan George took Elite Motors to court. He won an $11,000 judgment but he still hasn't been paid and is in the same situation now that he faced when we met him two years ago.

"I'm eating an $11,000 loan and I have to get back home to get to work.  And this truck won't even make it," George said.

Court records show in the last six years, 17 Elite Motors' customers filed suit and won judgments against the dealership totaling $78,000.

The Better Business Bureau gives Elite Motors an F rating.

Annmarie Medina's family still doesn't have title to the Kia they bought in October at Elite Motors' main dealership in Plains Township for $8,000.

"I feel that they are scammers," Medina said.

When we tried to get the dealer's comment on the complaints, a man standing outside the office in Plains Township went in. A minute later, when we got to the front door, it was locked.

We've tried several times to get a comment from Elite Motors with no luck.

The attorney general's office wants Elite Motors to pay full restitution to at least 30 customers and pay the state fines for breaking consumer protection laws.

If Elite Motors fails, Deputy Attorney General Tom Cummings says dealership should be put out of business.

*Note: This story was updated to correct an earlier version that Elite Motors' Lackawanna County dealership is in Scranton and not Taylor.

36 comments

  • JL

    We ended up taking a vehicle financed through elite in plains to a different mechanic after they directed me to their scranton location to have it insepcted. I watched their employee put a sticker on a vehicle he did not inspect while waiting for over an hour. Needless to say, the transmission went within 5 months of getting it. And I somehow wound up with another vehicle from a private seller that came from elite that would not pass insepction, bad brakes, bad rotors, rocker panels made of tin with holes in it and an exhaust that is ill fitting pipes and two coat hangers to keep it in place. Elite could not be further from the truth.

  • Christopher johns

    Same things as we bought a car there .things were missing said they be replaced it broke down 3 days later. It had to be towed after. Come on we are hard working people and yet this guy is driving around in a 200.000 ferrie. Come let’s try to understand this one.Just greed .he out people and their families at risk. Not mention the banks or loan companies should be held responsible for part of it not having or documenting complaints about theses cars or personal hiring investigator to check into these claims .to protect themselves. It.a time to shut theses car dealerships.

  • Backmtjayare

    The gentleman from Texas has been stuck in NEPA for two years with no way back home? Kinda odd.

  • D anonymous

    Ever Since I stepped into this place it has been a nightmare. I should’ve bought a bicycle instead of dealing with these people. It’s a shame that these people feed off of other’s misfortune. Hit them with the book and get justice. Please

  • Latoya

    They are the worst sold me a suv and the shifter was messed up was driving got in a really bad accident and totaled my truck

  • John

    How do I get involved they really screwed me and my parents as well I still have the truck parked on the side of my house for 3 years now I put 3 grand into it and the motor went they refused to come fix it so I stopped paying them and they still after 3 years have not reposed it left me with out a means of transportation I wanna get involved if anyone knows the number to this attorney general

    • Cindy

      ok this is for everyone who wants to get justice for this Elite Motors. 1. Attorney Generals number- 1-800-441-2555. you have to request a Consumer Compaint Form and make sure you send all copies of proof. AG is the highest you can go. If you want to just file a judgement ( which is useless because Bob Ferri wont pay) The District Justice for Plains township phone number is 570-825-8984. you cant do both, Ag is the way to go :)

  • Doug

    Maybe Bob Ferri (owner of Elite Motors) should sell his Ferrari or Bently convertable to pay for the lawsuits he lost and the money he owes to the customers he scammed.

  • craig

    Rossati auto group (dickson city hyundai), Elite motors (plains and pittston), auto now (scranton), the car lot online (keyser ave in taylor)…..ask around before you buy a used car if you don’t know what you are doing. See who is reputable. The BBB ratings are public information. I think you’ll see that the dealers I posted above are the area’s worst.

  • Elizabeth Roper

    Who ever bought a car from Elite and was duped we should all get together and go up to their office and strike with signs or something we all need to be heard someway oh car motor us gone we have no transportation my daughter is going by bus to work after making a down payment abd getting a loan that bow she’s struggling to pay . bank says their coming for it we will gladly five it back it hasn’t ran that good from day one NY daughtervwabted it so bad to take me to and from dialysis couldn’t depend on it to run she wanted for work broke down more then it ran Stay away from Elite or you’ll be scammed just like us.Oh the car looked nice on outside but nothing worked on inside or underneath.

  • Cori larsen

    Can anyone tell me is elite motors same as main Ave auto sales in Taylor? They are the worst got a car that day after it was home went into shop for 4 weeks over 1000 in repairs and then died 2 months later . Dealer would not take care of anything then we come to find once title arrived he sold us his personal vehicle. We took warranty out and of course nothing was covered and he never filed the warrant as one we purchased

    • Kami

      No. But I also purchased a vehicle from main ave in taylor. Bob is the dealer very shady man. My car also broke down after 3 days transmission blew and then the engine. He just laughed in my face when I asked for him to fix. Horrible dealers in Taylor/Scranton/WilkesBarre PA. All scammers.

  • Elizabeth Roper

    Itny daughter and I bought a car from Elite and had trouble from day one called them they promised to fix it never did bow the motor us gone in it not even a year old we don’t have the money to sue SK the bank is taking it nise well we can’t do anything with it as far as loan we will pay back slowly nothing we cab do I thought Elite was shading just by what other customers were saying but NY daughter wanted a car so bad so we trusted them we were scanned glad they were found out wish it was before we were duped.

  • Danielle

    You guys should really look into prime auto in moosic Pa I bought 2007 Jeep Patriot from no more than having it a week it was in the shop I called prime auto who I got it from told me I don’t know what to tell you cars break!!! Yeah cars break its been in the shop two more times and now this time it needs a new transmission but do tell me cars break I only have had a 2 months and it’s been in the shop ever since so please look into these people all they do is rip you off and sell you pos

  • Concerned citizen

    You should investigate auto now while you are at it. 1st car they sold my wife and i had a bad engine and transmission. After months of fighting they traded us a new vehicle which has 1 of the 3 motor mounts, and we have put in more money in repairs then the vehicle is worth. They refuse to help. They also took my wifes truck as a trade in but the money for the trade in disappeared.

    • Anon

      I got a car from there it ended up breaking down several times since I had it so they traded me a new one drove it for twenty minutes and found out it needed a whole new radiator and it broke down it least once or twice a month

  • Robert A. Bonner

    I bought a 2004 Caddy in 2013 from them. Until recently, CARFAX revealed it’s a buyback lemon car when it had 22k on it in 2005! The dealer never disclosed this and now my car sits in the driveway. It’s had multiple problems since I got it. Bought a new car, and can’t even get the ‘branded title’ from Elite since nobody is around much to answer questions. I couldn’t trade in the car when I bought the new one, so it’s worth scrap. I’ll be calling and firing off many letters to AG, BBB, PA Unfair Trade Practices Act, Consumer Affairs etc. They can have the car back, but not without a fight.

  • pslegals

    AG Cummings: Investigate your dad and Uncle Packy J’s Ethics violations and trial fixing racketeering for Penn Millers Insurance and Acker Associates Inc.

  • jimbrony

    Not condoning the actions of the dealer – and they should be held accountable for any wrong-doing, but seriously, anytime you buy a used car from anywhere, it’s buyer beware. You might not see the worn brake pads or rotors, but shouldn’t you at least check the tires and make sure it has a valid inspection?

    • nancy

      Well it all depends jim. If somebody is blind they couldnt tell. It’s not brail. Thought you would of known that. What if someone doesn’t have hands? How can they gauge the treadwear? Are you looking down your nose at the handicap jim? I’m still not sure about you mister.

      • jimbrony

        You’re right, thanks for calling me out Nancy. I didn’t think of the blind (or those that identify as blind) in my haste to post. Hopefully those that are blind (or identify as blind) that are reading this post will forgive me. #blinddrive smatter.

      • Caroline Sauers

        Blind people driving and buying cars? Seriously?
        And all used cars come with Caveat emptor. Buyer Beware AS IS.

        To quote Forrest Gump. Stupid is as stupid does. If you are too lazy, cheap or stupid to take the car to a mechanic and have it inspected first and research the vehicle before you purchase it you are leaving yourself open to a world of hurt.

    • Tom

      I do agree with you, but at the same time, drivers in the past 30-40 years don’t even know how to check their own oil, nevermind change it. And people who think that cars have “Lifetime oil” – well, there’s a forum on reddit called “justrolledintotheshop” that can give you an idea of how bad people are at maintaining their vehicles. When I was at Giant to get some carpet, I walked over to Elite to look at the Jeeps they had. Every single one had unibody rot, bald tires, and expired stickers – one had expired over 2 years prior.

  • Guest

    Putting them out of business would only prevent future victims. They should put them out of business and seize any tangible assets to pay for the previous victims’ judgements.

Comments are closed.

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