BANGOR, Maine — A Penobscot County Superior Court judge has denied a motion filed by the attorney representing local used car dealer Glenn Geiser seeking to further explain the 10-count lawsuit brought against Geiser by Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills.
Mills announced last month that her office was suing Geiser for unfair and deceptive trade practices in connection with his promotion and sale of used cars, some that did not pass inspection. Geiser, 48, of Brewer, owns the My Maine Ride and former Bumper2Bumper dealerships in Bangor, and managed the former Bangor Car Care dealership.
“The court denied his motion to provide a more definite statement,” Tim Feeley, a spokesman for Mills’ office, said Tuesday. “There haven’t been any other developments that we are aware of.”
Superior Court Justice Kevin Cuddy denied the motion on Wednesday, March 5, and gave Geiser and his attorney Joe Baldacci of Bangor 10 days to file a response, Feeley said.
Baldacci filed a reply memorandum Monday, he said. He asked in his response for more detail because “the allegations don’t allege any specific transactions,” with times and dates. “It was a bunch of conclusionary statements,” he said Tuesday.
Mills’ complaint, filed Jan. 31, alleged that Geiser and his dealerships targeted consumers with poor credit who needed financing, pressured them to buy cars that were not roadworthy and did not respond to customer complaints.
“Most of the vehicles that Geiser has promoted and sold to consumers through [Bumper2Bumper] and [My Maine Ride] are UMVs” or uninspected motor vehicles, the 17-page attorney general complaint states. “Many of the vehicles that Geiser promotes and sells to consumers also have mechanical defects.
“Many consumers who have purchased a vehicle from Geiser experience major mechanical and-or inspection-related problems within a few days or weeks, which render it unsafe or inoperable,” it states. “When consumers complain, Geiser often refused to investigate the problems with the vehicle.”
The attorney general also claims the used car dealer bullied his customers who complained about their purchases.
“Geiser engages in a pattern of behaviors in responding to consumer complaints that is rude and abusive, and calculated to discourage consumers from seeking redress,” Mills’ lawsuit states.
These acts constitute an unfair trade practice, the attorney general said.
The Consumer Protection Division of Mills’ office received 86 complaints in the last 13 months about My Maine Ride, 159 complaints about Bumper2Bumper since 2011, and 539 complaints about Bangor Car Care since 2003, according to a previously published report.
The state is seeking civil penalties, which could run as high as $10,000 for each violation; a permanent injunction to bar Geiser and any entity in which he has an ownership interest from promoting, selling and/or financing used cars; and reimbursement of the cost of the litigation, including attorney and expert witness fees.
In the last two weeks, Geiser has agreed not to fight a Secretary of State-ordered 180-day suspension of his license to sell cars, which began March 1, and he has pleaded no contest and agreed to pay a $7,000 fine for illegally purchasing and using inspection stickers he bought from a Winterport auto shop.
Since the suspension went into effect, the roadside My Maine Ride advertising sign located at 170 Washington St. in Bangor has been removed and workers spent part of Tuesday emptying out the office.
“I’m just here cleaning out the place,” one worker said, declining to identifying himself.
About 30 vehicles remained on the lot but were parked in the back, a requirement of the Secretary of State, making the used car lot appear empty.
“He’s resolved the issue with the Secretary of State, he’s resolved the issue with the district attorney’s office in Bangor and he’s working on resolving the issue with the attorney general’s office,” Baldacci said.
Baldacci said he did not know if his client planned to reopen his business after the six-month suspension was over.
For information on making a consumer complaint concerning the purchase of a vehicle, visit maine.gov/ag/consumer/motor_vehicles/index.shtml or call 626-8800.