Fifty demonstrators organized by Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA) protested outside Unique Auto Sales at 392 East St. demanding repayment for a couple they claim were scammed out of $4,000 on a downpayment for a 2011 Dodge Ram.
The protest involved a transaction with Fair Haveners Dunia Dominguez and Armando Trujillo.
The couple, who immigrated here from Honduras, said they coughed up the downpayment for the Dodge Ram last October with a promise that the dealer would repair the damage then give them the vehicle. The couple waited on the vehicle for several weeks and never received it, not even the keys, they said. Meanwhile, they said, Amando lost a construction job that required him to have wheels.
Subsequently, the dealership said the vehicle was in the hands of a lender, who in turn said it was in the hands of the dealership, according to ULA founder John Lugo (pictured with Dominguez on the far right), who has been advocating for the couple.
ULA responded by sending out a letter on Jan. 14 to Unique Auto Sales that requested a refund on the downpayment in addition to payments for registration, plates, taxes, and insurance which the couple had also made. The dealership not only ignored their complaints but stated that their lawyer would be calling, Lugo said.
“Since three weeks ago, the lawyer hasn’t been calling us. There’s no answer. There’s nothing. Just silence,” Lugo said. “At the same time, we’ve been receiving complaints from other people saying that they had the same issues with this company in the past.”
“The first time that we came to Unique Auto Sales, they told us that we shouldn’t be here. They threatened to call the police,” Dominguez said. “They said that they weren’t the owners of the car anymore. We talked to people that we know who have experience selling cars and agreed the contract was taken advantage of us. I want my money back, and I want justice for my family.”
Unique Auto Sales closed the gates to the dealership during the protest and declined comment.
Owner Angela Garcia was reached by phone Thursday morning.
“We will be giving a statement because everything is false,” Garcia said. “We are just waiting on the attorney to give the okay before speaking on the matter.”
Before the protest, Lugo brought out boxes of donated produce that was distributed to people in need.
“We’re going to be coming back, and we’re not going to allow this,” Lugo said. “In these days of the crisis, we’re going to start using this place to also distribute food to our community.”
ULA members vowed to return to the dealership and were gathering signatures on a petition.
The couple not only deserves to get their money back but damages as well! Unique Auto Sales needs to be fined and/or put out of business. Not only did the company steal their money outright, but Mr. Trujillo also lost a job as well.