A used car business that was the subject of a state Department of Justice investigation in June appears to be closed, at least temporarily.
A person who answered the phone at Auto House of Salisbury told WBTV that the car lot was not open, and could not say if it would be open again.
In June, investigators with the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles served search warrants at the Salisbury and Mooresville locations of Auto House.
At the lot on Jake Alexander Boulevard, several police cars could be seen blocking the driveway. Occasionally an investigator would come out with a cardboard box.
Investigators on the scene refused comment, but the Department of Justice did confirm that the business was being investigated after a number of complaints from customers.
Some customers told The Salisbury Post that Auto House was "not disclosing damage to cars and was intentionally employing a bait-and-switch scheme to get people into the dealership in hopes of buying cars under the guise of promising them money, a car and other prizes."
Other complaints also alleged that the business switched emblems on cars to make the car appear to be a more expensive model.
In October, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles revoked Auto House’s license to sell vehicles at its Mooresville location and fined the business $33,000, according to John Brockwell, communications officer of the DMV.
Auto House opened in Salisbury in 2008. Samuel Ketner is listed as the Vice President.
The Better Business Bureau gives Auto House a B+ rating, saying that the dealer "meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints."
The BBB has investigated 29 complaints within the last three years at Auto House of Salisbury.
Customers who have experienced a problem with Auto House are encouraged to file a complaint with N.C. Department of Justice, either by phone toll-free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or online at ncdoj.gov.
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