MEDINA — A now-closed used-car dealership is facing a consumer protection lawsuit after the state Attorney General’s office announced Thursday that its owner failed to deliver vehicle titles to customers in Northeast Ohio.
The lawsuit, dated Thursday, accuses Thomas Ciatti Sr. and his business, Carite Medina, of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Act. The dealership was located at 4160 Pearl Road, Medina Township.
“A car buyer can expect one of two things after driving off a sales lot: a title or a refund,” Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement. “When a buyer doesn’t get either, the dealership that sold the car can expect a lawsuit.”
The state agency received nine customer complaints against the business, with most of them alleging that Ciatti never provided titles for vehicles purchased at the dealership.
According to the complaints obtained by The Gazette through a public records request, the problems consumers encountered date between August 2015 and November 2017.
The complaints detail similar situations with customers buying a used car and receiving a 45-day temporary tag while waiting to receive the memorandum of title needed to register cars and purchase license plates.
Ciatti attempted to resolve some of the complaints, but claimed he lacked the money needed to settle all of them, according to a news release.
Yost’s Consumer Protection Section paid Ciatti’s customers a total of $13,462 from the Title Defect Recision Fund, a program administered by the attorney general’s office that helps used-car buyers resolve title problems.
The lawsuit filed in the Medina County Common Pleas Court seeks reimbursement from Ciatti and an order preventing him from holding a dealer or salesperson license until he repays the fund and complies with Ohio’s consumer protection laws.
Ciatti faces a $25,000 fine for each “unfair or deceptive act.”
Attempts to reach Ciatti, of Cleveland, for comment were unsuccessful.