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July 19, 2016

MADIGAN FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST DUPAGE COUNTY USED CAR DEALER

Attorney General Alleges Mike’s Auto Forum Sold Vehicles Without Disclosing Salvage Titles

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a lawsuit today against a DuPage County car dealer for deceiving consumers into purchasing vehicles that had been wrecked or damaged and rebuilt, and failed to disclose the vehicles’ salvage titles.

Madigan filed the lawsuit in DuPage County Circuit Court against Mike’s Auto Forum Inc., 758 Industrial Drive in Bensenville, and its owner Mieczys “Mike” Baranowski, of Elk Grove Village. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Vehicle Code.

Madigan alleged Mike’s Auto Forum purchased wrecked vehicles that workers rebuilt and later resold to the public. In advertising the vehicles for sale, Mike’s Auto Forum did not disclose that the vehicles had been damaged and rebuilt, and in many instances, did not provide consumers with the required written disclosure, in direct violation of state law.

“This business failed to inform buyers that vehicles they purchased had been wrecked and damaged,” Madigan said. “Consumers have a right to know what they are buying before making any purchase.”

“I applaud the efforts of Attorney General Madigan. This lawsuit sends a message that consumers must be informed if a vehicle has a salvage title. Not reporting that a vehicle is damaged is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said Secretary of State Jesse White.

Consumers who reported complaints to Madigan’s office and the Better Business Bureau paid at least $15,000 to Mike’s Auto Forum for vehicles they did not know had a salvage title. Madigan’s lawsuit asks the court to ban Baranowski from doing business in Illinois, require restitution to impacted consumers and impose civil penalties.

Madigan urged consumers who believe they may have been defrauded by Mike Baranowski or Mike’s Auto Forum to file a consumer complaint through her website or to contact her office’s Chicago Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1(800)386-5438.

Assistant Attorney General Cecilia Abundis is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau.

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