Ethics and Cars – Now This Is What Gives Used Car Dealers a Bad Name!

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In Dallas, Texas and around the nation – everyday, someone is ribbing on used car dealers saying that they are just not trustworthy. Well, in Richardson, TX it was proven to be true. According to the US Attorney’s office, a Plano, Texas resident, Massoud Mortazavi-Koupai pled guilty before U. S. Chief District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to false odometer disclosure and failing to provide notice to consumers of vehicles’ structural damage.

Mortazavi-Koupai, age 47, faces a maximum of three years in federal prison and restitution.

The US Attorney’s New Release states the following:

According to documents filed in the case, Mortazavi-Koupai personally purchased, or directed others to purchase, numerous vehicles at automobile auctions with notification that such vehicles had previously sustained substantial structural damage to the frame or the unibody. These auto auctions required selling dealers to provide notification to purchasing dealers that a motor vehicle had previously sustained frame damage or unibody damage, which indicate structural damage. On a substantial number of occasions, after purchasing vehicles with notification that the vehicles had structural damage, Mortazavi-Koupai sold such vehicles without disclosing the damage to purchasers.

Mortazavi-Koupai also purchased vehicles with inaccurate odometers. Federal law requires that, in connection with the sale of a motor vehicle, the seller must disclose the mileage to the purchaser in writing and sign the written disclosure. In addition, the seller must certify that the odometer reading reflects the actual mileage, or, if the transferor knows that the odometer reading reflects the amount of mileage in excess of the designed mechanical odometer limit, he will include a statement to that effect. If the transferor knows that the odometer reading differs from the mileage and that the difference is greater than that caused by odometer calibration error, he will include a statement that the odometer reading does not reflect the actual mileage, and should not be relied upon. On a substantial number of occasions, after purchasing vehicles with certifications from previous owners that the odometer was inaccurate, the Mortazavi-Koupai sold vehicles with a certification made on behalf of his dealership that the vehicles’ odometers were accurate, when in fact they were not.

As a business ethics speaker, I remind every group I speak to that Every Choice Has A Consequence. The question that always seems to loom when reports like this appear is – did it ever occur to the perpetrator of the fraud that the price of the consequence might well outweigh the short term benefit that was received. Amazingly, many (including myself) never calculated that there might be a consequence and that the consequence might be far more severe than could ever be imagined.

On April 25, 2008 Mortazavi-Koupai will be sentenced. I would not be surprises to see a prison sentence here along with substantial restitution.

Your thoughts?

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11 Responses to Ethics and Cars – Now This Is What Gives Used Car Dealers a Bad Name!

  1. Hi,
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  2. Michael Davis says:

    Chuck, I purchased a used Acura 18 months ago from a car dealer in Euless. I decided to sell it this week and ran a Vehicle History Report as a courtesy to a prospective buyer. I was shocked to learn that the vehicle had been in a major accident about 6 months before I bought it and apparently had frame damage. Was the dealer legally bound to disclose this to me or is this a case of ‘buyer beware’. If they were required by Texas (or Federal law), what recourse do I have? I drove by their place of business and, of course, they were no longer there. I have their dealer license number and am hoping that Texas Consumer Affairs (or you?) can help me track them down. I want to be honest while I attempt to sell this vehicle but am afraid that I will be stuck with it. Help!

  3. I’m sorry, but I can’t help. What I would suggest is that you contact the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles or local law enforcement to know what the laws are in Texas and what recourse you might have.

  4. Hi,
    I like the way you write ..Its really different and interesting … keep the momentum going ..I hope tis will really going to help me in future..The topic you have chosen Is really amazing and I am reading your posts since long …but this is really something exceptional . I like the way you are writing … Its really awesome ..I hope to see some new more and encouraging posts from you .
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  5. Sebastian says:

    I understand that it is wrongful for someone to disclose information of such nature, but honestly was it that hard for the buyers of these vehicles to pull up carfax?! I mean seriously how dumb can you be? Pull up the carfax and do not blame it on the seller of the vehicle. How are the American courts letting people free who have murdered, but spending this much money to prosecute and put a man in prison who only did not provide his buyers with a carfax but expected them to do so… It is hilarious to me sometimes how our government works, and how the loopholes are used by so many criminals but are of no use to the innocent or the almost innocent.

  6. vendee says:

    I got the Carfax report before purchasing a vehicle from Massoud-mortazavi-koupai at Interfirst Leasing in Texas.

    However, Carfax is not up to date!

    Carfax did not divulge the information that the car I purchased had frame damage.

    In my case Carfax did not report this damage until three years (yes, three years) after I had purchased the vehicle.

    I not only checked Carfax I took the car to a dealer for a full inspection and neither showed anything wrong.

    When I went to sell the car recently at a car dealer, they told me it had frame damage.

    Thankfully Massoud-mortazavi-Koupai is in prison.

  7. Scorned says:

    Sorry to tell you Vendee … he is out. And worse yet, he is STILL IN BUSINESS!!!

    He owns Central Autohaus in Richardson TX. And he is still buying wrecked cars from auctions around the country and selling them to unsuspecting buyers.

    As one of the previous posters mentioned, Carfax isn’t current. More often than not Carfax does not accurately represent the condition of the car. For anyone thinking of buying from this guy … steer clear of him. You’ll regret it in the end.

  8. Gotscrewed2 says:

    He got me too. Did he do any jail time? Did he pay restitution? I have a car I can’t sell.

    He can look you in the face, call you friend and screw you at the same time. Not an honorable man.

    • John4654 says:

      scorned,
      Ive known Massoud for the past ten years, and have bought 2 cars from in this duration. I have had no problems for either cars, and took them to multiple dealers to have them checked out myself. You must seriously have no life or better yet, common sense. It doesn’t take but more than a genius to check the carfax yourself, or take it to any other dealer for an inspection.

  9. Lynn says:

    I bought a use lexus 04 at a dealer in Salt Lake City. And on the way home,we live in Idaho a 200 + mile drive, the check engine lite comes on about 50 miles from home. I took it to a local mechanis he says it is a $1000 fix. I feel the dealer erased the codes so the check engine light was not on at the dealer show room. Do I have a recourse, it has now be 6 days

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