Dan O’Brien Kia Hit With $1.25m Judgement for Deceptive Practices

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
dan obrien kia hit with 1 25m judgement for deceptive practices

“There is no choice but for them to improve. They have to find a way to meet customer expectations.” Those are the words uttered by Steve Center, Chief Operating Officer of Kia America, at this year’s L.A. Auto Show in response to questions about the brand scoring dead last in a sales satisfaction survey about its dealerships. 

Well, it seems Dan O’Brien Kia of New Hampshire either didn’t get the memo or is hell-bent on becoming the poster child for Center’s ire. After all, being told to pay $1.25 million in a deceptive practices settlement are unlikely to ingratiate the place to their brand’s COO.

As reported by Automotive News [ ]link], Dan O’Brien Kia must pay that sum to their state’s attorney general in order to resolve allegations of unfair and deceptive practices. Apparently, the bureau found dealership employees “persuaded consumers into purchasing vehicles they could not afford using deceptive sales practices; falsely inflated consumer income information on loan applications; and forged the signature of a customer on loan paperwork.” Fun stuff.

It gets worse. The AG says dealership staff at Dan O’Brien Kia roped customers with poor credit scores into some sort of rehab program which was purported to rebuild one’s financial status so long as they kept up payments for the first six months of the note. However, the AG details this as nothing more than some sort of sales pitch that had no affiliation with a bank, despite suggestions made to the contrary during vehicle negotiations. 

Beyond the financial restitution, the New Hampshire Department of Justice also set out a number of terms by which the Dan O’Brien Kia must abide. They include fun activities like hiring an independent compliance monitor for five years to review and report on its business practices plus recording audio and video of financing discussions between employees and customers.

That last decree is sure to frighten the tar out of finance clerks at Dan O’Brien Kia - at least between sessions of posting pics of their fake Rolex on social media, ignoring cash deals on their desk, and ruining the salesperson’s chance of getting a perfect CSI score on the survey.

Automotive News also states the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau was investigating Dan O'Brien Kia Concord based on a high volume of consumer complaints filed between 2019 and 2021. Good times.

[Images: YouTube]

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2 of 19 comments
  • Douglas Douglas on Dec 22, 2022

    I bought a new Vibe for my wife in 2007 and used a technique I learned from a friend. The basic rule is: NEVER talk to a salesperson at a dealership. I emailed every Pontiac dealer in a 150 mile radius telling them what we wanted and asking for a quote. I got back quotes all over the place, plus various come-ons, plus every technique under the sun to get me on the phone or into the dealership. I simply took the lowest quote, copied it and sent it back to everyone asking if anyone wanted to beat it. Like magic previous restrictions fell away, though one dealer told me to go jump. I wound up with a really fantastic offer on a Vibe with every add-on imaginable (I'd been asking all along for the most stripped down, cheapest version). Bought the car (they delivered it). In talking to them at delivery I learned this dealer had actually done a swap and gotten the car from the dealer who told me to go jump in a lake! My mechanic pointed out six months later the car needed an inspection, so I learned one other thing: if you go through a dealer's lot, look at inspection stickers. They tell you when the car arrived at the dealership. If a car has been on the dealer's lot for six months like mine, they are bound to be very motivated to sell it.

  • Dougjp Dougjp on Dec 22, 2022

    I look at the pictures and the immediate thought was, this guy woke up after a bender, upside down, and the first thing he thought of was..... lets start shaving immediately !! :)

    Why oh why seek to be ultra ugly and somehow think you are funny? Worth a smile? Worth (gulp) laughter? Huh? I don't actually (and obviously) think so !

    Reminds me of the the old song, "Just one look, that's all it took " ! And NOT in a good way, I might add :D

  • Inside Looking Out For midsize sedan it is too small. It basically is a compact car.
  • Stodge I test drove the 200S and damn, its suspension was so firm, I was convinced it didn't actually include suspension at all. It hurt my spine and hip, it was that firm.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird If Mopar had only offered sport hatch versions of the 200 and or Dart they might have sold more of them for folks who wanted some more versatility without having to go for a small utility Compass Patriot or new at the time Renegade or Cherokee.
  • El scotto I started driving in the late 70's. The cars high school kids could afford and wanted were very very worn out muscle cars. Oh Lordy those V-8's bring back some happy memories. Oh there some outliers in my crowd, a VW Bug and a Dodge Scamp with slant six; neither car would die. In 10 years their will be young people wanting very used Teslas or Dodge's with hemis. B&B, I say that if someone is excited about their EV, Hybrid, or Hemi welcome them to the club of people who like cars.
  • El scotto Farley and Billy Ford need to put on some jeans, flannel shirts and PPE. They should (but never will) walk the factory floors and ask "what is wrong?", "what could we be doing better?"Let me caveat that. Let Jimmy and Billy explain that any constructive criticisms will be non-attributable. Oh they can use platitude like making the house level again or setting the ship on the right course.Sadly I suspect than many, many Power Points will die in vain in the executive suites in Dearborn. At least three if not four very expensive consulting teams will be hired to review Ford's QC problems. Four consulting teams will mean four different solutions. None them will be put in action. Ford will still have huge QC problems.