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Haverhill

October 4, 2013

Used-car dealer seeks 5th name change

Previous name changes followed complaints from customers, city

HAVERHILL — A used-car dealer with a history of customer complaints is changing the name of his dealership for the fifth time since 2007.

Robert Kalil has asked the city’s License Commission to approve changing the name of his dealership from 495 Car & Truck to Truck World. The dealership at 1175 Main St. was formerly known as Fenway Auto Park and had two other names before that, licensing officials said.

Previous name changes followed problems with customers, the commission and various consumer protection agencies.

In 2009, the dealership was cited by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation for violating the Lemon Law.

Several consumers made similar allegations against Kalil in March and April of this year, but those disputes were eventually resolved between Kalil and the customers.

Joseph Edwards, the License Commission chairman, said there are no pending complaints against Kalil or his dealership.

Kalil told the License Commission last night that he is seeking the name change because there is an auto parts business with a similar name in Lawrence called 495 Truck and Auto Recyclers.

Kalil said he has been getting “tons of phone calls” at his dealership from people looking for the Lawrence business.

“People are confused because the names are almost the same,” Kail said, adding the two businesses are only a few miles apart.

Commissioners said they are skeptical of Kalil’s motivation for the name change, but that it is his right to change the name of his business as often as he wants.

Nonetheless, the commission postponed the request until its next meeting because they want to see Kalil’s corporation papers before approving the name change, to make sure he has also changed the name of his dealership on those documents. The dealership is incorporated as Kalil Motors Inc.

“We want to help businesses, but we also have a responsibility to protect consumers,” Edwards said. “As long as he does it legally, there’s nothing we can do about it (the name change).”

Kalil said he has made many policy and personnel changes at his dealership in recent years to provide better service to his customers, including firing the store’s manager and hiring a second mechanic.

Kalil said the “adjustments to the company” he made in 2011 have worked well, and that the dealership has sold more than 500 vehicles in the past year.

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