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March 22, 2013

Haverhill used-car dealership under investigation again

City probes latest complaint against used-car seller

HAVERHILL — The License Commission is reviewing the latest in a series of complaints against a used-car dealership, and is considering punishing the business.

Joseph Edwards, chairman of the commission which regulates used-car dealers in the city, said the commission is aware of a recent customer complaint against the dealership, which has had several names under the same owner. It is now known as Route 495 Auto and Truck of Haverhill.

The commission is looking into the matter and intends to invite dealership owner Robert Kalil to its May meeting “to hear his side of the story,” Edwards said.

“We’ll listen to what he has to say, look at any police reports and anything else that’s available and decide at that meeting if we’re going to bring Mr. Kalil back for a show-cause (discipline) hearing,” Edwards said.

In June 2011, Edwards and other commission members told Kalil they would revoke his license if they received one more complaint against him during the next year. At that meeting, Haverhill police said they have responded to Kalil’s dealership numerous times to investigate disputes between Kalil and his customers.

Police said problems have included failure to return deposits, issues with sale contracts and possible violations of the Lemon Law.

A message left for Kalil with a receptionist at his dealership seeking comment for this story was not returned.

Kalil’s dealership at 1175 Main St. is operating under the name Route 495 Auto and Truck of Haverhill. It was formerly known as Fenway Auto Park.

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

In that case, a customer said when he purchased his truck at the dealership on upper Main Street in Haverhill, a salesman from the store made him drive across the New Hampshire line to a Plaistow dealership to sign papers for the sale. When that customer later tried to return his truck under the Massachusetts Lemon Law, Kalil told him the law didn’t apply because the vehicle was purchased in New Hampshire, according to the office of consumer affairs. New Hampshire has no lemon laws covering used cars.

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