Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Plaintiff withdraws motion for default judgment in case against Insta-Credit Auto Mart

By Ann Maher | Jun 20, 2016

General court 07

A motion for default judgment against Insta-Credit Auto Mart has been withdrawn by a customer suing over alleged warranty and repair issues with a pickup truck he bought in 2014.

Shawn D. Mahler sued in March in Madison County Circuit Court against Insta-Credit and Universal Credit Acceptance Inc., also claiming a dispute over possession of the truck.

Mahler claims that on Nov. 13, 2014, he purchased a pickup truck with a limited warranty saying the defendant would repair the truck if needed in the first 12 months or 12,000 miles.

The truck's heater stopped working, so Mahler allegedly returned to the defendant 10 times with no success at getting it fixed, according to the complaint.

Near the end of the warranty term, the suit alleges, the defendant informed the plaintiff that the heater could not be repaired without replacing the truck's engine and the plaintiff would have to pay half of the repair cost. Mahler refused.

Some time following the sale of the truck, InstaCredit assigned its interest to Universal and Mahler received a notice from Universal dated Dec. 19, 2015, telling him the truck had been repossessed while it was at the repair facility, according to the suit.

Even though he claims he has repeatedly demanded the truck be repaired or that the defendant return the truck so he can have it repaired, the defendant has refused, according to the complaint. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Universal still possessed the truck, the suit states.

The plaintiff alleges counts of breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, consumer fraud and deceptive business practices and conversion.

The plaintiff seeks a court order that the defendant Universal immediately return the truck to him or to pay the plaintiff a replacement amount that is fair and reasonable, plus court costs, attorney fees, and pre- and post-judgment interest. He is represented by Christopher A. Thornton of C.A. Thornton LLC in St. Louis.

He moved for default judgment on June 3 claiming the defendants had failed to respond, but withdrew that motion on June 15. Thornton indicated he had relocated and subsequently received defendants' filings.

Also on June 15, Thornton filed an affidavit saying his client is not seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

Niether defendant had entered an appearance as of June 20.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth and is docketed for June 24.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-408

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