Massachusetts man who bought "lemon" trashes seven cars

CONWAY, Mass Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:11pm EDT

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CONWAY, Mass (Reuters) - A man angry that a car dealership refused to take back a "lemon" van he had purchased intentionally crashed it into seven parked vehicles, police said on Thursday.

The dispute began when David Cross, 42, of Salisbury, Massachusetts, and his wife on Monday bought a van at the Portsmouth Used Car Superstore, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, said Portsmouth Police Lieutenant Russell Russo.

Cross told police that his mechanic quickly found a variety of problems with the van and advised him to return it to the dealer. But the business declined to take back what Cross said was a "lemon", Russo told Reuters.

After the dealership closed on Tuesday, Cross returned at midnight and used his van to smash into seven vehicles on the dealer's lot, including a Mercedes C300 and a Ford Mustang, causing damage initially estimated at $20,000, police said.

"He damaged each one, and then he left his van that he bought behind," Russo said.

He then crossed the street to where a police cruiser happened to be parked and reported the incident, leading an officer back to the wrecks.

After his arrest, Cross was charged with seven counts of criminal mischief, a felony due to the damage amount, Russo said.

Cross was released on personal recognizance and was scheduled to be arraigned September 19 in Portsmouth District Court, police said.

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation on Thursday suggested that individuals who believe they have bought a lemon call its hotline for help.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)

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Mass_Consumer wrote:
Consumers are advised to call the hotline if they believe they bought a lemon from a Massachusetts auto dealer. Out-of-state purchases are not regulated by the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

Jul 21, 2011 1:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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