MUNCIE, Ind. - A central Indiana car dealership that charged customers for a protective coating that it couldn't prove was ever applied has reached a settlement with the state, the Indiana Attorney General's Office said Thursday.
Kia of Muncie had been under investigation after a former employee tipped off the state that the dealership had charged customers for Xzilon, a paint protection, but had no supply and didn't put the product on vehicles it sold.
Investigators said the company couldn't verify if specific vehicles received the paint protection, citing difficulty getting the product, poor communication between employees and worker turnover.
In the settlement, Kia of Muncie did not admit liability, but the company arranged for customers who bought a new vehicle and paid for the coating to come back to have it put on or get a full refund.
Officials said most of the customers had the coating applied, but 65 people who didn't come back to the dealership will get a $599 refund.
"This settlement ensures those consumers who were impacted were made whole again, but consumers should always be leery of dealer add-ons when purchasing a vehicle, especially for those products that you cannot see," said Terry Tolliver, deputy director of the Consumer Protection Division, in a news release.
As part of the agreement, Kia of Muncie agreed to adhere to the Deceptive Consumer Sales Act in the future and paid the state $3,000 in costs.
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