Cars don’t stop for dealership dispute

By Bill Heltzel

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Customers of Estate Motors in Goldens Bridge need not worry about their cars being delivered, the company’s attorney said in referring to a dispute between the dealership and Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz USA notified Estate Motors in August that the dealership agreement will be terminated in 90 days, around Nov. 10.

Some customers became nervous after reading an account of the dispute in the Westchester County Business Journal.

“They think we’re shutting down tomorrow,” said Nancy Buonanno, whose husband Charles has owned the dealership since 1967.

Estate sued Mercedes last month to block the termination, and the lawsuit suspends that action while the case is pending, said company attorney Eric Chase.

Even if the dealership ultimately loses its case, Mercedes and Estate would make sure customers get their cars.

“There is no possibility at all of any consumer suffering harm from this,” Chase said. “That is the one thing that the dealer and manufacturer agree on.”

Mercedes claims in the termination notice that the dealership is poorly maintained and the facilities do not comply with its standards.

Estate claims Mercedes violated state and federal laws that are meant to protect dealers from one-sided franchise agreements.

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About the author

Bill Heltzel
Bill Heltzel has covered criminal justice, courts, government and sports – as a beat reporter and investigative reporter – for daily newspapers in Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He worked for Bloomberg LP in training and sales. He joined The Business Journal in 2016.

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