NEW BRAUNFELS – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott charged a local ATV dealer with violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). In response to the State’s request, the court issued a temporary restraining order Monday and froze the defendant’s assets. Court documents filed by the State indicate that the ATV retailer failed to deliver vehicles to customers – even after customers paid in advance for their purchases.
According to state investigators, Brandon and Debra Olson, owners of Olson Powersports in New Braunfels, violated numerous provisions of the DTPA. The defendants’ businesses, which are also known as The Family Exchange, Big Time Powersports, Big Time ATV and Star Power, are charged with failing to deliver recreational vehicles after customers paid full price online and in advance. The defendants required up-front payment and, in exchange, guaranteed delivery of selected vehicles within five to seven days, often in time for children’s birthdays. However, Olson Powersports either failed to ship any vehicles or shipped them weeks or months after the agreed-upon dates. Of the 87 consumer complaints received by the Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau, 57 customers never even received the vehicles they purchased.
While the defendants promised “top notch” customer service and a “100 percent satisfaction guarantee,” many customers reported multiple delivery problems or had complaints about the defendants’ failure to honor vehicle warranties. For example, customers complained that Olson Powersports ignored their calls or e-mails. Many others received purportedly “new” vehicles with damaged parts or batteries, while others took delivery of vehicles such as ATVs, scooters, dirt bikes or Go-Karts that were neither the model nor color customers originally selected.
The defendants advertised a “Free 3-Year Engine and Powertrain Warranty,” but many customers’ complaints indicated that their vehicles would not start, while others failed to operate after being driven for 100 miles or less. Further, Olson Powersports failed to satisfactorily resolve the malfunctions that were reported by their customers.
In addition to the asset freeze and restitution for financially harmed customers, the Attorney General’s Office is seeking civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation of the DTPA, as well as attorneys’ fees.