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Man Is Suing Auto Dealer For Not Selling Him A Mercedes GLS550

A man in New York is suing a New Jersey auto dealer for $1.26 million after the manager refused selling him a Mercedes Benz GLS550 SUV because of  fear he would export it to the Taliban.

The incident that happened on June 3 when the 50 year old Surjeet Bassi, who is of Indian origin, went to Prestige Motors Inc. to purchase a new car. Accompanied by a colleague, Bassi spent between four and five hours choosing the vehicle, a 2017 Mercedes Benz GLS550, turning over bank records to establish his credit worthiness, and waiting for the car to be delivered, the lawsuit said.

As requested, Bassi made a $1,000 down payment by credit card and had his insurance company fax a copy of proof of insurance for the new vehicle, the suit alleges. But after reaching an agreement on the price of the SUV and the trade-in value of Bassi's current car, the salesman told Bassi the manager wanted to speak with him, the lawsuit said.

The manager allegedly said he could not sell Bassi an automobile because he "came from a 'high risk area' where people buy such cars and export them to the Taliban," according to the lawsuit.

Bassi explained he was Indian, the suit said, and that he was not related to the Taliban.

Bassi also suggested the manager search for his name, address, and phone number in a federal database of "'known exporters of Mercedes Benz' vehicles," which came up negative, according to Bassi's lawsuit.

Nonetheless, the manager refused to finalize the sale and extend the $83,000 in credit for which Bassi qualified, the suit alleges.

Prestige Motors spokeswoman Theresa V. Boylan told NBC News in an email statement that Prestige Mercedes Benz denies Bassi's allegations of discrimination. She added that the company does not condone discrimination and highly values all of its customers.

Bassi is seeking $60,000 in compensatory damages and $1.2 million in punitive damages, according to the lawsuit.

Source: NBC News

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