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Used car lot owner says customers will get tags, titles despite closing

November 02, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HALFWAY -- The owner of Hagerstown Motors said he is working with the Motor Vehicle Administration to get the tags and titles for about 30 customers who bought vehicles from the business before it closed last week.

Mike Griffith said Monday he wanted to apologize to customers who have been inconvenienced by the sudden closing of the business.

"I'm working every day with the MVA," Griffith said. "Every customer will get their title and tags ... We just got behind on things. I'm doing everything I can to make it right."

Hagerstown Motors, a used-vehicle lot at 17703 Virginia Ave. in Halfway, closed without notice Oct. 26.

Griffith attributed the closing to the sluggish economy.

Customers who still haven't received their tags and titles can continue driving the vehicles they bought at Hagerstown Motors by getting their temporary tags renewed at the MVA, Griffith said.

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The MVA is at 18306 Col. Henry K. Douglas Drive south of Hagerstown, off Sharpsburg Pike (Md. 65).

Buel Young, a spokesman for the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, said Friday that state officials were investigating the situation, but said he couldn't give details.

"Any time we have that type of situation, we can't comment," Young said.

Young could not be reached Monday to say whether complaints had been filed against Hagerstown Motors with the MVA.

Griffith said he opened the business in July 2006, and in June 2008 hired Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II to manage the lot.

Bruchey said last week that he quit his job at Hagerstown Motors on Oct. 24, and said he didn't know the business would close two days later.

He said he was never a partner in the business.

Griffith said Bruchey, as manager of Hagerstown Motors, knew the business would close.

"He knew 100 percent everything that was going on," Griffith said.

Bruchey said Monday he was aware the business was "feeling the pinch of the economy."

"There were no plans to close that lot that I'm aware of," Bruchey said. "I quit because I needed to make money for my family."

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