The Utah attorney general's office and an Orem automobile dealership have reached an out-of-court settlement on a civil rights complaint filed in January.
The state filed a complaint against University Motors Sales and Leasing, 744 N. State Street, alleging a salesman refused to sell a car to a Brigham Young University student on Sept. 18 because the man is Chinese.According to the complaint, Gordon J. Liu asked salesman Matthew L. Miner if he could test drive a car that had a price of $2,395 written on the windshield. Just before opening the security key box on the car, Miner told Liu the car would cost $3,300 with taxes and license fees included.
Miner later told Liu that he would not sell him the car because he was Oriental, the complaint says. Later that day Liu contacted a Caucasian friend who purchased the same car from Miner for $2,450, which included taxes and license fees.
Wayne Shoenfeld, owner of University Motors, said Miner was set up and his company has never discriminated against minorities.
However, University Motors and the state signed a stipulation three weeks ago that says the dealership will not discriminate against Liu or any other person and that it will implement policies and procedures to prevent discrimination in the future. If the state receives no further complaints against Miner or University Motors in the next year, the state will move to terminate the injunction.
The decree also says that Miner must apologize to Liu personally and in writing and that he and the dealership must pay Liu $500. The agreement prevents Liu from filing any other monetary claims against Miner and University Motors and the stipulation is not an admission of liability on the part of the defendants.