Dealership Deny Indian A Mercedes Over Taliban Fears, Gets Dragged To Court

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An American Mercedes dealership that denied an Indian-American the chance to purchase a posh Merc SUV, over fears that he would export the car to the Taliban, have been dragged to court by the victim.

50-year-old Surjeet Bassi, who has been a resident of Wallkill, New Jersey for 30 years, has filed a $1.26 million (Rs. 8.41 Crore) lawsuit against Prestige Motors Inc. in Bergen County, New Jersey over the incident that occurred on June 3, 2016.

indian american who sued mercedes dealership

The lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York alleges that this was a case of "blatant racial discrimination" as well as refusing to extend credit under the Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Bassi had gone to Prestige Motors along with his business partner, with the intention of trading in his Mercedes-Benz ML350, for a brand new GLS 550.

After completing formalities, including passing a credit check, paying a $1,000 downpayment and showing Prestige his personal bank statements, Bassi stated that a deal had been agreed to for his new ride.

However, that's when everything went south. The lawsuit claims that a manager at the Prestige showroom called Bassi into his office and stated that he couldn't sell him the new SUV.

When asked why, Bassi claims that he was told that he was from a "high-risk area", where people buy cars and export them to the Taliban.

According to the lawsuit, Bassi informed the manager that he an Indian and wasn't connected to the Taliban terrorists in any way. Bassi even offer to sign a three-year-waiver, promising not to export the car for tat time period, something he's done before.

However, Prestige refused and now Bassi's lawsuit will see them face each other in court in yet another case that highlights the racist nature of a few people in the United States. 

Source - Times Herald-Record

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Story first published: Tuesday, August 9, 2016, 20:24 [IST]
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