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Tate’s got your car? Call Human Rights Commission

CHINLE

Anyone whose car got stuck at a Tate’s Auto Center for service before Tate’s filed for bankruptcy and shut down last month is asked to call the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission (928-871-7436).

According to HRC Executive Director Leonard Gorman, the commission has received multiple calls from individuals whose vehicles were being worked on before April 26, when a bankruptcy judge ordered Tate’s not to liquidate any assets, and they have been unable to get their cars out of the shop.

“We don’t know how many Navajos are in that situation, but it could be quite a few,” Gorman said.

The HRC would like to get a rough tally before going before the bankruptcy judge and asking that Tate’s be compelled to open the shops and release the cars.

Gorman said Tate’s immediately closed its dealerships in Gallup, Holbrook, Winslow and Show Low after the judge’s ruling.

Tate’s is being sued by the Federal Trade Commission, Ford Auto Credit and Nissan Auto Credit for what the plaintiffs say are questionable sales and financing practices that defrauded both consumers and the credit companies.

The FTC complaint relied on information turned over by the HRC.

Gorman said the HRC will work hard to get Navajos’ cars back.

“We all know how important transportation is on the Navajo Nation,” he said. “It’s not only people’s livelihood, it can be a matter of life and death.”

The HRC will be closed tomorrow for Law Enforcement Appreciation Day but will open again at 8 a.m. Monday.


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About The Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at cyurth@navajotimes.com.