WATERVILLE (AP) – A Bath man whose dream car turned into a nightmare is suing because the dealership that sold the car failed to disclose it was a “lemon buyback” from California.

Fran Fontanez says his used 2003 Saab 9-3 had been in the shop 17 times over 21/2 years, racking up $9,800 in bills that were covered by warranty. Eventually, at 44,000 miles, the car’s engine died, the dealer balked at the repair and Fontanez sued.

Fontanez says he was researching the title when he learned that the car had been bought in California, where it was branded a lemon.

Cold Brook Saab in Skowhegan contends it met Maine’s legal requirements by disclosing that the car was a voluntary dealer buyback that was purchased at auction.

Fontanez’ lawyer says the lawsuit will be headed to trial if the parties can’t reach a settlement.

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