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Red Rock elevates former owner, who presided over frauds and arrests, to General Manager over all five dealerships

Red Rock Nissan at 2582 Highway 6 & 50 in Grand Junction

In February, 2024, the sole local owner of Red Rock Auto dealerships, Bryan Knight, was removed from the Auto Industry Division’s list of owners of the business. The change came about after two years of customers and former employees  speaking up about the questionable business practices the dealerships were found to be using under Knight’s ownership. Yet despite Knight getting booted as an owner, he was reportedly still present and working at the dealerships. So with all that has been revealed about how Red Rock was operating in Grand Junction to the detriment of the community, why would the other owners of Red Rock Auto decide to push Knight out, only to keep him around with a hand in the business?

New information explains why.

Grand Junction Jackalopes accept sponsorship by Red Rock Auto Group

Logo of the Grand Junction Jackalopes baseball team

The Grand Junction Jackalopes announced in a May 29 press release that they have “agreed to a sweeping partnership that will make Red Rock Auto Group the official auto dealer of the Grand Junction Jackalopes.”

Local baseball fans will now be confronted with the name of “Red Rock Auto” at every turn in their Jackalopes game day experience. As part of the sponsorship deal, the Diamond Club at Suplizio Field will now “officially be renamed the “Red Rock Auto Diamond Club,” and fans will now enter Suplizio Field through gates re-named the “Red Rock Auto North Gate” or the “Red Rock Auto South Gate.” The grill is even named the “Red Rock Auto Grill.”

That will be tough to swallow for local baseball fans who fell victim to Red Rock’s illicit sales techniques.

Local owner of Red Rock Auto pushed out

Bryan Knight, the now former part-owner of Red Rock Auto dealerships

The sole local owner of the Red Rock Auto dealership chain, Bryan Knight, has been pushed out of the company.

Documents from the Colorado Department of Revenue show Mr. Knight, who oversaw the Red Rock dealerships and had long been listed as a partner and minority owner of the Red Rock GMC and Honda stores, is no longer an owner of record for any Red Rock stores.

The rumor that Mr. Knight had been pushed out of Red Rock Auto came on January 19, when someone in the local auto industry contacted AnneLandmanBlog to say “Bryan Knight no longer works at Red Rock.”

Rumor: In a reversal, Red Rock got fleeced by a customer

FTC finalizes CARS Rule to combat Red Rock-style auto sales scams that have plagued customers

Last minute update: The FTC’s CARS Rule, which is the subject of this article and was intended to put a stop to shady dealerships’ worst abuses of customers, was scheduled to go into effect July 30, 2024, but was officially postponed (pdf) on January 18, 2024 as a result of lobbying by the Texas Automobile Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association, which oppose the rule.

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On December 12, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) finalized the Combating Auto Retail Scams rule (CARS) to end the most common abuses that dealerships like Red Rock Auto in Grand Junction have long perpetrated on customers when selling cars. The CARS Rule was scheduled to go into effect on July 30, 2024. [See above last minute update].

Former Red Rock principals who left under a cloud open financial consulting business, go into real estate locally

Note that “Bookcliffs Investment Group, LLC” is not be confused with “Bookcliffs Financial Planning and Investments,” which is an entirely different company unaffiliated with Reade and Adams’ business.

Former Red Rock Nissan and Kia managing partner Brantley Reade and the former General Manager of Red Rock’s GMC dealership, Cord Adams, who both left Red Rock under a cloud on the same day last January, opened a financial investment business together last February, shortly after leaving Red Rock.

Reade and Adams were part of the so-called “fraternity” of managers from Tim Dahle dealerships in Salt Lake who came to Grand Junction to help run the Red Rock Auto Group. They were high-management casualties of the large-scale personnel churn that began near the end of 2022, after customers started revealing the illegal and unethical business practices they fell victim to while buying vehicles at Red Rock dealerships.

Confessions of a former Red Rock dealership service department employee

A former employee of Red Rock Hyundai in Grand Junction who quit as an act of conscience last year previously gave an interview in which he told how Red Rock financing and insurance (F&I) employees had been fleecing people and submitting false information to financial institutions on the sales side. The same person also worked in the service department at Red Rock Hyundai, so I contacted him again to talk about how service is billed at these dealerships. The conversation ranged into a discussion of other service practices as well.

The former employee revealed some disturbing practices he’d witnessed in the service department at Red Rock Hyundai. These, combined with what he had seen happening on the sales side weighed heavily on his conscience and led up to his resignation. Some of what he said he had seen included:

Second Red Rock Auto financial manager charged with crimes against customers

Daily Sentinel headline, August 29

A second former Red Rock GMC financial manager has been charged with forgery, criminal impersonation and identity theft within the last month after posing as a customer on a phone call to the Canvas Credit Union to try to expedite a customer’s vehicle loan.

Matthew Morris acted as an accomplice to Tiffany Miller, the first Red Rock GMC financial manager charged with the same crimes in early August. Both Morris and Miller were fired from Red Rock, but in her arrest affidavit Miller pointed to Red Rock management as pressuring her to commit the crimes. In the same affidavit (pdf), Morris said that Red Rock GMC Sales Manager Tyson Chambers and General Manager Caleb Stillman both knew he and Miller were making the fake calls to

Tyson Chambers, General Manager of Red Rock GMC

the lender and that they “and essentially encouraged the behavior.” Morris added that “he was terminated [from his job] not for making the call, but for being caught.”

Red Rock promotes its reviews on TV, but wait…

Screen shot of a Red Rock TV ad

The Red Rock Auto Group, which owns five dealerships in Grand Junction, has been advertising heavily on local news with ads that tout what they say are their many positive reviews.

We’ve already seen evidence, however, that indicates  Red Rock manipulates online reviews by coercing its employees to write positive reviews (a violation Google policy) and by purchasing good reviews from customers by offering them perks like free gas and oil changes in exchange for positive online reviews.

But we shouldn’t forget the slew of gritty and honest negative reviews that show the real difficulty Red Rock has caused so many customers, and the responses or lack thereof to such reviews from “the owner.”

Not a Red Rock dealership in sight in the Daily Sentinel’s “Best of the West” 2023 contest results

The Daily Sentinel published the results of their annual “Best in the West” contest in today’s newspaper, and in a good sign for town, there wasn’t a Red Rock dealership is sight for the best of anything having to do with vehicles, showing local people are learning about or have personally experienced, the hazards of doing business at these dealerships.

What we learned from former Red Rock GMC financial manager Tiffany Miller’s arrest affidavit

Mug shot of Tiffany Momilani Miller, a former Red Rock GMC financial manager who was arrested earlier this month on charges of forgery, criminal impersonation and identity theft. (Photo: Daily Sentinel/GJPD)

Former Red Rock GMC financial manager Tiffany M. Miller was arrested earlier this month and charged with forgery, identity theft and criminal impersonation.

AnneLandmanBlog obtained a copy of the full August 2 arrest affidavit (pdf) for Miller.

The biggest takeaways from it are summarized below:

  • A couple was trying to buy a vehicle from Red Rock GMC at 741 N. First Street, and applied for a loan through the dealership. After they left with the vehicle, two Red Rock financial managers, Tiffany Miller and Matthew Morris, phoned the customers’ lender and posed as the couple, in a claimed effort “to verify the information on the auto [credit] application,” and “expedite the loan process.”
  • In addition to posing as the customers, Miller falsified information on the customers’ credit application, including who the primary driver of the vehicle would be, and the length of time the couple had lived at their residence, and she falsely stated the car had extra accessories it didn’t actually have, including running boards, rear bucket seats, a rear entertainment system and blind spot monitors. The customers told GJPD investigators the car they were purchasing had none of these features. These items would have increased the value of the vehicle to the lender. (Note: This is a practice that, according to a former Red Rock finance employee is called “Power Booking,” that is aimed at increasing the value of the car to the lender to get the customer a bigger loan.)
  • The Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD) first sent the case to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Auto Industry Division (AID), the enforcement agency for dealerships. Months later, the AID sent it back to the GJPD because “the allegations are for felony criminal activity.”
  • Red Rock GMC General Manager Tyson Chambers said Red Rock GMC got “locked out” of Canvas Credit Union via their online lending platform, Credit Union Direct Lending (CUDL), because of the “victim complaint and the potential forgery on the loan application.”

    Tyson Chambers, General Manager of Red Rock GMC, who, according to Miller’s arrest affidavit, pressured Red Rock Human Resources Manager Amy Felix to lie on a form about why Tiffany Miller had left Red Rock. Felix told a police investigator Tyson had ordered her to lie on the form because he “didn’t want to ruin [Tiffany Miller’s] life.”

  • Tyson Chambers fired both Tiffany Miller and Matthew Morris, the two GMC financial managers who posed as customers on the phone call to the lender. Morris later told the GJPD criminal investigator that he was told that making calls posing as customers was “just part of the business and everyone knows they do it, to include the banks.”

A former Red Rock sales & finance employee tells how employees are treated, and how it affects customers

We’ve already seen that Red Rock auto dealerships in Grand Junction have drawn more than 15 times the complaints to the Auto Industry Division of other new car dealerships in town over the last two years, and that they used illicit sales tactics that sent many hard-working customers into desperate downward financial spirals. The Better Business Bureau slapped red alerts on several Red Rock dealerships due to “a pattern of complaints” about their contracts, service departments, and customer service.

By comparison, non-Red Rock new car dealerships in G.J., like Western Slope Auto, Bozarth Chevrolet, Grand Junction Subaru & Volkswagen, and Grand Junction Chrysler Jeep Dodge logged no customer complaints within the same time frame. This begs the question of why is there such a big difference between how Red Rock has operated, and how these other dealerships operate?

Red Rock dealership customers still finding surprise additional charges and claimed forgeries on their documents

Think Trouble: Red Rock’s proprietary USB key-style thumb drive that they use to hand people their documents

Since Red Rock dealerships’ shady sales tactics were first exposed in this blog, people have been digging out documents from their vehicle purchases at Red Rock, examining them and continuing to discover expensive extras added to their contracts that they didn’t know about and signatures on them that people say are not theirs.

One of these people is Natasha Bury-Wilder, a hard-working single mother of three employed in home care, who says she got taken twice by Red Rock Nissan and ended up in a deep financial hole as a result.

Harry Faulkner’s Red Rock nightmare

Red Rock Hyundai, 2162 Highway 6 And 50, between Fruita and Grand Junction

UPDATE, Monday, August 7: Red Rock Hyundai fixed the cracked windshield and Harry finally took possession of his 2023 Kona, but it had a dent in the fender that occurred either when they were fixing the windshield or applying the clear bra/window tint. Harry also discovered today that there is an urgent recall on his vehicle over a faulty oil pump that can cause fires. Owners of 2023 Konas are being advised to park their vehicles away from structures due to the fire hazard. The NHTSA says there is currently no repair available for the faulty part. 

UPDATE: June 24, 2023 – Harry left the new, red Kona in the care of the dealership so they could have a clear bra and window tint added to it, and Harry reported on June 24, 2023 that Red Rock Hyundai had called him to tell him there was a crack in the windshield of his new car that they believe is a manufacturer defect. The car is currently awaiting a new windshield.

At age 53, Harry Faulkner of Rifle thought he was finally doing well enough financially that he could afford a brand new car, the first one in his life. So in October, 2021, he went to Red Rock Hyundai in Grand Junction and proudly bought a brand new 2022 Hyundai Venue.

That began an extended nightmare that took a year and eight months to resolve.

His story would have been comical in a Keystone Cops kind of way, if it hadn’t been so stressful, expensive and frustrating for Harry.

Red Rock Kia charging customers more for paying cash

You used to get a better deal if you could pay cash. At Red Rock dealerships, it’s now the opposite.

Red Rock Kia is advertising a 2018 Nissan Murano on Facebook Marketplace with two different prices: one if a customer finances the car, and another almost $900 higher for customers who  pay cash.

The ad points to the financed price, and crows “Saves money!”

Come on, Red Rock. We’re not idiots.

Any form of financing will cost a buyer far more than they can ever save on this deal.

Even under the best circumstances, for example a customer who finances $27,000, has an excellent credit score and a 48 month loan at a 5% interest rate, after adding taxes and fees to the deal, the interest on that loan will cost at least $3,350.

Small potatoes compared to the what Red Rock wants to charge people who pay cash.

It’s legal for them to do this. After all, they’re telling you about it right up front, as they should

But that also gives people the ability to vote with their feet by patronizing businesses that don’t discriminate against customers based on form of payment.

Vehicle Buyers Beware: Many former Red Rock employees have moved over to Grand Valley Auto, and are plying their trade there

AnneLandmanBlog has received credible information that a large number of former Red Rock employees have moved over to Grand Valley Auto, where they are continuing to use the same tricks they learned at Red Rock.

Evidence indicates Red Rock dealerships bribed customers for positive manufacturer surveys

We’ve already seen the evidence showing Red Rock dealerships worked to slant reviews in their favor on public-facing consumer review sites like Google Reviews and Yelp. A different facet of this deceptive behavior is how the dealerships treat vehicle manufacturers’ customer satisfaction surveys.

Members of the public use Google, Yelp, Cars.com, DealerRater and other review sites to help them decide who to patronize, so stacking reviews on these sites misleads the public. But auto manufacturers have their own proprietary, internal customer satisfaction surveys that they use to determine how well or poorly customers are being treated at their dealerships, and where their dealerships need improvement.

Vehicle makers expect honest responses to these surveys so they can improve their customers’ experiences, so submitting falsified answers to the car companies’ customer satisfaction surveys defrauds the vehicle manufacturers.

Two former Red Rock employees report that “bribing” and “harassing” customers to leave positive manufacturer surveys was routine at these dealerships while they worked there.

One former Red Rock service employee wrote in a text,

Red Rock Auto Group’s greedwashing campaign

Red Rock got this free media from the Daily Sentinel on January 19, 2023, with this photo of their donation to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Red Rock also got Joy Thompson of CASA to say “We love Red Rock” on a January 19, 2023 local KREX-TV news segment about the donation.

After a company has been outed as over-the-top greedy, there’s nothing left for it to do but make conspicuous donations to local charities to score public relations points and blow smoke to make people forget about how their business has harmed the community in the long term.

That’s likely why, near the end of 2022, after all the unseemly tactics Red Rock Auto dealerships had been using on customers to fleece them out of thousands of dollars over the last 7 years were exposed, Red Rock suddenly started ramping up its donations to local charities and promoting their donations in ads on TV and through free media given to them by local TV stations and newspapers.

A company that ingratiates itself to reputable charitable causes as a way to distract from its immoral acts is engaging in a form of “greedwashing,” a term developed during the taxpayer-funded federal bailouts of the big banks during the economic crash of 2008-2009: