A US plumber is suing a Ford dealership after his old truck ended up in Syria
His company name was still on the side of the truck as it was photographed being used in the conflict. (Twitter)
When Mark Oberholtzer traded in his truck at the AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway in Houston, Texas, he did not expect it would end up in the hands of militants in Syria. The plumbing company owner took the truck into the dealership to get an upgrade in October 2013, and walked away with a Ford F-250.
Around a year later, a photo of his old truck emerged online which appeared to show it being used in the Syrian conflict. Now he is suing the dealership for more than $1 million after he received a barrage of abusive phone calls and even death threats.
The story behind how the truck ended up in Syria, and why Oberholtzer was later harassed, is unusual to say the least.
According to the lawsuit, Oberholtzer was told not to peel off his company’s name from the side of the truck by a salesman at the dealership. AutoNation allegedly assured him they would remove the name before they resold the truck, however it does not appear that they did.
The lawsuit, filed last week, states that the truck was auctioned off in November 2013 and was then shipped to Mersin, Turkey. From there, it apparently made its way to Syria where it later appeared in the photo, with a heavy weapon attached to its bed.
His lawyer claimed that over 1,000 calls were made to Oberholtzer’s office and business phone on the day the photo emerged, with most of them being threatening. He is suing for financial losses and damages to his company’s reputation, saying that he would not have been the target of the abuse had the dealership removed the decals as they said they would.
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