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'Taliban Toyota' Slur Wins Dealer $7.5M From Rival

Competitor told customers he was a terrorist sympathizer
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2011 2:39 PM CDT
'Taliban Toyota' Slur Wins Dealer $7.5M From Rival
A feud between Toyota dealers ended up in court.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

(Newser) – It may be a tough time to be selling cars, but here's one way not to boost sales: Accuse your big rival of being a Taliban-loving terrorist sympathizer. A Toyota dealership in Pensacola, Florida, has to shell out $7.5 million for doing just that, reports Reuters. A jury awarded the money to Shawn Esfahani, a naturalized US citizen who was born in Iran and now runs a dealership in nearby Daphne, Alabama.

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The salesmen in Pensacola weren't exactly subtle about it, according to the lawsuit. "(Esfahani) is funneling money back to his family and other terrorists," one told a couple browsing for cars. "I have a brother over there and what you're doing is helping kill my brother." (Read more car dealers stories.)

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