NJ car dealerships pay to settle consumer protection complaints
NEWARK – Three car dealerships have agreed to pay the state more than $430,000 combined to settle accusations that they violated consumer protections.
The dealerships were accused of failing to disclose prior accident history; deceptive advertising; failing to honor vehicle warranties; failing to list vehicle prices on sales documents; charging consumers for certain fees twice; failing to itemize aftermarket products or dealer-installed options; failing to obtain consumer signatures on all sales documents; and accepting incomplete credit applications from prospective buyers.
“Dodging illegal practices should be the last thing New Jerseyans have to worry about as they search for a vehicle in this challenging market,” said acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin.
“The division has a duty to protect New Jersey consumers by ensuring dealerships live up to their promises,” said Cari Fais, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “In addition to providing relief to affected consumers, these settlements make clear that we will not tolerate car dealerships that disregard our laws and regulations.”
Open Road Auto Group, which operates 15 locations in North Jersey and Central Jersey, agreed to a $300,000 settlement to resolve an investigation into allegations that included failing to disclose prior accident history, using deceptive advertising and failing to honor vehicle warranties.
In addition to a series of agreements regarding disclosures, advertising and sales practices, Open Road agreed to provide a $100 service credit coupon towards service, maintenance or repair for all consumers who purchased a vehicle in 2017 and were charged a wash and detail fee.
Glen Motors, located in Fair Lawn, agreed to a $90,000 settlement, including $66,089 in civil penalties, to resolve allegations that included failing to list the price of motor vehicles on its sales documents, failing to itemize aftermarket products or dealer-installed options and failing to obtain consumer signatures on all sales documents.
Several Lynnes dealerships in Bloomfield – Lynnes Nissan East, Lynnes Hyundai and Lynnes Subaru — agreed to a $46,381 settlement, including $33,500 in civil penalties, to resolve allegations that included charging consumers for certain fees twice, accepting incomplete credit applications from prospective buyers and failing to list vehicle prices on sales documents.
The Lynnes settlement dates to last year, but the other two were finalized last week. The state announced all three Friday.
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