Tag Archive | "payment packing"

N.J. Dealer Agrees to Pay $136,000 to Resolve Consumer Fraud Investigation


NEWARK, N.J. — Sansone Hyundai has agreed to pay $136,000 to resolve charges that it failed to disclose the total price of certain advertised vehicles and charged consumers for F&I products listed at “no charge” on certain leases and sales contracts,” New Jersey Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced on Friday.

The dealership, winner of DealerRater’s 2016 and 2017 Consumer Satisfaction Award, also agreed to change its advertising, sales, and leasing practices, including disclosing all costs and fees associated with the purchase or lease of a vehicle before consumers sign on the dotted line.

“Consumers should be able to purchase a new car without having to worry about misinformation and hidden costs,” said Attorney General Porrino. “This settlement ensures that consumers will receive transparency and honesty from this dealership, as required by law.”

The settlement was announced three days after New York’s Nissan of Rochelle, located two hours north of Sansone, agreed to pay more than $298,000 to settle Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s charges that it willfully defrauded 298 car buyers by tacking on a window-etch programs after customers agreed to a price for the vehicle and often without their knowledge.

In a consent order with the Division of Consumer Affairs, Sansone Hyundai and its directors agreed not to add and charge for aftermarket products, such as window etch and service contracts, without the consumers’ knowledge and/or authorization, or represent to consumers that certain dealer-installed options are mandatory when they’re not.

The New Jersey dealership also agreed not to sell consumers aftermarket products that overlap or provide similar benefits the consumer has already purchased through the lease and sale transaction; accurately reflect in leases the “gross capitalized cost” as required by the consumer leasing act; provide consumers with an opportunity to review all leases and/or sales documents and/or aftermarket contracts prior to signing; and not identify the advertised prices of vehicles by reference to the MSRP sticker, when the vehicle includes an addendum to the MSRP sticker that reflects a higher total price.

The dealership must also comply with all applicable state and/or federal laws, rules, and regulations, including the Consumer Fraud Act, the Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations, the Automotive Sales Regulations, and the Consumer Leasing Act, according to the consent order.

“Dealerships must fully disclose all costs and fees associated with the purchase or lease of a vehicle before consumers sign on the dotted line,” said Steve Lee, director of New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs. “We will continue to enforce the laws and regulations in place to ensure consumers have the facts they need to make informed decisions.”

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on N.J. Dealer Agrees to Pay $136,000 to Resolve Consumer Fraud Investigation

‘Total Loss Protection’ at Center of NY Dealer’s $298K Settlement With State AG


ALBANY, N.Y. — Nissan of New Rochelle will pay more than $298,000 to settle claims that the dealership willfully defrauded 298 car buyers of a total of $276,127 by tacking on a window-etch program that included a “Total Loss Protection” benefit after customers had agreed to a price for the vehicle and often without their knowledge or consent, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced this week.

In addition to refunding the cost of the product, which varied from $215 to more than $5,000 per vehicle, the dealership’s owners have agreed to pay the state $22,084 in penalties, fees and costs. They also agreed to “certain reforms” of the dealership’s sales and F& processes.

“Consumers should not have to worry that they are being scammed into adding on bogus products and services when they purchase a car,” Schneiderman said. “Buying a car is already a major investment for many families, and tacking on thousands of dollars extra can become a significant financial burden. I am pleased that we are able to return hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution to the nearly 300 consumers who were scammed and defrauded.”

According to Schneiderman, his office’s investigation into the 2015 complaint revealed that the product, described as a window- and windshield-etch program backed by a $3,000 or $5,000 guarantee against theft, was deceptive or outright fraudulent on at least three counts — tacking on the cost of the product without customers’ knowledge being one of them.

The regulator also charged that conditions and limitations related to the guarantee made it “essentially worthless.” The regulator noted that only one car buyer was issued credit under the program. The attorney general’s investigation also revealed that the “etching” of each vehicle’s VIN was actually a sticker affixed to the inside of a door or doorjam, and in many cases was not performed at all.

As part of the settlement, Nissan of New Rochelle’s directors have agreed to include full disclosures and explanations for each product and express consent on the car buyer’s part before any products can be added to the deal, according to the regulator’s statement.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments Off on ‘Total Loss Protection’ at Center of NY Dealer’s $298K Settlement With State AG

Mass. AG Settles With Auto Dealer Over Deceptive Ads


BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and a family-owned franchised dealership have settled a complaint over ads the regulator deemed deceptive.

McGee Wholesale Cars, McGee Motorcars Inc. and McGee Chevrolet Inc. agreed to pay $225,000 in civil penalties, restitution and attorneys’ fees to resolve Coackley’s charges, which included the placement of online and print ads that allegedly misrepresented the actual prices of the vehicles sold. The advertisements allegedly listed the dealer cost rather than the actual selling price, misleading buyers into thinking the cars were being offered at prices the dealerships never intended to meet.

“We are pleased that the company has agreed to provide restitution to consumers and has taken important steps to make sure that misleading business practices do not occur in the future,” Coakley said.

The dealerships’ employees were also charged with asking consumers to sign incomplete documents that they claimed would be completed using the negotiated vehicle price. However, information was allegedly added later that raised the price of the vehicles. Employees also allegedly charged fees for undisclosed or unwanted services and F&I products.

Under the terms of the consent judgment, the dealership must pay $125,000 in consumer restitution, $85,000 in civil penalties and $15,000 for attorneys’ costs and fees. The judgment also prohibits sales practices and deceptive marketing, and requires the dealership to implement a formal training program to teach sales and F&I staffers how to properly comply with state regulations.

The dealership cooperated with Coakley on this matter and implemented procedural and managerial changes to address issues raised by the case. It admits no liability or wrongdoing as part of the agreement.

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments (0)