FTC Settles ‘Fake Recall Notice’ Cases Featured

A group of car dealerships and their president and vice president have settled Federal Trade Commission allegations that they mailed more than 21,000 fake “urgent recall” notices to consumers in 2015 and 2017, to lure them to visit dealerships. The FTC also has agreed to a settlement with a California-based marketing firm and its owner that, according to the complaint, designed the fake recall notices and worked closely with the dealership defendants to send them.

According to the FTC, the vast majority of the vehicles covered by the notices did not have open recalls. The court orders settling the FTC’s charges bar all of the defendants from such deceptive conduct in the future.

The dealerships do business as Passport Toyota, Passport Nissan of Alexandria, Va., and Passport Nissan of Marlow Heights, Mld. Everett A. Hellmuth III, is the founder and president of the dealerships, and Jay A. Klein is vice president. The marketing company, Temecula Equity Group, LLC, does business as Overflowworks.com, and Jeffrey R. Bush is its founder and CEO.

 The Passport car dealer defendants and the marketing company defendants have been permanently prohibited by the FTC from misrepresenting, expressly or by implication: 1) whether any motor vehicle is subject to an open safety recall or service campaign, or 2) certain other material facts about motor vehicles.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 16 October 2018 19:21

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