State Settles Suit Against Used Car Stores Featured
13 July 2017
A used-car dealership with multiple locations in Massachusetts has agreed to pay restitution to consumers and reform its business practices to resolve countless allegations. The settlement resolves the Massachusetts Attorney General’s claims that Auto Drive One’s sales and financing practices violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act along with the AG’s regulations. Officials said they routinely sold unreliable cars, misled consumers about financing arrangements, used false advertising including bait and switch tactics, and charged excessive document preparation fees.Auto Drive One is located at 181 South Main St., West Bridgewater, with additional business locations in Natick and East Sandwich. Auto Drive One formerly had dealership locations in Saugus, Dorchester and Swansea, which are now closed.The Attorney General’s office alleges that Auto Drive One misled consumers about car financing that the business could obtain by claiming it would get consumers “affordable” loans, when the majority of loans it obtained for consumers were subprime loans with 21 percent interest rates. Many of the cars had serious mechanical problems and other defects that made them unreliable or unusable for more than a short period of time.Under the terms of the settlement, Auto Drive One will pay $50,000 in consumer restitution, with an additional $240,000 in civil penalties suspended pending compliance with the terms of the settlement. The dealership has also agreed that it will not seek to collect more than $650,000 on loans that ended in repossession.The dealership will reduce its standard “document preparation fee” by $100 and has instituted other business practice reforms.