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THE GOOD FIGHT: Paul John, executive director of the Georgia Independent Automobile Dealers Association, discusses how the association fought against state legislation that would have raised the taxes on used-car purchases.

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State Claims Dealership Misled Consumers

Thursday, 10 August 2017 16:14

A New Jersey used-car dealer faces allegations of violating the state Consumer Fraud Act and a number of state regulations concerning the sale of motor vehicles.
According to a complaint filed by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs, Cars on Route 21 of Newark LLC allegedly engaged in a host of “unconscionable and deceptive business practices,” including “bait and switch” schemes where the business advertised vehicles at low prices and then refused to sell the cars at the advertised prices.
The complaint was filed against the business and two individuals, David Pereira and Hiram Ortiz, both of whom are involved in the ownership and operation of the company.
The complaint details 11 counts against Cars on Route 21, Pereira and Ortiz, alleging violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, the Regulations Governing Motor Vehicle Advertising Practices, the Regulations Governing Automotive Sales Practices, the Used Car Lemon Law and/or the Used Car Lemon Law Regulations.
Cars on Route 21 allegedly misrepresented the price of used motor vehicles, failed to include required statements about consumer costs, failed to include the actual odometer reading of motor vehicles in advertisements and failed to disclose prior damage to a vehicle that required substantial repair and body work.
The company also did not submit required documentation and the total sum of administrative fees collected from customers who purchased used vehicles between 2010 and 2016, according to the complaint.
The complaint seeks to bar Cars on Route 21, Pereira and Ortiz from engaging in deceptive practices and calls for the business to restore any money or real or personal property acquired by unlawful and deceptive activity.

AG Claims Dealer Defrauded Consumers

Friday, 04 August 2017 18:42

Kentucky’s attorney general filed suit against a used-car dealer in the state, claiming the dealer defrauded more than 1,400 customers.
Kim Sweazy, director of operations for the Better Business Bureau serving Central and Eastern Kentucky, joined Attorney General Andy Beshear in announcing the lawsuit against The United Group Inc., also known as Auto Plaza USA.
According to the lawsuit, the Nicholasville dealership violated Kentucky’s Consumer Protection Act by collecting vehicle usage taxes from customers and then falsifying documents in order to avoid making the correct payment to the Kentucky Department of Revenue. As a result, customers received delinquent tax notices from the department and were left owing a tax bill that, in many cases, they already paid to the defendant.
The alleged fraud took place between 2012 and 2016. The lawsuit also alleges Auto Plaza USA charged each customer a $489 fee for preparation of documents and services that were not properly performed.
The suit seeks damages including approximately $465,000 in restitution for the customers who incurred additional unpaid usage tax liabilities, and $685,000 for customers affected by the bogus customer fee.
The Office of the Attorney General launched an investigation into the company’s practices and filed suit following more than 100 consumer complaints received by both the attorney general’s office and the Better Business Bureau.

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Porter Faces Arson Charges After Dealership Fire

Thursday, 03 August 2017 20:41

An employee of an Illinois used-car dealership has been charged with arson for allegedly setting a fire that heavily damaged the store’s vehicles and office equipment.
Bryant Cameron set the fire at Epic Motorsports in Rosemont on July 24, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Cameron poured gasoline in the front office, reception and warehouse areas, and lit it on fire with the embers from his cigarette, the complaint states. He then quickly drove away from the scene, according to the complaint.
Fire departments from five different municipalities worked to extinguish the blaze. One firefighter suffered injuries consistent with dehydration, the complaint states.
The fire damaged multiple vehicles, tools, office equipment, files and miscellaneous goods, according to the complaint.
Cameron was arrested on July 27 and charged with one count of arson. The charge is punishable by a minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a maximum of 40 years.
According to the complaint, Cameron’s duties at Epic Motorsports involved cleaning and moving cars, and picking up vehicles from neighboring states. Cameron was the last person to leave the facility on the night of the fire, the complaint states.
A court-authorized search of Cameron’s vehicle on July 27 revealed items that had been reported stolen from Epic Motorsports, the complaint states.

State Claims Dealership Misled Consumers

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 00:32

A New Jersey used-car dealer faces allegations of violating the state Consumer Fraud Act and a number of state regulations concerning the sale of motor vehicles.
According to a complaint filed by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs, Cars on Route 21 of Newark LLC allegedly engaged in a host of “unconscionable and deceptive business practices,” including “bait and switch” schemes where the business advertised vehicles at low prices and then refused to sell the cars at the advertised prices.
The complaint was filed against the business and two individuals, David Pereira and Hiram Ortiz, both of whom are involved in the ownership and operation of the company.
The complaint details 11 counts against Cars on Route 21, Pereira and Ortiz, alleging violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, the Regulations Governing Motor Vehicle Advertising Practices, the Regulations Governing Automotive Sales Practices, the Used Car Lemon Law and/or the Used Car Lemon Law Regulations.
Cars on Route 21 allegedly misrepresented the price of used motor vehicles, failed to include required statements about consumer costs, failed to include the actual odometer reading of motor vehicles in advertisements and failed to disclose prior damage to a vehicle that required substantial repair and body work.
The company also did not submit required documentation and the total sum of administrative fees collected from customers who purchased used vehicles between 2010 and 2016, according to the complaint.
The complaint seeks to bar Cars on Route 21, Pereira and Ortiz from engaging in deceptive practices and calls for the business to restore any money or real or personal property acquired by unlawful and deceptive activity.

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