Sage Automotive Group – nine Los Angeles-based auto dealerships, their holding and management companies, and two individuals – has agreed to pay more than $3.6 million for return to consumers in order to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it used deceptive and unfair sales and financing practices, deceptive advertising and deceptive online reviews.
The proposed settlement order will prohibit the defendants from making misrepresentations relating to their advertising, add-on products, financing and endorsements or testimonials.
The proposed order will also bar the defendants from engaging in other unlawful conduct when a sale is cancelled, such as failing to return any down payment or trade-in or seeking legal action, arrest, repossession or debt collection unless the action is lawful and the defendants intend to take such action. It also prohibits them from violating the Truth In Lending Act and Regulation Z, and the Consumer Leasing Act and Regulation M.
New Hampshire’s attorney general settled a consumer protection enforcement action against a used-car dealer following multiple complaints that the dealer sold unsafe and uninspected motor vehicles.
The suit was against Platinum Auto Brokers, Inc., formerly located at 535 Amherst St., Nashua, now doing business as Derry Auto Brokers located at 4 Peabody Road Annex, Derry.
It claimed that Platinum Auto Brokers sold unsafe and uninspected motor vehicles without providing the buyers with a Notice of Sale of Unsafe Motor Vehicle or advising buyers of their right to have the car inspected with the defects noted on the form as required by RSA 358-F.
In addition, the dealer failed to remove old inspection stickers prior to the sale and failed to inform the customers that the car they bought was unsafe for operation on the roads of New Hampshire. The dealer also failed to provide buyers with the federally mandated Buyer’s Guide.
Platinum Auto Brokers agreed to provide any buyer of an uninspected motor vehicle with a copy of the Notice of Sale of Unsafe Motor Vehicle form, signed by both the buyer and salesperson, and a federally mandated Buyer’s Guide which contains any warranty terms of the sale. Old inspection stickers must be removed prior to sale.
As part of the settlement with the attorney general, Platinum Auto has refunded approximately $12,000 to consumers who bought used cars from them that were sold in violation of the Consumer Protection Act. Platinum Auto Brokers was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 with all but $1,000 of the fine suspended for five years conditioned on the company complying with all terms of the settlement agreement.
Volkswagen AG and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. have reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of California, by and through the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California attorney general, to resolve civil claims regarding approximately 83,000 affected 3.0L TDI V6 diesel engine vehicles in the United States.
The agreement, in the form of a proposed consent decree, is subject to approval by a federal judge. The proposed agreement would allow Volkswagen to recall more than 75 percent of affected 3.0L TDI V6 vehicles to bring them into compliance with the emissions standards to which they were certified, if appropriate modifications are approved by EPA and CARB.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced an agreement with High Plains Motors Inc., a General Motors dealer, resolving alleged hazardous waste violations related to the improper management of used oil, paint solvents, lacquer thinner, and other materials at an automobile dealership and service center at 331 Front Street in Wolf Point, Mont.
As part of the settlement, High Plains Motors will pay a penalty of $5,758 and complete a junk vehicle-recycling project on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
The High Plains Motors automobile dealership and service center is located on privately held land within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. EPA inspections in July 2015 revealed that the company had violated provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by failing to label used oil containers and respond to releases of used oil at the facility.
EPA inspections also found that the company failed to properly manage paint solvent waste, oil/water/antifreeze mixture, and lacquer thinner on site. EPA issued High Plains Motors a compliance order on Sept. 29, 2015 and the company has since taken steps to secure compliance with hazardous waste regulations.
This action resolves High Plains Motors’ liability for the alleged RCRA violations by securing a penalty and a supplemental environmental project that will recycle approximately 86 abandoned vehicles on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. After seeking input from the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes and EPA, High Plains Motors agreed to work with a local salvage company, Trader’s Den, to remove abandoned or inoperable vehicles on Tribal housing-owned property in the Wolf Point and Poplar areas of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
These actions will remove potential sources of pollution from the vehicles, including oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, gasoline, and batteries. High Plains Motors will properly dispose of or salvage all recovered materials and will deposit vehicles at a local junkyard for crushing and recycling.