NJ AG steps up auto enforcement | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

NJ AG steps up auto enforcement

The New Jersey Attorney General’s office has reached settlements with two dealership groups engaged in alleged consumer fraud, according to an announcement.

Auto Mall 46, which does business under 10 dealership names, agreed to pay $219,927 in civil penalties for altering the price on sales and lease documents to an amount other than what was paid by the consumer, including the price of the vehicle, price of aftermarket products, and the price of dealer-installed options on aftermarket contracts.

In addition, the dealership group engaged in unfair or deceptive acts and practices by advertising vehicle prices and then refused to sell or lease the vehicle unless the consumer paid an additional $2,000. Further, on at least one occasion, the dealer cashed a security deposit and subsequently refused to refund the transaction. The Totowa, N.J.-based auto group will be required to settle consumer complaints for two years.

Hackettstown, N.J.-based Comfort Auto Group — doing business as Route 46 Hyundai — also engaged in alleged unfair or deceptive acts and practices by advertising free dealer-installed options and aftermarket products that consumers were eventually charged for. The dealership also violated state regulations that require the inclusion of mandatory disclosure language in advertisements and written warranties to be provided to customers.

Route 46 Hyundai agreed to pay $55,286 in civil penalties and settle future consumer complaints for one year.

The settlements are the result of separate investigations by the N.J. Office of Consumer Protection.

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