New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Files Action Against Cumberland County Used Car Dealership for Alleged Consumer Fraud and Advertising Violations
NEWARK – The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has filed suit against AutoSource Group, LLC, a used car dealership located in Vineland, alleging, among other things, a failure to disclose prior motor vehicle damage or prior fleet use of motor vehicles to consumers, and a failure to honor warranties.
The State's seven-count complaint, filed in State Superior Court in Cumberland County, alleges that AutoSource Group violated the Consumer Fraud Act, the Automotive Sales Regulations, the Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations and the Used Car Lemon Law and related regulations. The State seeks consumer restitution, reimbursement of attorneys' fees and costs, and civil penalties that range up to $10,000 for each violation of the statutes and/or regulations committed by AutoSource Group.
The complaint also alleges that AutoSource Group failed to disclose prior damage before the sale of 17 used motor vehicles, and failed to disclose prior fleet use before the sale of five other used motor vehicles. In addition, AutoSource Group advertised at least 22 used motor vehicles without the required statement that "prices include all costs to be paid by a consumer, except for licensing costs, registration fees and taxes." AutoSource Group also failed to itemize document processing fees for consumers as required by law.
"The average used car price hit a record $16,800 nationally last year and higher prices are expected in 2015. Obviously, used cars can be expensive, and consumers deserve and expect that dealers will provide them information on the quality of vehicles they are purchasing. We are alleging that AutoSource Group failed to do that," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "The condition and prior use of a vehicle determines its value, and by allegedly hiding key facts about condition and prior use from consumers, AutoSource Group deceived consumers in order to sell vehicles at higher prices."
"AutoSource Group, through its alleged actions, ignored the laws and regulations that are designed to protect consumers who are purchasing used cars and trucks," said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. "Through our action, we are seeking to hold the dealership accountable for these alleged violations of law."
The State also alleges that AutoSource Group from 2011 to 2014 failed to pay the $.50 administrative fee for each used motor vehicle sold, as required by the Used Car Lemon Law and UCLL regulations. The dealership also allegedly failed to respond to consumers in a timely manner and did not honor warranties when consumers complained about problems with the motor vehicles they purchased.
Investigator Kelly Fennell in the Division of Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection conducted the investigation of AutoSource Group.
Lead Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Koziar in the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section within the Division of Law is representing the State in this action.
Consumers who have purchased used vehicles from AutoSource Group and experienced problems should file a complaint immediately with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its
website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.
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