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Paula T. Dow,
Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director

   
For Immediate Release:
April 14, 2011
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
Neal Buccino, 973-504-6327
Bridgestone Agrees to Revise Business Practices Following Audits by the Division of Consumer Affairs

NEWARK - Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC (“Bridgestone”), has agreed to pay $26,405 and revise certain business practices to settle allegations that the company violated terms of a 2000 settlement with the State Division of Consumer Affairs.

The violations were discovered during the fourth and final round of audits at Bridgestone auto repair shops, as required under the 2000 settlement. Consumer Affairs’ investigators brought vehicles for service to Bridgestone shops in Parsippany and Montclair. The shops misrepresented the scope of the transmission services that were actually performed on the vehicles. The audits further revealed the shops’ failure to post signs informing consumers of their rights as required by the Automotive Repair Regulations.

“Businesses should know that we are diligent in following up to ensure compliance with our consumer protection laws and regulations following settlements,” Attorney General Paula T. Dow said. “If a business does not live up to the agreed-upon terms, we will act to protect consumers and their hard-earned money.”

Bridgestone cooperated with the Division’s investigators and undertook corrective actions following discussion of the inspection results with company officials.

“New Jersey consumers are entitled to complete and truthful disclosure of the automotive services they are paying for, as well as having required Customer Notice signs posted for their review,” said Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. “When automotive companies fall short of their legal obligations to consumers, they will pay.”

Bridgestone agreed to pay a $20,000 civil penalty, plus $6,405 to reimburse the Division’s legal and investigative costs.

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Koziar of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section represented the Division in this matter. Investigator Michael Bruch in the Office of Consumer Protection conducted the review of Bridgestone’s shops.

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