Attorney General and the Division of Consumer Affairs File Suit Against Two Newton Car Dealerships
NEWARK – The Office of the Attorney General and State Division of Consumer Affairs have filed suit against JDN AA, LLC, which operates Newton Audi and Newton Volkswagen, for alleged violations of the Consumer Fraud Act, Used Car Lemon Law and related regulations, and the Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations in connection with its sale of motor vehicles.
The State's four-count complaint, filed in State Superior Court in Sussex County, alleges that JDN AA committed unconscionable commercial practices; did not disclose required information in advertisements; and did not pay required Used Car Lemon Law fees. In one case, a consumer was told etching the vehicle identification number on a window was mandatory when such is not the case, and the consumer was charged $350.
"We've brought this action to assist the affected consumers and to impose penalties against the dealerships while making sure that in the future they follow the letter of the law." "Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "Honesty and transparency should be part of the car buying experience and we're working to make it so."
Acting Attorney General Hoffman noted that this lawsuit is the third legal action brought this year against car dealers related to the sale of motor vehicles.
The State's Complaint alleges that the dealerships:
- Failed to provide vehicle license plates, title and registrationregistration prior to the expiration of the temporary title and/or registration;
- Failed to provide consumers with title and registration to used motor vehicles prior to the expiration of temporary title and/or registration;
- Failed to pay off loans on trade-in vehicles in a timely manner;
- Offered a used motor vehicle for sale upon which there was an existing lien;
- Failed to refund overpayment of Motor Vehicle Commission fees;
- Failed to honor the price negotiated with the consumer;
- Offered for sale a used motor vehicle from a location other than the licensed location;
- Charged a 'New Car Tire Fee' to a consumer purchasing a used motor vehicle;
- Charged a previously undisclosed 'Online Fee' to a consumer purchasing a motor vehicle;
- Sold an additional product (etching) to consumers by representing that it was mandatory, when such was not the case; and
- Offered for sale a used motor vehicle by representing that it possessed title to the vehicle, when such was not the case.
The initial violation of the Consumer Fraud Act carries a civil penalty to up $10,000, with each subsequent violation assessed at up to $20,000.
"Consumers can spend thousands of dollars on a vehicle and they deserve to be treated with respect, and not subjected to the sales practices that we are alleging occurred in this matter," said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs."
Newton Audi and Newton VW are located on Hampton House Road in Newton.
Investigator Kelly Fennell in the Division of Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection, conducted the investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Alina Wells in the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section of the Division of Law, is representing the State in this action.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint online at the Division's website,
www.njconsumeraffairs.gov or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an
online complaint 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.
Follow the Division of Consumer Affairs on
Facebook , and check our online calendar of upcoming
Consumer Outreach events.