New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Sues Dealer of High-End, Used
Luxury Cars for Alleged Bait-and-Switch, Other Deceptive Practices
NEWARK – Acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the State Division of
Consumer Affairs today announced a lawsuit against 21st Century Auto Group, Inc., a
dealership that sells high-end used luxury cars such as Lamborghinis and BMWs, for alleged
bait-and-switch and other deceptive tactics affecting more than 80 consumers.
The lawsuit, filed by the Division of Law in State Superior Court in Union County, alleges that
the dealership, in Springfield, committed multiple violations of New Jersey's Consumer Fraud
Act and Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations.
"Our investigation uncovered a pattern of allegedly deceptive practices that dates back several
years and that cost individual consumers hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars, with no regard
for their rights or for the law," Acting Attorney General Hoffman said. "This type of conduct
harms consumers and tarnishes the reputation of an entire industry. Our primary goal is to
obtain full restitution for the customers allegedly abused by these tactics."
The Division of Consumer Affairs has received 84 consumer complaints to date. Consumers
allege the company exploited them through numerous unlawful, deceptive practices including,
among others: bait-and-switch; refusing to honor the advertised or agreed-upon prices for
vehicles; refusing to return deposits after consumers had canceled their sales transactions;
refusing to issue warranties or to honor warranties that had been issued; requiring consumers to
sign blank sale documents; and refusing to provide sale documents after consumers signed
"Our findings of a repeated history of alleged manipulation and deception of unwary consumers
is disturbing and necessitated action," Director Kanefsky said. "Whether a consumer is buying a
Lamborghini or a Hyundai, they have the right to be treated ethically and honestly by the
The company also allegedly failed to provide consumers with title and registration to used
vehicles prior to their expiration; and on one occasion allegedly sold a used vehicle without
obtaining a lien release from the prior owner.
TOther consumers alleged that they were drawn to 21st Century by online ads promising specific
vehicles at specific, attractive prices. When they arrived at the dealership, employees told them
the vehicles they wanted had been sold – and attempted to sell them higher-priced cars.
Investigator Kelly Fennell in the Division of Consumer Affairs' Office of Consumer Protection
conducted this investigation. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Koziar, of the Division of Law, is
representing the State.
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.
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