State Sues Elizabeth Used Car Dealer
NEWARK – The Office of the Attorney General, through its Division of Consumer Affairs, has filed suit against an Elizabeth used motor vehicle dealership for allegedly violating the state’s Consumer Fraud Act, Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations, Automotive Sales Regulations and Used Car Lemon Law.
Global Auto, Inc., which does business as Auto Collection Group, allegedly misrepresented used vehicle prices in order to attract consumers, failed to pay off the loan balances on traded in vehicles as promised, reported incorrect information to a lending institution in order to obtain loan financing for a consumer, requested that at least one consumer sign a blank sales document and offered for sale used vehicles without labeling or displaying the total selling price, among other violations.
"The dealer used lowball pricing to lure consumers in and then did whatever it took to make a sale," Attorney General Anne Milgram said. "Consumers ultimately ended up with a bad deal, not getting their cars at advertised prices and not knowing whether their cars had been previously damaged."
The Division has received eight consumer complaints about Global Auto, Inc. to date.
"More consumers are considering a used vehicle purchase in these difficult economic times and we expect those selling used vehicles to follow our laws and regulations," said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director. "We will take action, as we’ve done in this matter, to protect New Jersey consumers."
The state, in its seven count complaint filed in State Superior Court in Union County, is requesting consumer restitution and maximum civil penalties against Global Auto Group, Inc. The dealership is located at 500 South Broad Street in Elizabeth.
The state’s complaint alleges that the defendant engaged in unconscionable commercial practices, misrepresentations and knowing omissions of material fact in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act by:
- Failing to honor the advertised sale price of a used motor vehicle;
- Failing to honor the negotiated deal concerning the sale of a used motor vehicle;
- Failing to provide consumers with license plates, title and registration in a timely
- Selling a used motor vehicle with an existing lien;
- Failing to refund monies paid by consumers who never took possession of
the used motor vehicle;
- Reporting incorrect consumer information to a lending institution;
- Creating a fictitious co signer for a consumer in order to obtain financing for the
consumer’s purchase of the used motor vehicle;
- Charging consumers for warranty protection but failing to secure the promised
- Promising, then failing, to pay off a loan balance on a trade in motor vehicle in a
timely manner, or at all; and
- Failing to disclose to consumers prior to purchase prior damage and/or the prior
use of a used vehicle.
The state also alleges that the defendant violated the Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations by failing to include required disclosures in its advertisements, among other things, as to prior damage to and prior use of a used vehicle.
The state further alleges that defendant failed to itemize documentary service fees and failed to include the required consumer notice about such fees on all sales documents, in violation of the Automotive Sales Regulations. Additionally, the state alleges that the defendant failed to pay the required fee for each used vehicle sold, as required by the state’s Used Car Lemon Law and Regulations.
Global Auto, Inc. is not affiliated with Global Auto Mall of North Plainfield, N.J.
Consumers who wish to file a complaint may do so online at http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/ocp/ocpform.htm or by calling 1-800 -242-5846 (toll free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.
Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Koziar of the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section is representing the state in this action.