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N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs Sues Used-Car Dealer

March 25, 2015

NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has filed suit against RLMB, Inc., a used car dealership located in Ledgewood, alleging that the dealership — among other things  — advertised used motor vehicles for sale without disclosing to consumers the vehicle’s prior damage or prior use, sold vehicles “as is” when they qualified for a warranty, and permitted third parties to advertise and sell used motor vehicles that were titled to RLMB on Craigslist.

The state’s ten-count complaint, filed in State Superior Court in Morris County, alleges that RLMB and its manager, Michael L. Bloom, violated the Consumer Fraud Act, the Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations, the Automotive Sales Regulations, the Used Car Lemon Law (UCLL) and UCLL 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 the defendants.

“This is just the latest of a number of recent enforcement actions involving the advertisement and sale of used motor vehicles,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “We will continue to protect buyers of used motor vehicles by making certain that dealers provide information as to prior use and damage to help the consumer determine the actual value of a vehicle.”

The complaint also alleges that defendants failed to provide consumers with title and registration to used motor vehicles prior to the expiration of temporary title and/or registration; required that consumers sign blank sales documents; and offered used motor vehicles for sale at the dealership location that did not have prominently displayed the Federal Trade Commission Used Car Buyers Guide, a document which, among other things, indicates whether such vehicle comes with a warranty.

The dealership is also accused of offering for sale used motor vehicles that did not have the total selling price conspicuously posted, and advertising used cars through the RLMB website without the required statement that “price(s) include(s) all costs to be paid by a consumer, except for licensing costs, registration fees and taxes.” The suit also alleges that RLMB failed to itemize documentary service fees and failed to pay the $.50 administrative fee for each used motor vehicle sold, as required by the UCLL and UCLL regulations, at least since 2007.

“We intend to hold RLMB and Bloom accountable for the deceptive practices that we alleged in our complaint,” Acting State Consumer Affairs Director Steve Lee said. “We want to make certain that consumers receive all appropriate disclosures as to warranty, price, prior vehicle use and damage, so that they can make an informed decision when buying a used car or truck.”

 

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