NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs and AutoSource Group, a used car dealership located in Vineland, N.J., have settled a lawsuit filed by the division in February 2015, with the dealership agreeing to pay $25,000 and to revise its business practices.
The State’s seven-count complaint, filed in State Superior Court in Cumberland County, alleged that AutoSource Group violated the Consumer Fraud Act, the Automotive Sales Regulations, the Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations and the Used Car Lemon Law and related regulations. Under the terms of the Final Consent Judgment that resolves the lawsuit, AutoSource Group will revise its business practices to comply with state laws and regulations.
“When looking to buy a used car, consumers can look under the hood and can kick the tires, but often rely on the dealership to tell them information about the car’s history and past use,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “This settlement ensures that this dealership will change its current practices so that consumers will receive all vehicle history information that state law requires.”
Specifically, the complaint alleged that, among other things, AutoSource Group failed to disclose the prior condition and prior use of used motor vehicles, failed to disclose existing mechanical defects in used motor vehicles, failed to provide required written warranties, and failed to respond to consumer complaints.
“We expect AutoSource Group to conduct business in compliance with our consumer protection laws and regulations,” said Steve Lee, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “Used car buyers must be informed of all relevant facts, including the prior use of vehicles in fleets and whether the vehicle sustained any damage.”
The $25,000 payment includes $14,362 in civil penalties, with the balance going toward reimbursement of the State’s legal and investigative costs in this matter.