The New York attorney general’s office announced that dealerships in the Bronx and Westchester, N.Y., have agreed to end the fraudulent sale of an etch product and issue refunds to affected customers. Photo by iessi via Flickr
ALBANY, N.Y. — The directors of Victory Suzuki of the Bronx and Victory Mitsubishi of Larchmont have agreed to a court order with the office of Barbara D. Underwood, attorney general of the State of New York. The order, which follows a December lawsuit that charged the dealership with “fraudulent, deceptive, and illegal” sales of a “bogus and unwanted” anti-theft product, enjoins the dealerships against said activity and calls for restitution to as many as 1,100 customers.
“This court order is a victory for New Yorkers who were ripped off by these car dealerships,” Underwood said. “The dealerships’ deceptive conduct led consumers to sign contracts that did not reflect the negotiated sale terms, frequently including unwanted aftermarket add-ons that they did not agree to. My office will continue to protect New York’s consumers and ensure that car dealerships comply with state law.”
The genesis of the lawsuit was a complaint filed by a customer who had been charged $1,995 for “Etch Guarantee” and didn’t recall agreeing to the purchase. A refund was issued to that customer following an official inquiry. Officials say the investigation that followed found hundreds of car buyers were similarly charged in amounts as low as $129 and as high as $3,998, adding that, in some cases, the etching of the unit’s VIN onto window glass was never performed.
In a statement announcing the court order, Underwood’s office announced that the crackdown on the practice of "jamming," or payment packing, launched by former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in 2015, has so far collected about $19 million in restitution and dealer fines on behalf of nearly 29,000 car buyers.