The Arizona Attorney General has obtained a consent judgment against a used car dealership for multiple acts of auto dealer fraud. The dealership was accused of selling cars with salvage titles without dislosing the status of the title, not properly disclosing financing terms, and making false promises that defects would be repaired. The dealership also sold vehicles that had hazardous defects and failed to comply with state warranty requirements.
As part of the settlement of the attorney general’s case, the dealership agreed to make restitution to consumers and pay a $80,000 fine. It also agreed to discontinue its unfair and deceptive practices.
Public enforcement actions like the one brought by the Arizona Attorney General are an important tool in fighting auto dealer fraud. Unfortunately, auto dealer fraud is so prevalent that most states do not have the resources to investigate violations and to bring enforcement actions. Additionally, most law enforement officers will not bring criminal charges against car dealerships, even though fraudulent activity by dealership employees is usually illegal.
Consumers also have the ability to enforce consumer protection laws by bringing a private lawsuit against car dealerships and other businesses, and most consumer protection laws provide that the business is responsible for the consumer’s attorney’s fees if it violated the law. This “fee-shifting” feature of consumer protection laws enable private lawyers to act as a “private attorney general,” and most lawyers who handle auto dealer fraud claims will work without any cost to the consumer.
Contact us for a free assessment of your auto dealer fraud claim.