Last month, a Connecticut Superior Court judge found that A Better Way Wholesale Autos in Naugatuck, CT had committed unfair trade practices when it to told a consumer that she had to buy various extras in order to finance her car purchase and then refused to refund her deposit when she refused. An arbitrator has just reached a similar ruling in a new case.
Another consumer has just won an arbitration award against A Better Way. The arbitrator found that the dealership violated the Truth in Lending Act and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act when it told her that she was required ot purchase a service contract as a condition of financing. The arbitrator awarded her $2,000 in damages plus an additional $2,000 in punitive damages. The arbitrator also held that the dealership is responsible to pay $12,500 for the consumer's attorney's fees plus $28,800 to the finance company, who it refused to indemnify and defend against the consumer's claims.
Dealerships may engage in serious auto dealer fraud when they tell consumers that they are required to purchase extras such as GAP, service contract, or other additional costs in order to be approved for financing. While banks and finance companies do not usually require that such extras be purchased, sometimes dealers will require consumers to pay for these extras to increase their profit.
If a dealership tells consumers that they are required to purchase extras, they should ask the dealership to put the requirement into writing. They should also speak with an attorney experienced in handling consumer law claims.