Certainly, people are more than familiar with the concept that when shopping for used cars, you have to keep your eyes peeled for shady deals. Unfortunately, shady sales representatives and used car dealership scammers come in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, even some large-scale dealerships that appear to have everything on the up-and-up can use backhanded tactics to take advantage of you. Sadly, folks in Brooklyn, New York, just went through that very experience.
Dealers involved with this scandal include Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, and even a used supercar dealership
According to Lexology, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga reached a settlement with a group of car dealers. The settlement resolves allegations that they misled consumers with the advertising and sale of used cars. The resulting payouts total over $800,000 in restitution and civil penalties.
The companies involved in the settlement include Kings Autoshow, Kings Autoshow II, and Grand Auto Group. The latter of which owns a host of dealerships, including Brooklyn Mitsubishi and Brooklyn Volkswagen. Additionally, Grand Auto Group owns a dealership specializing in used luxury and exotic vehicles like Rolls Royce and Lamborghini models called Luxury European NY. Unfortunately, this proves that no dealership is too nice to take advantage of you to make a quick buck.
Kings Autoshow and Kings Autoshow II agreed to a temporary license suspension, too. The specific terms of the resulting consent order outline prohibited behaviors and shine a light on tactics they previously used to take advantage of people.
The order prohibits dealerships from selling cars for more than the advertised price. This includes adding dealer fees (aside from the $175 documentation fee) to the sale price. The dealers are also prohibited from advertising no dealer fees if they charge the documentation fee. In addition, they cannot use misleading terms like “Brooklyn MSRP” or “retail price.”
Finally, the consider order also declares that the dealers can not advertise “guaranteed approval” financing. Nor can they advertise accessories for a car unless they are included in the sale of that specific vehicle.
Be careful when shopping for a used car!
It’s always important to cross the Ts and dot the Is when you’re shopping for a used car. Remember to keep a specific budget in mind and stick to it. Furthermore, researching what the car you’re shopping for is actually selling for at the moment is a must-do task. It’ll keep you from getting into these types of situations.
Above all else, if you’re shopping for a car in New York City, your best bet is to avoid these dealerships altogether. While the $800,000 lost between them may seem like a lot, it’s likely not enough of a slap on the wrist to prevent them from digging up new loopholes or shady tactics to dig a little more money out of your pockets.
Shop smart and be careful out there!