The Office of the Attorney General and Division of Consumer Affairs filed suit in August 2014, alleging in its five-count complaint that Bergen Auto Enterprises had violated the Consumer Fraud Act and Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations, among other things, by engaging in “bait and switch” tactics by featuring motor vehicles in advertisements that were not actually available for purchase or lease. The dealerships also allegedly failed to disclose to customers that some used motor vehicles had previously been used as rental vehicles and/or had sustained significant prior damage.
“”Purchasing a new or used motor vehicle can be a very intimidating process for consumers,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “This settlement ensures that Bergen Auto Enterprises will make all appropriate disclosures in advertisements and otherwise.”
“The Division of Consumer Affairs will take action whenever allegations of deceptive practices by auto dealerships are made,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. “New Jersey’s consumers deserve honesty and full disclosure when dealing with these dealerships.”
As part of the settlement, Bergen Auto Enterprises must pay $135,000, which is comprised of a civil penalty of $109,595.45 and $25,404.54 for reimbursement of the State’s attorneys’ fees and costs. The settlement also includes a $50,000 suspended civil penalty, which will be vacated after one year if Bergen Auto Enterprises does not violate the terms of the Final Consent Judgment.
The terms of the Final Consent Judgment requires Bergen Auto Enterprises to:
Wayne Mazda and Wayne Auto Mall Hyundai are located on Route 23 in Wayne.
Investigators Donna Leslie and Cullen Church, of the Division of Consumer Affairs Office of Consumer Protection, and Joseph Singh, formerly a Supervising Investigator, conducted the investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Erin M. Greene, in the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section of the Division of Law, represented the State in this action.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint online at the Division’s website, www.njconsumeraffairs.gov or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.