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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
August 17, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
- Kimberly Ricketts, Director

 

Jeff Lamm
Genene Morris
973-504-6327

 

Attorney General Harvey and Consumer Affairs Sue Ramsey Auto Group

NEWARK – The Attorney General’s Office and Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) today filed suit against the 10 dealerships of the Ramsey Auto Group, alleging multiple violations of the State’s Consumer Fraud Act, Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations and Used Car Lemon Law.

The Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs previously took action against Ramsey Nissan, which is one of the dealerships named in today’s lawsuit. In 1998, the State sued Ramsey Nissan for alleged leasing violations and subsequently reached settlement. In 2003, the State entered into a consent order with Ramsey Nissan to settle alleged violations of Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations. In the lawsuit filed today, Attorney General Peter C. Harvey and DCA allege that Ramsey Nissan violated terms of the 2003 consent order and thus is subject to enhanced penalties of up to $20,000 for each violation that has occurred.

“Consumers who are spending tens of thousands of dollars on a new vehicle are entitled to nothing less than a fair and honest deal,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “Instead, at these dealerships, they were taken in with misleading ads, false promises and slick salesmen. We won’t allow these practices to continue in New Jersey.”

“We’re alleging widespread violations of our consumer protection laws throughout the 10 dealerships of the Ramsey Auto Group,” said Attorney General Harvey. “The nature and extent of the violations illustrate a culture of contempt toward consumers that we cannot and will not tolerate.”

Ramsey Auto Group includes the following dealerships: Ramsey Volvo, Ramsey Subaru, Ramsey Nissan, Ramsey Infiniti, Ramsey Saab, Ramsey Mazda, Ramsey Chrysler/Plymouth/Jeep/Eagle, Ramsey Pontiac-GMC, Ramsey Mitsubishi and Maywood Mitsubishi.

The lawsuit was filed in State Superior Court in Bergen County.

“Consumers who thought they were getting a good deal at Ramsey Auto Group found out how sadly mistaken they were,” said Kimberly Ricketts, Consumer Affairs Director. “We want full restitution for customers, the maximum civil penalties allowed and a corporate-wide change in business practices so these alleged violations are ended once and for all.”

Deputy Attorney General Gina M. Betts is representing the State in this matter.

Among the alleged Consumer Fraud Act and regulatory violations committed by Ramsey Auto Group dealerships are:

  • Failing to set forth all disclaimers, qualifiers or limitations relating to various rebate programs;
  • Failing to honor the advertised sale and/or lease price terms;
  • Falsifying sales documents and/or forging consumers’ signatures thereon;
  • Requiring consumers to execute blank or incomplete sales documents;
  • Financing a motor vehicle with a sales document not signed by the consumer;
  • Forwarding sales documents to a finance company after the consumer canceled the transaction and had not taken possession of the vehicle;
  • Adding and charging for after-sale items, such as window etching, without the consumer’s knowledge and/or authorization;
  • Failing to credit trade-in allowances and/or deposits made for motor vehicle sales or leases;
  • Failing to accurately credit trade-in allowances and/or deposits made for motor vehicle sales and/or leases;
  • Failing to cancel a service contract in a timely manner;
  • Failing to cancel GAP coverage in a timely manner;
  • Misrepresenting the mechanical condition of a used motor vehicle;
  • Failing to disclose that a used motor vehicle had previously been used as a rental vehicle;
  • Misrepresenting the amount paid to the State Motor Vehicle Commission for motor vehicle title and registration;
  • Misrepresenting to consumers that certain dealer-provided options were mandatory when in fact they were not;
  • Obtaining motor vehicle insurance with a company not authorized by the consumer; and
  • Charging a consumer’s credit card for insurance without the consumer’s knowledge or authorization.

Ramsey Auto Group customers can file complaints with Consumer Affairs by calling 1-800-242-5846. Complaint forms can be downloaded at www.NJConsumerAffairs.com

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