AUTOFRAUD-The failure to sell a vehicle at the advertised price
Connecticut consumer attorney Dan Blinn recently received a nice arbitration awardin favor of a client who who went to a dealership that displayed that large sign that said 0%APR: 100% approval. The dealership did some BHPH at 0% but it also had a realtion ship with the finance company Credit Acceptance. The dealer wrote the deal at 19% APR for a cash price that was $600 higher than the price at which the vehicle was advertised via a mirror tag and also on its website. Total interest over the course of the loan was $4,900.
We demanded arbitration and included CAC. CAC settled (confidential, sorry) shortly before the hearing, leaving the dealership to defend. At the hearing, the dealer admited to selling the car for more than the advertised price, denied that it was because of discount financing, and stated that they have a business practice of offering customers the choice of short term 0% financing or financing through CAC and that many customers choose CAC to help them establish credit. The client testified that she did not look over papers and trusted that she was going to get the price and interest rate that were advertised and that she didn’t learn that she was paying interest until she called for an account balance two years later and was shocked at the amount.
Claims were brought under the Connecticut UDAP statute which expressly makes it a violation for a dealership to fail to honor the terms of advertisements. It is was successfully argued that dealer didn’t honor the advertised price or the advertised 0% APR. The Arbitrator awarded the amount that she was charged over advertised price ($600) plus the interest that she will pay over the life of the loan ($4,900), plus punitive damages of $5,000. He also awarded attorney’s fees of $10,200.
For more information in Connecticut we suggest you contact
(860) 566-8290 (direct dial)
Consumer Law Group
35 Cold Spring Rd, Suite 512
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
fax: 860 571-7457