Recent Arbitration Award
AUTOFRAUD: Nice Autofraud Arbitration Award Based on Failing to Sell a Vehicle for the Advertised Price
This is happening more frequently these days. Connecticut consumer attorney Dan Blinn just received a nice arbitration award where his Client went to a dealership that had a big sign that said 0% APR; 100% Approval. The dealership did some BHPH at 0%, but it also had a relationship with Credit Acceptance a finance company. The dealer wrote the client up 19% APR for a cash price that was $600 higher than the price at which it had been advertised on its website. Total interest over the course of the loan was $4,900. Arbitration was demanded which also included the finance company CAC. CAC settled shortly before the hearing, leaving the dealership to defend alone. At the hearing, it admitted 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. Claim was brought under the Connecticutt UDAP statute. The Connecticut statute makes it a violation for a dealership to fail to honor the terms of advertisements. It was argued that dealer didn’t honor the advertised price or the advertised 0% APR. 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.
Our initial demand in the case was for $5,000 increased to $7,500 shortly before the hearing. The dealer’s lawyer did not take either the case or the hearing seriously. It never ceases to amaze me how the informality of the proceedings can lull lawyers into treating the hearing like it was a deposition rather than a full blown trial.
For further details you can contact Dan Blinn, Consumer Law Group
35 Cold Spring Rd, Suite 512
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
fax: 860 571-7457
(860) 566-8290 (direct dial)