A Springfield, New Jersey-based company, 21st Century Auto Group Inc., will pay $130,000 to settle a lawsuit filed against it by the Division of Consumer Affairs, New Jersey Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman announced on Tuesday.
The company allegedly violated the state's consumer Fraud Act, motor vehicle advertising regulations, automotive sales regulations and lemon law regulations. The violations included failing to disclose past damages and repairs on vehicles, continuing to advertise vehicles after they had been sold, failing to honor advertised prices and delayed return of traded-in motor vehicles and/or deposits after the sales contract was canceled by the consumer.
“Consumers were allegedly not being informed of information that affected the value of the vehicles they purchased,” Hoffman said. “This settlement provides a mechanism for compensating these consumers. All sellers of used vehicles should take notice of this outcome and know that we will not tolerate any failure to disclose such information from prospective buyers, nor abusive sales practices.”
As part of the settlement, the company is also required to hire a compliance monitor to ensure compliance with consumer protection laws in the future. The company is also required to resolve 43 consumer complaints previously filed with the Division of Consumer Affairs.
The company primarily sells used luxury vehicles, including BMWs and Lamborghinis.