Cuomo reaches agreement over used cars

Nick Rees Apr. 26, 2010, 2:40pm


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced that more than $100,000 in restitution will be distributed by his office to customers of two Hudson Valley and Long Island auto dealerships that allegedly misrepresented used cars they sold.

The dealerships are alleged to have sold cars that had been principally used as rental vehicles without informing customers, a violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.

"Buying a car is a major purchase and consumers should expect honesty and integrity, not fraud and deception, from these dealerships," Cuomo said.

JM Hyundai in New Rochelle and Legacy Infiniti of Lynbrook, in an agreement with Cuomo, will refund 10 percent of the purchase price to 75 customers who unknowingly purchased used rental cars.

JM Hyundai paid $90,246.40 and Legacy Inifiti paid $19,254.30 in restitution as a result of the agreement. The two dealerships also paid penalties and costs to the state, with JM Hyundai agreeing to pay $22,500 and Legacy Infiniti paying $5,000.

Cuomo also announced an agreement with a now-closed Centereach dealership that failed to refund thousands of dollars in deposits for vehicles that were ultimately not sold.

The Centereach-based Middle Country Motors, which closed in January, and Keith Chaikin, its owner, will refund deposits that have not yet been returned and pay $12,000 in penalties and costs to the state.

An investigation into Middle Country Motors found that the dealer required substantial deposits from customers seeking financing. When a consumer's financing was denied, the dealership illegally kept the deposits or failed to return the money in a timely manner.

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