McKenna sues two auto dealers

Nick Rees Apr. 27, 2010, 11:46am


EVERETT, Wash. (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna has filed a lawsuit against two auto dealerships for allegedly misleading sales and advertising practices that caused consumers to pay higher prices for vehicles.

McKenna's suit alleges that Performance Jeep-Eagle, doing business as Performance Nissan and Performance Kia, sold vehicles at prices above those advertised as part of a bait-and-switch scheme that led to consumers paying for more expensive vehicles than advertised.

In addition to the bait and switch tactics, Performance Nissan and Performance Kia are also accused of a variety of other illegal and deceptive practices, including the sale of vehicles for thousands of dollars above the advertised price and the advertisement of vehicles that had previously been sold.

The dealers are also alleged to have negotiated verbal or informal sales or leases agreements that were then changed in the contract terms without the knowledge or consent of the customer.

In dealing with Spanish-speaking consumers, McKenna alleges, the company misrepresented contract terms.

The costs of extra products were hidden in payment quotes, an illegal practice called "packing," the lawsuit alleges, and deceptive promotions, including a mailer stating "Urgent Recall-Official Notice" that implied it was from a government agency. Additionally, the company allegedly failed to include all required disclosures in promotions.

The suit asks the court to order the company to end its deceptive actions and to impose civil penalties and consumer restitution.

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