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Whitney's Auto Group settles with Wash. AG McKenna

By Bryan Cohen | Oct 19, 2012

SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna announced an agreement on Thursday with Whitney's Auto Group to resolve allegations of consumer-unfriendly marketing and sales tactics.

Whitney's Auto Group sells vehicles at Whitney's Value Ford, Stormy's Used Cars, Whitney's Chevrolet and Aberdeen Honda. The company also sold vehicles at the now-closed Interstate Auto Liquidators. McKenna's Consumer Protection Division started looking into the companies in 2009 after receiving a variety of consumer complaints.

In one instance, a consumer took a car she bought from Aberdeen Honda to get a routine oil change and found the car had a cracked frame.

In another instance, a consumer complained that a mailer from Aberdeen Honda offering the prizes of a Honda Civic and a freshwater pearl necklace claimed he already won. The consumer said he later found out that his number needed to match another number posted at the dealership.

The Washington Promotional Advertising of Prizes Act requires that all material terms of a promotion be displayed prominently in mailers.

Under the terms of the consent decree, the dealerships run by the auto group must disclose facts about a vehicle's condition, comply with the Promotional Advertising of Prizes Act, stop deceptive advertising practices, not make any false, deceptive or misleading statements to lenders, sell vehicles at the advertised price and disclose the price of a vehicle upon request.

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