Attorney General Shapiro Cracks Down on Car Dealers Falsely Advertising as Individual Sellers Online
Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Takes Action to Ensure Auto Dealers Comply with Pennsylvania Law
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced 20 legal actions have been filed against auto dealers and salespeople in eleven counties in Pennsylvania for violating consumer protection laws and deceptively advertising motor vehicles.
The actions were part of an advertising sweep that targeted auto dealers and their salespeople who advertised vehicles for sale without disclosing that the sale was being conducted by a dealer, as is required under Pennsylvania law. All auto dealers in this sweep advertised on Craigslist as individual sellers, rather than as dealers, providing insufficient information to consumers viewing their postings.
“These car dealerships used deceptive advertising and were dishonest with Pennsylvania consumers,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Car buyers are making a significant investment, and they need to have full knowledge of whom they are buying from. When businesses skirt that process and violate the law, we will hold them accountable and force change in behavior.”
Specifically, the investigations conducted by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection targeted car dealers advertising on websites like Craigslist in the “for sale by owner” section. The fact that the car was being sold by a dealership was not disclosed in the advertisement. The Office of Attorney General collected more than $10,500.00 in civil penalties and costs for the illegal advertisement of at least 178 vehicles to Pennsylvania consumers.
The following businesses were subject to the recent legal actions, called Assurances of Voluntary Compliance (AVC), and have agreed not to violate the Consumer Protection Law and Auto Regulations and, specifically, not to deceptively advertise their vehicles:
- Arrow Motors, Inc. (Philadelphia County)
- Roberts Collision Centers, Inc. d/b/a Roberts Auto Sales (Fayette County)
- E-T Auto Sales (York County)
- US 1 Auto Mall, Inc. (Bucks County)
- DeKalb Auto Sales (Montgomery County)
- Avenue Auto Group, LLC (Philadelphia County)
- RSA Services, Inc. (Philadelphia County)
- Dave Hallman Chevrolet, Inc. (Erie County)
- Eagles Auto Sales, Inc. (Philadelphia County)
- Stoney Creek Auto Center (Berks County)
- Rau Automotive (Allegheny County)
- Premier Automotive (Allegheny County)
- Triple C Autoplex, LLC (Fayette County)
- Carmart of York, LLC (York County)
- N.T. Auto Sales (Northampton County)
- Charles H. Price Auto Sales, Inc. (Berks County)
- Eddy A. Peralta (Berks County)
- Annville Pre Owned Auto Sales, LLC (Lebanon County)
- Life and Liberty Motors, LLC (Berks County)
- Lux Motor Cars, LLC (Cumberland County)
Attorney General Shapiro encouraged Pennsylvanians who believe they have been the victim of a scam or disreputable business practices to contact the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555 or visit www.attorneygeneral.gov to file a complaint.
The Office of Attorney General recently launched a new text alert system which will offer tips to help consumers avoid becoming a victim of a scam. Consumers can sign up by visiting www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumer-alerts/. There is no fee to sign up and you can easily opt out after receiving a text.
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