N.J. Used Car Dealer Will Refund Consumers Caught in 'Bait and Switch'

Used carsTo settle a lawsuit alleging it used "bait and switch" tactics to sell used cars, a New Jersey dealership will refund consumers and pay the state up to a total of $144,000, according to theattorney general's office.

Global Auto Inc, which also did business as Auto Collection Group, admitted no liability or wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement. The state claimed in its lawsuit filed last year the dealership allegedly misrepresented car prices, required consumers to sign blank sales documents, and failed to disclose to the consumers any previous damage to cars, among other allegations.
Seven consumers will get a total of $16,537 in restitution and Global Auto will also pay $86,462 to New Jersey in fines and $37,000 in lawyers' fees and court costs. The state said $50,000 of the fine amount could be waived if Global Auto follows through with the settlement terms, including a laundry list of business practices to follow.

Before buying a new car, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said to keep in mind the following items and make sure you understand what you're getting:
  • Know the exact price you are paying for the vehicle.
  • Know the amount you are financing.
  • Know what the total cost of the financing will cost you -- called the finance charge.
  • Know the APR.
  • Know the number and amount of the payments.
  • Know the total sales price -- the grand total of monthly payments plus the down payment.
The FTC's Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a buyers' guide in each car they put up for sale that includes info on possible warranties and information on the car.

AutoTrader also has useful tools to use to avoid getting hit by a bad used car deal.
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