The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection announced that it reached a settlement with JF Motors, which operates the used car dealerships Automania, Luxury Automobile Club, and World Auto, resolving charges that the company engaged in false advertising and other illegal practices in connection with the sale of used cars. As part of the settlement, the company agreed to pay $225,000 in restitution to consumers and $150,000 in civil penalties. The company also agreed to surrender its licenses, which prevents it from operating a used car dealership for at least two years.
The DCWP sued JF Motors late 2021. In the lawsuit, the DCWP alleged that the company sold its cars for prices at well above the prices advertised. DWCP also alleged that the company's dealerships falsely advertised cars as "certified pre-owned" by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, even though the company did not conduct the required inspection, give buyers the promised warranty, or provide the required vehicle history report. In addition, DCWP charged that the company inflated car prices by adding fake fees.
In announcing the settlement, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, "Preying on New Yorkers looking to buy a used car is not only unacceptable, it’s illegal. With this settlement, we’ve taken swift action to hold these shady dealerships accountable."
This settlement is an important reminder to marketers that, not only does New York City license various types of business in more than forty industries that operate in the City, it enforces its own consumer protection laws. New York City also has specific rules addressing sales practices in the used car industry as well.
"With this settlement, we’ve taken swift action to hold these shady dealerships accountable" -- NYC Mayor Eric Adams