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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:

July 26, 2006

Office of The Attorney General
- Zulima V. Farber, Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
- Kimberly Ricketts, Director

 

Kara Wood
973-504-6327

 
Ramsey Auto Group Reaches Settlement
with Attorney General and Consumer Affairs

NEWARK – The Ramsey Auto Group, Inc. (“Ramsey Auto”) has agreed to make a payment to New Jersey of $250,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the state, Attorney General Zulima V. Farber and Consumer Affairs Director Kimberly Ricketts announced today. Ramsey Auto also has agreed to make substantial changes to its business practices and to establish a restitution account in the sum of $156,000 for consumers that filed complaints with the Division of Consumer Affairs prior to the filing of the lawsuit.

“Under this settlement, Ramsey Auto has committed to making serious changes in the way they do business,” said Attorney General Farber. “We want to ensure that New Jersey consumers are treated fairly when shopping for cars.”

This settlement resolves a lawsuit filed on August 17, 2005 that alleged violations of the state's Consumer Fraud Act, Motor Vehicle Advertising Regulations, Used Car Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law Regulations. The Ramsey Auto Group includes the following dealerships: Ramsey Volvo, Ramsey Subaru, Ramsey Nissan, Ramsey Infiniti, Ramsey Saab, Ramsey Mazda, Ramsey Chrysler/Plymouth/Jeep/Eagle, Ramsey Pontiac-GMC, Ramsey Mitsubishi and Maywood Mitsubishi.

“At its very core, the Division of Consumer Affairs exists to ensure a level playing field for New Jersey consumers and businesses,” said Director Ricketts. “This settlement, reached cooperatively with Ramsey Auto leadership, is consistent with that goal.”

In the settlement announced today, Ramsey Auto has agreed to do the following:

  • not misrepresent or fail to disclose material terms and conditions of a negotiated deal, financing or lease plan;
  • honor all advertised prices, terms and/or conditions;
  • reveal facts concerning a used car including the terms of any written warranty, mechanical condition, history and/or prior damage;
  • accurately represent the amount paid to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for license, title and registration fees and provide refunds to consumers of any overpayments of such fees;
  • not add and charge for after sale items (such as window etching or service contract) without the consumer’s knowledge or authorization;
  • provide accurate credits for trade-in allowances and/or deposits;
  • provide consumers with an opportunity to review all sales documents prior to signing;
  • provide in all advertisements the legally required information, including but not limited to the applicable time period for any special offer, the manufacturer’s retail price clearly indicated by using “MSRP” as well as the year, make and model and the last eight digits of the VIN number; and
  • not charge for repairs performed in excess of any estimated price without the oral or written consent of the consumer.
Additionally, Ramsey Auto has agreed to attempt to resolve all pending consumer complaints and to participate in the Division’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program with respect to any future consumer complaints for at least a one-year period. For the next year, the Division will forward any additional consumer complaints it receives to Ramsey Auto for resolution. Each consumer has the option of submitting the matter to binding arbitration before the ADR Unit if an agreement cannot be reached.

Deputy Attorney General Gina M. Betts represented the state in this matter.

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