A family of Queens auto dealers have reached a settlement to refund money to customers who fell victim to their deceptive sales tactics.
According to Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood, Nemet Hyundai, Nemet Kia, Nemet Nissan and Nemet Motors on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica received a number of complaints from customers regarding unwanted charges, fraudulent sales tactics and other deceptive moves that misled consumers about their products.
An investigation into the dealers found that they had performed the following deceptive practices:
- They added unwanted aftermarket items into consumers’ contracts without disclosing the items or their costs to consumers, without obtaining the consumers’ consent, or by misrepresenting that the items were required by lenders;
- prevented consumers from having an adequate opportunity to review their contracts by making them wait for inordinate periods of time, then rushing them through signing their contracts;
- misrepresented their willingness and ability to refinance consumers’ loans by making fraudulent promises to refinance the loans at specific future dates for particular interest rates; and
- submitted falsified credit applications with inflated income information for applicants, ultimately obtaining loans the consumer were unable to pay.
Underwood referred to a complaint from Shauntel Wilson, a Brooklyn resident who bought a car from a Nemet dealership. After the manager promised to refinance Wilson’s loan in six months, which would drop her monthly payments from $781 to $548, Wilson complained that Nemet failed to deliver the promised refinancing.
The investigation found that Nemet had secured Wilson’s loan by inflating her income on a credit application by nearly $15,000 per year and slipped $2,600 worth of undisclosed aftermarket products into her contract.
The settlement will give restitution to those who were harmed by the dealer’s fraudulent business practices.
Under the terms of the settlement, the Nemet dealerships will refund $108,231 to 22 known consumers and will also pay $56,250 in penalties to New York state. Additionally, the management of the dealerships agreed to modify their employee training and hire an outside monitor for at least three years to ensure compliance with the settlement terms.
Underwood encouraged anyone who believes they were a victim of the dealer’s practices to file complaints online or call 800-771-7755 before the July 30, 2018 deadline.
“We have zero tolerance for those who seek to defraud New York consumers,” Underwood said. “This settlement ensures impacted consumers will get the restitution they deserve and put an end to the dealerships’ deceptive practices.”