NEWARK, NJ – The Office of the Attorney General and the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs have announced reaching a settlement with the company that operates two car dealerships in Newton. JDN AA, LLC, operator of Newton Audi and Newton Volkswagen were named in an action filed in June 2015. The settlement requires JDN AA, LLC to pay $31,655.95 in civil penalties as part of a $50,000 total payment to the state of NJ. The balance, $18,344.05 goes to cover the state’s legal and investigative costs, according to a statement released by the OAG.
In addition to the payments JDN AA is required to comply with all applicable laws in the future and must work with DCA to resolve any new complaints during the next year. Additional terms of the settlement include Newton Audi and Newton Volkswagen:
- not add or charge for after sale item[s] without the consumer's written authorization;
- not represent to consumers that the purchase of an after sale item is mandatory when, in fact, it is not;
- identify, in writing, any and all after sale items, whether provided to consumers at no additional charge or purchased by consumers;
- provide a written document containing a clear statement of cost for an after sale item[s], and obtain the consumers' written acknowledgment to purchase such after sale item[s], for any after sale item[s] purchased by a consumer;
- provide consumers with an opportunity to review all sales documents prior to signing;
- not require consumers to execute any blank or incomplete sales documents;
- provide consumers with complete copies of all signed sales documents;
- include the statement that "price(s) include(s) all costs to be paid by consumer, except for licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes," in advertisements;
- honor all terms of a negotiated deal concerning the sale of a used motor vehicle; and
- not sell a motor vehicle without possession of the title to the motor vehicle.
The state had filed a four-count complaint in Sussex County Superior Court alleging “unconscionable commercial practices,” failure to disclose required information in their advertising and failure to pay required Used Car Lemon Law fees.
“These actions and the resulting settlements should send the message that dealerships must comply with state consumer protection laws or risk serious legal consequences,” said Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman in the statement. “This settlement ensures that consumers will receive transparency and honesty from this dealership, as required by law.”
“The Division of Consumer Affairs has brought several actions this year against auto dealerships for consumer fraud and unconscionable business practices,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs in the joint statement. “Consumers who are thinking about purchasing vehicles must have certain important information about the vehicles they are considering,” Lee also noted JDN AA’s cooperation in reaching a quick resolution of this matter.
The lead investigators in this matter were Investigator Kelly Fennell on behalf of DCA. Deputy Attorney General Alina Wells in the Consumer Fraud Prosecution Section represented the State.
Both auto dealerships are located on Hampton Road in Newton.