Indiana County car dealership fined
An Indiana County car dealership will pay $10,000 in civil penalties and investigation costs to resolve claims that it used false and deceptive advertising to entice customers to the business, state Attorney General Mike Fisher announced.
Fisher said an assurance of voluntary compliance was reached with Delaney Chevrolet Inc., which operates as Delaney Chevrolet-Geo-Buick-Honda at 626 Water St. in Indiana.
The dealership is accused of violating state and federal consumer protection and auto regulations.
Agents of the Bureau of Consumer Protection said between February and October 2000 the dealership allegedly advertised sales in newspaper inserts offering special discounts and/or financing on used cars and trucks.
Some of those discounts could not be substantiated, according to Fisher. Some ads allegedly failed to disclose clearly required information such as the APR (annual percentage rate), down payment, terms of repayment and other credit terms.
One advertisement allegedly offered “$500 worth of free gas” with a lease or purchase, violating a federal regulation prohibiting the offering of a free product or service if the price of the item to be purchased is negotiated.
Under the terms of the settlement, the dealership admits to no wrongdoing and agrees to cease all advertising that does not comply with state and federal regulations, pay $5,000 in civil penalties and pay $5,020 for the state’s investigation costs and filing fees, Fisher said.