AG Shapiro Puts Auto Dealerships on Notice for Unfair and Deceptive Practices

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HARRISBURG, PA — Attorney General Josh Shapiro this week issued an advisory to car dealerships in Pennsylvania warning of unfair and deceptive practices that violate the Commonwealth’s Consumer Protection Law.

“We’ve seen a large increase in demand for new and used cars here in Pennsylvania, and while the vast majority of dealerships are following the rules, there has also been an increase in complaints from consumers noticing bad practices,” said AG Shapiro. “We are putting these dealerships on notice: shift gears and be sure that you are following the law and treating consumers fairly.

Under the Commonwealth’s Consumer Protection Law and regulations, AG Shapiro advised that both new and used car dealerships must:

  • Represent and advertise goods or services at their actual price, comply with the terms of warranties given to the buyer; and not engage in fraudulent or deceptive conduct which creates a likelihood of confusion or misunderstanding.
  • Honor the terms of any contract with a consumer regarding the lease of a vehicle, including a consumer’s right to purchase the vehicle under the specific terms of the contract.
  • Sell a motor vehicle under the terms or conditions, including price or warranty, which a motor vehicle manufacturer or dealer has advertised or otherwise represented.
  • Disclose any hidden charges in any advertised price of a vehicle, as well as the expiration date of any advertised price.
  • Not increase the price of a motor vehicle after the contract has been accepted by the dealer or an authorized representative, unless the increase is due to a change in the law that requires the addition of new equipment or increases transportation costs or existing taxes.
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Consumers who believe that a car dealership has violated the law should file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General by visiting www.attorneygeneral.gov or by calling the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555.

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