7 On Your Side has tips to avoid deceptive practices at car dealerships

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Anyone looking for a car lately knows they can be hard to come by with supply chain shortages impacting delivery of new vehicles.

The result? The used car market is hot.

But at the same time, New York City officials are charging several big borough dealers with deceptive practices they say put customers out thousands.

"I feel used, robbed, betrayed," said used car customer Karinie Olivero.

The Bronx mother of three is referring to her ordeal buying her first car, a 2017 Grand Cherokee, she saw advertised for sale at a used car dealer in Brooklyn.

She says the price tag ballooned from an original $36,000 to a total sale of $55,442 -- a difference of over $19,000.

"Unscrupulous and predatory dealers are putting pressure on people, rushing them through, surprising them," said Department of Consumer and Worker Protection Commissioner Commissioner Peter Hatch.

Hatch says he'll be looking to revoke licenses for two companies operating five dealership in Queens and Brooklyn for accusations of false advertising, misleading consumers about financing, warranties, car certification and other illegal conduct.



JF Motors, which runs Automania, Luxury Automotive Club, and the now closed World Auto is charged with 9,000 violations.

The city is seeking $100,000 restitution for nine consumers.

Kings Autoshow, with two Mitsubishi dealerships in Brooklyn has been hit with 7,000 violations.

The city is seeking $50,000 restitution for 34 consumers.

Olivero said she was misled by her salesman. She walked away with a car but no contract.

Brooklyn Mitsubishi is one of the leading dealers in the Northeast and is currently being run by a dynamic GM known as El Patronn,

He left the dealership for many years in 2018 and told 7 On Your Side, "All these things were happening prior to my involvement."

He added he was "cleaning house" and "Brooklyn Mitsubishi is whole new Dealership."

The Queens dealerships didn't return our calls but the city commissioner says both dealers will have a chance to answer the allegations in court.

The Big Takeaway:

-Any customer of the dealership who feels they were financially harmed should file a complaint by calling 311.

-Remember, by law, when closing on a car you have to see and sign a consumer bill of rights and get two other documents including a financing disclosure form which has to show you the lowest APR offered by any financing company for a loan of the same term with your number of payments and down payment all spelled out.

-Also consumers have to be given a contract cancellation option which means you can cancel within two week days to have time to review your contract and any financing agreement away from the dealership.

More Resources:

Used Car Consumer Bill of Rights
Buying a Used Car Tips

ALSO READ | Banks tell customers they're responsible if they pay Zelle scammers
EMBED More News Videos

Bank of America tells customers Zelle is a separate company -- even though B of A and other banks own Zelle and add it to their menu of services.



----------
SHARE YOUR STORY

Do you have an issue with a company that you haven't been able to resolve? If so, 7 On Your Side wants to help you!

Fill out the form below or email your questions, issues, or story ideas by filling out the form below or by emailing 7OnYourSideNina@abc.com. All emails MUST INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND CELLPHONE NUMBER. Without a phone number, 7 On Your Side will not be able to respond.
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.