Twelve auto dealers in the Hudson Valley have reached a settlement with the state requiring them to provide consumers with proper notice of vehicles’ safety defects prior to purchase.
On Friday, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he had reached a settlement with 104 auto dealerships in the state that have sold vehicles without disclosing dangerous safety issues in the vehicles.
An investigation by Schneiderman’s office found that dealers in Westchester and Dutchess County had sold cars with issues that included unintended acceleration, disabled airbags, vehicle fires, steering and brake loss. The settlement requires dealers to now disclose any existing safety concerns that have not been repaired in advance.
During the investigation, Schneiderman’s office surveyed advertisements, monitored vehicles that were recalled for safety and identified auto dealers that advertised those vehicles with unprepared safety recalls.
Schneiderman said “that while many prospective car buyers reasonably assume that any known and existing safety issues have been repaired or disclosed by the dealer, that is often not the reality of car buying in New York.”
Under the settlement, dealers that advertise online must include information that enables potential buyers to check the recall status of the vehicle, while those advertising in print must disclose if the vehicle was the subject of any safety recall. Dealers must also place a decal in the window of used cars that includes all safety information.
Moving forward, dealers must send notice to customers that purchased vehicles that are still unprepared dating back to January last year. Manufacturers’ franchise dealers must also cover up to five days of a loaner car for consumers if their vehicles require repairs that will take longer than one day. All of the violators have also been fined $1,000.
Hudson Valley auto dealers included in the settlement:
Westchester Regional Office
- JC Lopez Auto Sales Corp. in Port Chester;
- Croton Auto Park in Croton-on-Hudson;
- New Rochelle Chevorlet in New Rochelle;
- The Rivera Auto Group in Mt. Kisco;
- Rye Subaru in Rye;
- Saw Mill Auto Sales in Yonkers;
- Westchester Auto Exchange in Cortlandt Manor.
Poughkeepsie Regional Office
- Hudson Valley Auto Sales;
- Rage’s Automotive;
- Autos by Joseph;
- Frank Siena Auto Sales, Inc.
Rockland Regional Office
- Rockland Motors in West Nyack;
“The safety recalls we uncovered were serious — and potentially deadly," Schneiderman said in a statement. “Consumers deserve to know of any unresolved safety issues before buying a car for themselves or their family.
"I am pleased that thanks to our investigation and today's settlement, more New Yorkers will finally receive the critical safety information they need to make an informed decision. I encourage all auto-dealerships across the state to follow our guidelines to ensure that they too uphold the highest standards of consumer safety. This is an important first step towards making all cars on New York’s roads safer.”
Consumers who purchased vehicles after Jan. 1, 2016 who believe they have possibly unrepaired safety recalls should contact the Attorney General’s office at 1-800-771-7755 or via web form at https://ag.ny.gov/complaint-forms .
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