Mazda, Hyundai dealer in N.J. faces complaints over deceptive ads, sales

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Two New Jersey dealerships are accused of deceptive advertising and sales practices, the state attorney general and the Division of Consumer Affairs said.

Bergen Auto Enterprises LLC -- owned by Kevin DiPiano -- which owns and operates Wayne Mazda and Wayne Auto Mall Hyundai in Wayne, N.J., marketed previously rented or damaged cars as new, and advertised already-sold or leased vehicles that were no longer available, according to a five-count complaint filed Tuesday with the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs.

“We will not allow consumers to be subjected to the egregious sales tactics that these two dealerships allegedly engaged in,” John Hoffman, New Jersey acting attorney general, said in a statement.

Additional complaints against the dealership include failing to add legally required statements in newspaper ads explaining what costs the vehicle price included, as well as further costs the buyer would be responsible for.

Advertisements also failed to detail and clarify qualifications for any discounts, the state said.

“The Wayne Mazda and Wayne Auto Mall Hyundai dealerships allegedly offered vehicles and terms that were not attainable, and concealed important details about other vehicles for sale and lease, all in a calculated effort to profit at consumers’ expense,” Steve Lee, acting director for the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, said in a statement.

The complaint calls for the dealerships to cease the deceptive practices and to make reparations to affected customers.

The company has not responded to a request for comment.

Hyundai declined to comment.

A Mazda spokeswoman said that while Wayne Mazda is an independently operated business and it is up to the dealership to work with the state of New Jersey, “we hope the claims regarding Wayne Mazda’s business practices prove to be unfounded.”

Bergen Auto Enterprises was the subject of another consumer complaint filed in July 2010. A couple claimed Wayne Mazda did not honor the trade-in agreement settled on when they bought a new vehicle from the dealership. The state court ultimately ruled in the consumers’ favor.

The complaint follows the settlement of a similar case in New Jersey last month. Eight new-car dealerships owned by Carmelo and Ignazio Giuffre paid $1.8 million to the state’s Division of Consumer Affairs to settle claims of deceptive sales tactics.

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