SANFORD, Fla. - Florida has charged First Team Ford Inc. with misleading newspaper and radio advertising. The dealership operates as Don Mealey's Seminole Ford.
A civil suit was filed here by the state attorney general in Circuit Court of the 18th Judicial Circuit for Seminole County.
The dealership responded by filing a motion to dismiss the suit.
The advertising in question implied half-price deals, the court was told. For example, a radio commercial said, 'What is the buying edge at Don Mealey Seminole Ford? It's driving any new Ford for half sticker. Drive any new Don Mealey Seminole Ford for 24 months and pay only half the sticker price. That's 50 percent off MSRP.'
In the suit, Jacqueline Dowd, an assistant attorney general, said such ads did not clearly identify advertised transactions as leases rather than sales. The ads did not include any information on payments or the consumer's liabilities at the end of the lease, the court was told.
Dowd said penalties are likely. They could amount to as much as $10,000 for each violation.
First Team Ford's Orlando attorney, David Luff, said he hopes the attorney general's office changes its mind about the case after reading the motion he filed to dismiss the suit.