Law Office Of Paul DePetris
paul@newjerseylemon.com

New Jersey Car Dealer Advertising Scams FAQS

INTRODUCTION
Read below to learn more about this topic.  Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send him an email.  Warning – this article does not necessarily include every New Jersey court rule, code or law that may apply to your New Jersey case!  The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other laws.  Before taking any action, read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney.  Court addresses, hours of operation and directions may change so check with the court in advance of mailing documents to court or going there!  Some of the webpages on this site don’t apply to all types of New Jersey cases, since there are different rules for different case types!


NEW JERSEY CAR ADVERTISING SCAMS FAQS
New Jersey car dealer scams often involve a dealer making misstatements or knowingly making omissions about New Jersey cars offered for sale.  Don’t be a victim of a New Jersey car dealer advertising scam!  


MANDATORY DISCLOSURES REQURED IN NEW JESERY USED CAR ADVERTISEMENTS
The following information relating to an advertised used car must be provided at the main entrance(s) to the business premises where the used car is displayed or in proximity to the vehicle or on the vehicle itself:
A  copy of any printed New Jersey advertisement that quotes a price for the sale or lease of that vehicle; alternatively, a tag may be attached to the used car(s) stating the advertised price as well as the other information required mandatory disclosure requirements in all New Jersey advertisements for the sale or lease of used cars.
A fuel economy label, if required by the Federal law known as the Used car Information and Cost Savings Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2006; and
The Used Car Buyers Guide, if required by the Federal Trade Commission's Used Car Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 455.2.


A New Jersey used car dealer shall not advertise a used car which does not have the Monroney label, if required by the Federal law known as the Used car Information Disclosure Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1231-1233.  A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.


NEW JERSEY CAR DEALER ADVERTISING RECORD SCAMS 
A New Jersey car dealer advertising a car for sale shall have a New Jersey used car advertised for sale on premises and available for sale at the advertised price during the period of publication or a record of the sale of that vehicle at the advertised price or less during that period.  A New Jersey car dealer advertising a car for sale shall have a New Jersey used car advertised for lease available for lease at the advertised price during the period of publication, or a record of the lease of that vehicle at the advertised price or less during that period.  Such record shall consist of all applicable New Jersey advertisements and a copy of the executed contract with the purchaser or lessee of the vehicle; this documentation shall be maintained for 180 days after the transaction and shall be made available for inspection by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.  If the used car is sold or leased during the period of publication, the advertiser must so notify consumers who inquire by telephone or in person.  A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.


NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALES SCAMS
New Jersey car dealer scams often involve used car sales.   Certain types of New Jersey used car sales practices are illegal under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act for New Jersey used car dealers.  The following practices involving pre-delivery service fees in the sale of used cars by automotive dealers are violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a New Jersey used car buyer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any pre-delivery service for which the automotive dealer receives payment, credit, or other value from any person or entity other than a retail purchaser of the used car;
Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a New Jersey used car buyer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any pre-delivery service without first itemizing the actual pre-delivery service which is being performed and setting forth in writing on the sales document the price for each specific pre-delivery service;
Except in connection with the sale of used cars, failing to conspicuously place upon the front of the sales document which contains a pre-delivery service fee, in ten-point bold face type, the following statement:  "You have a right to a written itemized price for each specific pre-delivery service which is to be performed.  The automotive dealer may not charge for pre-delivery services for which the automotive dealer is reimbursed by the manufacturer."


The following practices involving documentary service fees in the sale of used cars by automotive dealers are violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
Accepting, charging, or obtaining from a New Jersey used car buyer monies, or any other thing of value, in exchange for the performance of any documentary service without first itemizing the actual documentary service which is being performed and setting forth in writing on the sale document the price for each specific documentary service; or
Representing to a New Jersey used car buyer that a governmental entity requires the automotive dealer to perform any documentary service;
Failing to conspicuously place upon the front of the sales document which contains a documentary service fee, in ten-point bold face type, the following:  "You have a right to a written itemized price for each specific documentary service which is to be performed."


NEW JERSEY BAIT AND SWITCH USED CAR ADVERTISING SCAMS
New Jersey car dealer scams often involve what are called bait and switch advertising – luring the New Jersey car buyer with one false promise and then switching them to another car or service.  The following used car advertising practices are considered unlawful bait and switch advertising under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
The New Jersey advertisement of a New Jersey used car as part of a plan or scheme not to sell or lease it or not to sell or lease it at the advertised price.
Without limiting other means of proof, the following shall be prima facie evidence of a plan or scheme not to sell or lease a New Jersey used car as advertised or not to sell or lease it at the advertised price:


o Refusal to show, display, sell, or lease the advertised used car in accordance with the terms of the New Jersey advertisement, unless the vehicle has been actually sold or leased during the period of publication; in that case, the advertiser shall retain records of that sale or lease for 180 days following the date of the transaction, and shall make them available for inspection by the Division of Consumer Affairs.
o Accepting a deposit for an advertised used car, then switching the purchaser to a higher-priced used car, except when the purchaser has initiated the switch as evidenced by a writing to that effect signed by the purchaser.
o The failure to make delivery of an advertised used car, then switching the purchaser to a higher-priced used car; except when the purchaser has initiated the switch as evidenced by a writing to that effect signed by the purchaser.


NEW JERSEY USED CAR SALE ADVERTISEMENT SCAMS
In any New Jersey advertisement offering for sale a New Jersey used car at an advertised price, the following information must be included:
The advertiser's business name and business address;
A statement that "price(s) include(s) all costs to be paid by a New Jersey used car buyer, except for licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes".  If the statement appears as a footnote, it must be set forth in at least 10 point type.  Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, "all costs to be paid by a New Jersey used car buyer" means manufacturer-installed options, freight, transportation, shipping, dealer preparation, and any other costs to be borne by a New Jersey used car buyer except licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes;
The year, make, model, and number of engine cylinders of the advertised used car;
Whether the transmission is automatic or manual; whether the brakes and steering mechanism are power or manual; and whether the vehicle has air conditioning, unless those items are standard equipment on the advertised used car.  This provision shall not apply to New Jersey advertisements for motorcycles;
The last eight digits of the vehicle identification number, preceded by the letters "VIN".  This provision shall not apply to radio and television broadcasts, or to New Jersey advertisements for motorcycles; and
A list of any dealer installed options on the advertised used car and the retail price of each, as determined by the New Jersey dealer.
The actual odometer reading as of the date the New Jersey advertisement is placed for publication; and
The nature of prior use unless previously and exclusively owned or leased by individuals for their personal use, when such prior use is known or should have been known by the advertiser.


A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.


In any type of used car advertising, the following practices by a New Jersey used car dealer results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
The use of any type size, location, lighting, illustration, graphic depiction or color so as to obscure or make misleading any material fact;
The setting forth of an advertised price which has been calculated by deducting a down payment, trade-in allowance or any deductions other than a manufacturer's rebate and dealer's discount;
The setting forth of an advertised price which fails to disclose, adjacent to the advertised price, that it has been calculated by deducting a manufacturer's rebate or dealer's discount;
The failure to state all disclaimers, qualifiers, or limitations that in fact limit, condition, or negate a purported unconditional offer (such as a low APR or high trade-in amount), clearly and conspicuously, next to the offer and not in a footnote identified by an asterisk.  Such disclosure shall be made verbally in a radio or television New Jersey advertisement.  Identical information pertaining to all used cars in a group of advertised New Jersey used cars, however, may appear in a footnote, provided the type is no smaller than 10 point;
The failure to state the applicable time period of any special offer, in at least 10-point type immediately adjacent to the special offer, unless the special offer is a manufacturer's program;
The use of the word "free" when describing equipment or other item(s) to be given to the purchaser or lessee of a New Jersey used car, if the "free" item has a value which has increased the advertised price.  In using the word "free" in advertising, the advertiser shall comply with the Federal Trade Commission Rule, 16 CFR § 251, and any amendments thereto;
The failure to disclose that the used car had been previously damaged and that substantial repair or body work has been performed on it when such prior repair or body work is known or should have been known by the advertiser; for the purposes of this subsection, "substantial repair or body work" shall mean repair or body work having a retail value of $1,000 or more;
The use of the terms "Public Notice", "Public Sale", "Liquidation", "Liquidation Sale", or terms of similar import, where such sale is not required by court order or by operation of law or by impending cessation of the advertiser's business;
The use of terms such as "Authorized Sale", "Authorized Distribution Center", "Factory Outlet", "Factory Authorized Sale", or other term(s) which imply that the advertiser has an exclusive or unique relationship with the manufacturer;
The use, directly or indirectly, of a comparison to the New Jersey dealer's cost, inventory price, factory invoice, floor plan balance, tissue, or terms of similar import; or the claim that the advertised price is "wholesale" or "at no profit";
The use of the terms "guaranteed discount", "guaranteed lowest prices" or other term of similar import unless the advertiser clearly and conspicuously discloses the manner in which the guarantee will be performed and any conditions or limitations controlling such performance; this information shall be disclosed adjacent to the claim and not in a footnote;
The use of the statement "We will beat your best deal", or similar term or phrase if a New Jersey used car buyer must produce a contract that the New Jersey used car buyer has signed with another dealer or lessor in order to receive the "better" deal;
The use of such terms or phrases as "lowest prices", "lower prices than anyone else" or "our lowest prices of the year", or similar terms or phrases if such claim cannot be substantiated by the advertiser.


NEW JERSEY CAR DEALER DEMONSTATOR CAR SALE SCAMS
In any New Jersey advertisement offering a "demo" for sale, the following information must be provided:
The advertiser's business name and business address;
A statement that "price(s) include(s) all costs to be paid by a New Jersey used car buyer, except for licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes".  If the statement appears as a footnote, it must be set forth in at least 10 point type.  Under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act automotive regulations, "all costs to be paid by a New Jersey used car buyer" means manufacturer-installed options, freight, transportation, shipping, dealer preparation, and any other costs to be borne by a New Jersey used car buyer except licensing costs, registration fees, and taxes;
The manufacturer's suggested retail price as it appears on the Monroney label, clearly denominated by using the abbreviation "MSRP";
The year, make, model, and number of engine cylinders of the advertised used car;
Whether the transmission is automatic or manual; whether the brakes and steering mechanism are power or manual; and whether the vehicle has air conditioning, unless those items are standard equipment on the advertised used car.  This provision shall not apply to New Jersey advertisements for motorcycles;
The last eight digits of the vehicle identification number, preceded by the letters "VIN".  This provision shall not apply to radio and television broadcasts, or to New Jersey advertisements for motorcycles; and
A list of any dealer installed options on the advertised used car and the retail price of each, as determined by the New Jersey dealer.
Identification as a "demo"; and
The actual odometer reading as of the date the New Jersey advertisement is placed for publication.


A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.


NEW JERSEY USED CAR CREDIT AND INSTALLMENT SALE ADVERTIESEMENT SCAMS
The following information must be stated in any New Jersey used car credit and installment sale advertising and appear adjacent to the description of the advertised used car and not in a footnote or headline, unless the information is the same for all used cars advertised.  If in a footnote, it must be in at least 10-point type.  
The total cost of the installment sale, which shall include the down payment or trade-in or rebate, if any, plus the total of the scheduled periodic payments;
The annual percentage rate;
The monthly payment figure and the number of required payments; and
The amount of any down payment or trade-in required or a statement that none is required.


The following used car advertising practices concerning credit and installment sale New Jersey advertisements are unlawful:
The advertising of credit, including but not limited to such terms as "easy credit" or "one-day credit", other than that actually provided by the advertiser on a regular basis in the ordinary course of business;
The use or statement of an installment payment on any basis other than a monthly basis.


A New Jersey used car dealer’s failure to provide this information results in a violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.


WHAT PENALTIES DO NEW JERSEY USED CAR DEALERS FACE IF THEY VIOLATE THE NEW JERSEY CONSUMER FRAUD ACT?
It is an unlawful practice and a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act violation to violate any provision of the New Jersey Used Car Regulations.   The following are some of the remedies that New Jersey Used Car buyers may be entitled to under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act:
Cancellation of fraudulent debts.
Treble damages for ascertainable loss of money or property caused by the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.
Attorney’s fee award for prosecuting the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation or defending against lawsuits by dealers to collect a fraudulent debt.
Refund of money lost due to the New Jersey Used Car dealer’s New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Violation.


Website Builder