A.G.'s Office Continues To Monitor Auto Advertising

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that his Rochester Regional Office has settled false advertising charges with auto dealerships in Monroe and Ontario counties.

The Dorschel Group of Rochester, and the Ontario Import Cars of Canandaigua, have agreed to amend their automobile lease advertising practices to conform with the federal "Truth in Leasing Laws" and the state false advertising and deceptive business practices law. In doing so, the Dorshel Group agreed to pay a total of $6,000 in costs and penalties. The Ontario Import Cars agreed to pay $2,500 in costs an penalties.

"Both federal and state laws were enacted to ensure that consumers receive accurate and complete information in auto advertisements," Spitzer said. "My office will continue to monitor marketing practices and aggressively pursue violations."

The federal "Truth In Leasing Act" requires certain disclosures when advertising an auto lease, including: that the transaction is a lease; the total amount of any payment required at a lease’s inception; the number, amounts and due dates of monthly payments; a statement whether a customer has a purchase option; information regarding so-called gap insurance; whether or not a security deposit is required; and the rate of any excess mileage charges.

These cases illustrate the continuing efforts of the Attorney General’s Office to monitor auto advertising practices. Last December, the Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement with Ford Retail Network over similar auto leasing advertising. In the past fifteen months, Spitzer’s office has settled or litigated cases against 27 auto dealers throughout the state.

Consumers who believe they have been victims of deceptive auto advertising are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s consumer help line at (800) 771-7755.

These cases were handled by Assistant Attorney General Carlos Rodriguez of the Rochester Regional Office.