A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement With Middletown Auto Dealer Over Bogus Fee To Customers

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Settlement With Middletown Auto Dealer Over Bogus Fee To Customers

MIDDLETOWN – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a settlement with a Middletown auto dealer, Adee Motors, LLC. (d/b/a Middletown Honda), which charged customers who leased vehicle an undisclosed $500 “processing fee” when those consumers bought their vehicles at the end of their leases. No additional services were provided for the payment of this fee.

“Any New York business that utilizes abusive practices to deceive consumers or create an unfair marketplace will be held accountable,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “In this case, Middletown Honda will be expected to pay back every victim of its fraud, with interest. I encourage all others who were possibly overcharged by this auto dealer to contact my office and claim their refund.”

From 2011 to 2014, Middletown Honda, located at 520 Route 211 in East Middletown, entered into leases with customers where a price was set at which the customer could buy the vehicle at the end of the lease. However, when the leases expired and those customers decide to purchase their vehicles, Middletown Honda added $500 to the price of the vehicle without disclosing they had done so.

The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that Middletown Honda had done this repeatedly, and 174 consumers were identified who are entitled to a refund of the $500, with interest from the date of their purchase.

Pursuant to the settlement, Middletown Honda will repay a total of $87,000 to 174 customers who were charged the bogus processing fee. The dealership has also promised to reform its practices and pay $48,000 in penalties to the State. In addition, if any other consumer files a complaint with the Attorney General’s office and also paid the bogus fee, they will be entitled to the same restitution.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Nick Garin, with the assistance of Senior Consumer Frauds Representative Stephanie Brideau and Law Department Investigator, Adrienne DeGaetano, under the supervision of Vincent Bradley, Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office and Martin J. Mack, Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Regional Offices.