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Attorney General Schneider Announces Settlement with Berlin City Auto Group Regarding Warranty Disclaimers
January 20, 2012
Settlement Ensures Compliance with Maine’s Implied Warranty Laws
AUGUSTA – Attorney General William J. Schneider announced that the Berlin City Auto Group of Portland has settled claims that implied warranty and remedy disclaimers made when selling new cars to Maine consumers were unfair and deceptive.
The Unfair Trade Practice Consent Decree approved by Kennebec Superior Court on January 5, 2012 prohibits the Berlin City Auto Group from stating to consumers that only the manufacturer and not the dealer are responsible if the new car has a serious defect. Although Berlin City Auto Group did not admit any wrongdoing, the business agreed to inform past consumer purchasers of new cars that implied warranty and remedy disclaimers are retracted and that customers who were improperly turned down can seek reimbursement for repairs of serious defects.
Berlin City Auto Group agreed to pay a $5,000 civil penalty as part of the settlement.
“One of the most important consumer rights in Maine law says that if you are sold a seriously defective product, the seller or the manufacturer has to repair it,” said Attorney General Schneider. “The dealer is required to share the responsibility for repair if a new car sold to a consumer turns out to have serious problems.”
The Maine implied warranty law protects consumers for up to four years after the purchase of all household or personal goods, excluding used cars.
To learn more about consumer goods and Maine express and implied warranty laws, go to: http://www.maine.gov/ag/consumer/consumerlawguide.shtml
This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General James McKenna in Attorney General Schneider’s Consumer Protection Division.