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Court Orders Biddeford Auto Dealer to Sell Vehicles at the Advertised Price
January 18, 2008
Today, Attorney General Steve Rowe announced that Five Star Auto Sales, a used car dealership in Biddeford, Maine, has entered into a Superior Court Consent Decree which resolves the state’s Unfair Trade Practice Act Complaint. The State’s complaint charged that Five Star Auto Sales used improper sale tactics to unfairly increase the advertised price of its vehicles.
“The issue here is simple. If you advertise the price of a product, then you need to sell the product for that price.” Rowe commented.
Pursuant to the Consent Decree, Five Star Auto Sales is prohibited from increasing the advertised price of a motor vehicle by charging a document preparation fee or using unfair or deceptive tactics to sell an extended service contract.
Five Star Auto Sales is also prohibited from advertising a vehicle at a specific price and then, without the consumer’s informed agreement, increasing that advertised price, unless the increase is made in accordance with the Attorney General’s Advertising Rules.
Rowe continued, “The State’s Advertising Rules have the simple goal of allowing consumers to purchase a car for the advertised price. Bait & switch methods of advertising violate the Unfair Trade Practices Act. My office will continue to take action against companies that employ deceptive pricing methods.”
The Consent Decree states that Five Star Auto Sales did not admit to any wrongdoing. Pursuant to the Court’s Order, Five Star Auto Sales must provide restitution to its customers totaling $4,723 and must also pay a civil penalty totaling $5,000.
David Loughran, (207) 626-8577