WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Hyundai of White Plains will pay $32,500 in penalties and other costs to New York State for deceptive advertising after an investigation by the attorney general’s office found that the car dealer used misleading advertising practices in its print and online ads, according to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office.
Among its deceptive practices, the dealership promoted sale and lease prices that included discounts or rebates that were not available to most customers, which did not represent the actual sale or lease prices.
Hyundai of White Plains regularly advertised prices that included discounts or rebates such as a “military” rebate, which was available only to certain current or former military personnel; a “college graduate” rebate, which was available only to recent college graduates; a “loyalty” rebate, which was available only to customers who had purchased a new vehicle within the last six months; and an “HMF” discount, which was available only to consumers who financed their purchase.
In some cases, the discounts and rebates totaled as much as $4,500, so the actual price of the vehicle for many buyers was significantly more than advertised.
“A car is one of the most expensive and significant purchases many families make,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “When shopping for a car, New Yorkers deserve to be dealt with honestly and fairly – not misled by false advertising. My office will not tolerate car dealerships that mislead consumers with ads featuring inaccurate, artificially low prices.”
The settlement requires Hyundai of White Plains to reform other advertising practices such as:
- Using footnotes or asterisks that contradict, confuse or materially modify a principal message of an ad
- Failing to clearly and conspicuously provide certain required disclosures for lease or finance terms, such as the amount or percentage of any down payment
- Restricting a rate or price to a “qualified buyer” or “qualified lessee” without disclosing qualifications
- Failing to disclose the duration of sales and promotions that were time-limited
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