PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Barbara Gadbois
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
Phone: (302) 577-8323
Date: October 6, 2004
NEW CASTLE AUTO DEALERSHIP ENTERS INTO CONSENT ORDER WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL
Castle Dealerships agree to Halt Deceptive Advertising.
(Wilmington, DE): A Stipulation and Consent Order to Cease and Desist was signed this morning by Judge Cooch, which requires New Castle auto dealers, Castle Dealerships and Castle Hyundai (hereinafter “Dealer”) to refrain from advertising which violates Delaware’s Consumer Protection laws, announced Attorney M. Jane Brady.
The State alleges that the Dealer:
· Violated Delaware’s Consumer Protection Laws by falsely claiming in October, 2003, that vehicles were either unclaimed cargo or special shipment, when in truth they were auction purchased vehicles;
· In nearly 500,000 state-wide newspapers, ran advertisements which constituted unlawful advertising in that they make untrue representations concerning the origin, nature and number of vehicles involved in the advertised sale; and
· Knew or should have known that their conduct was of the nature prohibited by the Consumer Fraud Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
In 1999, the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Unit assisted the Delaware Automobile and Truck Dealers Association (DATDA) with developing voluntary advertising guidelines as part of a system of industry self-regulation in Delaware. A condition of membership in the DATDA requires voluntary adherence to these guidelines. As a result of these guidelines, the quality of advertising in Delaware has improved and the guidelines can serve as a model for other states.
Under the Stipulation and Consent Order, Dealer agrees to review its advertising practices and refrain from any and all false, misleading, or deceptive advertising.
Attorney General M. Jane Brady commented, "We consistently have made it clear that businesses must deal fairly and honestly with Delaware consumers. These advertising practices hurt individual consumers, other dealerships as well as effect the reputation of the automobile dealer industry. We are pleased that this dealership is coming into compliance."
The Stipulation and Consent Order requires that Dealer pay a civil penalty of $20,000 and $3,560 to the Consumer Protection Fund as penalties and costs of the Attorney General's investigation.