Car Dealership Fraud and Appearance Packages

Appearance Package, Wheel Well Molding, Door Edge Guards
Some dealerships use the sale or attempted sale of door edge guards, wheel well molding or pin striping, commonly known as appearance packages, to increase the costs of the vehicles. Frequently, these pre-delivery services are not included anywhere in the buyer’s order but only on a price addendum placed on the automobile. New Jersey law is relatively straightforward and requires a consumer to sign off and acknowledge the purchase of any pre-delivery services on the sale of an automobile. The dealership uses the guise of these expensive products, which increase the “sticker” price of a vehicle. When the customer sits downs and looks at all the paperwork, it is not apparent that these items are included in the price anywhere. This is the intention behind the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act and the associated Administrative Code regulations requiring consumers to acknowledge purchase of pre-delivery services. Even if these were considered aftermarket items or different types of products, it would still be appropriate for the dealer to disclose the nature and extent of these products, any warranties that were associated with these products, and the costs thereof. The best advice would be to be very careful in the injunction of negotiating a purchase price on a new vehicle and demand for an itemization of any and all products and/or services that you are acquiring or think you are acquiring as part of the automobile purchase. The dealership is required to disclose this to you fully and honestly and the best way to do this would be to bring a piece of paper where the dealership would sign off on the specific products which you are purchasing. This would forego any potential confusion and document exactly what you are and are not purchasing.