This was actually submitted in an arbitration against a New Jersey car dealership.
In the present case, the plaintiff has demonstrated that the defendant has committed acts of consumer fraud with a nexus to an ascertainable loss and, thus, the plaintiff should receive an award against the defendant. everse engineering and backing out numbers does not equate with fair business practices! This is coupled with an advertisement that is blatantly in violation of New Jersey law case law and the Administrative Code.
ADVERTISEMENT – CONSUMER FRAUD
Initially, the advertisement utilized by the defendant is inherently deceptive, has the capacity to mislead, and violates New Jersey law. The terms used by the defendant in the applicable advertisement violate are not permitted under the law. N.J.A.C. 13:45A-26A.7(9-10) (the term “authorized sale” and “whole sale” and not permitted); Barry v. Arrow Pontiac, Inc., 100 N.J. 57, 494 A.2d 804 (1985) (dealers use of these terms violates the Consumer Fraud Act.)
Thus, the next issue is whether or not the applicable advertisement is applicable to the plaintiff’s transaction. The defense has claimed that the advertisement expired on or about April 30. Plaintiff testified that the defendant would honor the advertisement and wrote this on the advertisement. This is confirmed by the initialed memo from the general sales manager. The general sales manager, XXX , refused to appear to contradict this testimony despite a subpoena issued to him. Plus, the defendant failed to produce him to rebut the plaintiff’s testimony. Thus, the allegations as to the conversations with dealer’s representatives should be accepted as the truth. It should be accepted, it is not disputed, and thus the defendant dealership forwarded the advertisement by direct mail and agreed to permit this advertisement to apply to the plaintiff’s transaction, per XXX, in the transaction in this case. The next issue is whether or not the terms and promises in the advertisement were honored and whether or not this resulted in an ascertainable loss to the plaintiff. Looking at the paperwork it is difficult to tell whether or not the plaintiff received the advertised price and whether or not the appropriate credits are granted.
The entire transaction must be viewed in light of the admitted testimony of the defendants that the transaction was ‘reverse-engineered.’ The transaction was “manipulated” to appear that the credit for the trade was over $9,291, when in fact they received only a credit of $6,500. This is admitted. The devil is in the details. The dealer actually testified that even though the deal showed a $9,291 credit the plaintiff was told that he was REALLY getting only $6,500 (This is admitted). Again, the dealer admitted to a material misrepresentation. This was an intentional act. Plaintiff denies this fact and continued to testify that he was never told he would receive $6,500 but the $9,291 was negotiated at length. Somebody is lying! Why would the deal have reflected the numbers that were never agreed upon by the dealer?
If you were the dealer wouldn’t you put the CORRECT NUMBER IN TO PROTECT YOURSELF RATHER THAN THE WRONG NUMBERS THAT WERE “BACKED OUT” OR REVERSE- ENGINEERED? Why is any reverse engineering needed? Why did the deal have to be backed out? Why did the paperwork submitted to the bank not actually reflect the transaction? This was a plan. This was intentional. This was a scam. This was the dealer’s successful attempt to wrongfully take the plaintiff’s money. Where was the salesman? Where was XXX ? Why should the dealer be believed when the primary persons dealing with the plaintiff, on the important issues, DID NOT ATTEND, even after receiving a subpoena?