BOSTON (Legal Newsline) – Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a $175,000 agreement on Wednesday with four affiliated car dealerships in Western Massachusetts to resolve allegations they misled consumers.
Coakley alleged that the Hadley-based Country Nissan, the Northampton-based Country Hyundai, Northampton Volkswagen and the Charlton-based Patriot Buick GMC regularly ran deceptive advertising campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, dealership websites, radio and television. The dealerships and their owners and operators, Carla Consenzi and Thomas Consenzi, allegedly used bait and switch methods to entice consumers into their showrooms with promotions that were not actually available.
“We allege that these car dealers were luring consumers to their showrooms with misleading advertisements and refused to make good on the advertised sales and promotions,” Coakley said.
Coakley’s office alleged the defendants allegedly refused to sell vehicles in accordance with advertised terms and conditions. The dealerships also allegedly failed to pay the advertised price for trade-in vehicles.
Under the terms of an assurance of discontinuance, the Consenzis and their affiliated companies, Patriot Buick GMC Inc., County Hyundai Inc., T & C Auto Corp., Tommy Car Advertising Inc., Tommy-Car Corp. and Tommy-Car Management Corp., agreed to pay the state $175,000 over the next six months. The defendants also agreed to permanently refrain from unfair or deceptive advertising practices going forward.