Wash. Dealer Ordered to Pay $74,000 for Deceptive Advertising
January 19, 2016
SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced last Friday that Rairdon's Dodge Chrysler Jeep of Kirkland has agreed to pay $74,000 to resolve allegations that it sent out thousands of promotional mailers mimicking official recall notices.
The dealership will pay $35,125 in civil penalties along with $39,210 in costs and fees to resolve the attorney general's allegations that it violated the state's Consumer Protection Act.
“I will not tolerate a business driving sales by using scare tactics to dupe consumers into thinking their car has a safety problem,” Ferguson said. “Advertising needs to be clear and honest. When ads mislead consumers, my office will take action to hold violates accountable.”
According to the attorney general's complaint, the dealership sent 7,025 promotional mailers that looked similar to the form used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s recall notifications. The mailers notified recipients of possible recalls and offered to purchase their vehicles. However, the mailers failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose that the offer to buy was independent from any recall notification.