ALBANY, N.Y. – New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday that his office has issued cease-and-desist letters to nearly 40 auto dealers across New York state whose advertisements for the new federal Car Allowance Rebate System (“CARS” or “Cash for Clunkers”) were misleading and deceptive.

The Attorney General’s Office took the action after reviewing a number of advertisements from various car dealerships that omitted significant requirements that had to be met in order for a consumer to be eligible to get the rebate. The office said the ads misled consumers into believing that their trade-in vehicle qualified for the program when it did not or that they were eligible for a several-thousand-dollar rebate, when they were not. The letters order all dealerships to immediately modify promotions and advertisements to clearly explain how the program works.

The "Cash for Clunkers" program provides auto dealerships with funds to credit consumers $3,500 or $4,500 for qualified trade-ins that may be worth considerably less.

“This program could be a boon for both our economy and our environment, as well as provide much-needed financial assistance to consumers. Businesses that fail to advertise honestly and try to take advantage of this federal program will face legal action by my office,” said Attorney General Cuomo. 

Advertisements by several auto dealerships aggressively promoted the program without fully disclosing its limitations, while other dealers advertised similarly named “cash for clunker” promotions that have nothing to do with the CARS program without making the distinction.

Dealerships that received cease/desist letters, include, by region:

New York Metro: Plaza Hyundai, Ltd.; City World Toyota; City World Hyundai

Nassau County: Garden City Jeep Chrysler Dodge; Hassel Volvo; Karp Volvo; Millenium Toyota and Nissan of Garden City

Suffolk County: Competition Toyota; Security Dodge; Town & Country Jeep Chrysler Dodge; Atlantic of Bay Shore

Westchester: Smith Cairns Ford, Inc. of White Plains; Central Avenue Chrysler Jeep Dodge

Poughkeepsie: Healey Chevrolet; Healey Ford; Newburgh Park Motors

Buffalo: Basil Resale Sheridan; Basil Toyota; Cappellino Buick; Dave Smith Ford; Emerling Chevrolet; Paddock Chevrolet

Rochester: Lessord Chrysler Products; Bob Johnson Chevrolet

Syracuse: Fayetteville Dodge; Royal Nissan-Subaru; Summit Dodge

Binghamton/Southern Tier: Delhi Motor Company, Inc.; Gault Toyota; Miller Auto Team; Stafford Chevrolet

Utica:  Victory Chrysler Dodge Jeep; Cooper Kia; Steet Ponte Chevrolet; Don’s Superstore; Davidson Chevrolet Cadillac Buick Pontiac GMC of Rome; Carbone Nissan; Carbone Dodge Chrysler Jeep 

Plattsburgh: Dannemora Ford; Garvey Hyundai