A.G. Schneiderman Obtains Refunds For Buffalo Consumers Short-Changed Out Of Full Tank Of Gas
While Dealership Window Stickers Promised Free Gas With Each Car Purchase, They Charged Consumers Anyway
Schneiderman: Hundreds of Area Consumers Entitled to Refunds; My Office Will Not Tolerate Consumers Being Ripped Off
BUFFALO - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that hundreds of Buffalo-area consumers will receive refunds after being charged a $65 gasoline fee while purchasing a new car from Transitowne Hyundai of Williamsville, even though the dealer promised free gas with each purchase. As a result of the settlement, Transitowne has agreed to pay over $80,000 in restitution and $5,000 in penalties and fines.
The Attorney General's investigation began after a consumer filed a complaint stating he was charged a $65 gasoline fee even though he was promised the same amount in free gasoline for the purchase of a new car. Transitowne Hyundai had displayed on the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) window sticker that a full tank of gas was included in the purchase.
"If that one person hadn't come forward, hundreds of other consumers may never have known they were overcharged," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "I urge anyone who feels they are being ripped off to contact us. My office is committed to stopping any actions that fraudulently take money away from New Yorkers."
After the initial complaint was filed in January 2011, the Attorney General's office immediately contacted Transitowne and requested a check of their records from 2008 to 2011 to determine if any other consumers had paid the gasoline fee. The investigation revealed that Transitowne charged 1,235 consumers the $65 gasoline fee.
As a result of the Attorney General's investigation, Transitowne has entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance (AOD) which is an agreement requiring them to identify each consumer who paid the $65 gasoline fee and to provide them with $65 in restitution totaling $80,275.
This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General James Morrissey and Senior Consumer Fraud Representative Karen Davis under the supervision of Assistant Attorney General In-Charge for the Buffalo Regional office Michael Russo.