Buying or leasing a car can be a harrowing experience even when the automobile dealer is playing by the rules. But too often car dealers break the law and take advantage of unsuspecting customers. Mehri & Skalet has led the fight against unscrupulous sales practices in New Jersey and has successfully forced automobile dealers to return millions of dollars to aggrieved consumers.

Many New Jersey car dealerships were overcharging customers for obtaining title and vehicle registrations. The experience of John Romano is illustrative. In 1999, Mr. Romano purchased a Dodge Caravan from a large automobile dealership in New Jersey. The dealer charged Mr. Romano $145 for obtaining title and registration from the DMV. In fact, the DMV only charged $100.50 for these services. The dealer never informed Mr. Romano that he had been overcharged. Mr. Romano was not alone. Discovery revealed that the dealership had overcharged a large majority of its customers. Compounding the injury, the automobile dealer failed to provide Mr. Romano and others with notice of their rights as required by New Jersey consumer protection laws.

Mr. Romano filed a class action lawsuit against a group of automotive dealers which were engaged in this deceptive practice. After extensive litigation Mehri & Skalet, along with co-counsel, settled the case recouping damages for Mr. Romano and the class.

Financial Relief

The settlement provided a cash refund of $54 (in addition to other relief) to every person who purchased or leased a vehicle between mid-1996 and mid-2002

Programmatic Relief

In addition to providing a cash refund to everyone who was harmed as a result of these unscrupulous business practices, the automotive dealerships committed to refrain from using these deceptive practices in the future.

Since Mr. Romano’s case began Mehri & Skalet has investigated dozens of other automotive dealerships that are engaged in similar practices, filing and settling cases against them. These cases recouped a substantial amount of money for other customers harmed and forced additional dealerships to correct their operating procedures so that they no longer took advantage of their customers. Through the totality of these cases Mehri & Skalet has helped eliminate these deceptive practices from the automotive dealerships of New Jersey.

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