(Phoenix, Ariz. – February 8, 2005) Attorney General Terry Goddard today filed suit against Scottsdale Suzuki Superstore, Inc. alleging the dealer made misleading and deceptive statements in television ads guaranteeing a minimum trade-in for the purchaser of a new car at its Tempe dealership.
In addition, lawsuit alleges that Scottsdale Suzuki Superstore, Inc. placed misleading information concerning “dealer installed accessories and service charges” on the window stickers of new cars.
The lawsuit states that Scottsdale Suzuki Superstore, Inc. ran television ads on KSAZ, Channel 10 in Phoenix and corresponding print ads in the East Valley Tribune. The ads indicated that Scottsdale Suzuki would guarantee a minimum of $5,000 for a trade-in during a sales campaign in May 2004, called “Push, Pull, Tug or Tow your Trade.” Small print appearing briefly onscreen and at the bottom of the newspaper ads, stated that the offer applied only to the purchase of vehicles in the “service area”. The lawsuit alleges that there were only four or five only used vehicles in the service area for which a consumer could receive the advertised minimum trade.
According the complaint filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, a consumer went into the dealership to take advantage of the $5,000 trade-in and was turned down. She eventually purchased a 2004 Suzuki Forenza, including the “Dealer Installed Accessories and Service Charges”. The lawsuit alleges that days later she realized that she had not received the accessories listed on the window sticker worth about $2,000.
“New and used car purchase problems continue to be among the top complaints received each year,” Goddard said. “Arizona Consumers depend on a fair and truthful marketplace, this kind of bait and switch practices are intolerable. We will continue to monitor car sales ads to ensure consumers are not tripped up by deceptive sales pitches.”
The Attorney General’s Office is asking the Maricopa County Superior Court to:
- Prohibit Scottsdale Suzuki from engaging in false advertising
- Order Scottsdale Suzuki to offer restitution for consumers
- Reimburse attorneys’ fees and investigation costs
- Impose a penalty of up to $10,000 for each willful violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act
Consumers who attempted to take advantage of the advertised guaranteed trade-in deal at Scottsdale Suzuki Superstore, Inc. of this sale and could not are requested to file a consumer complaint with the Attorney General’s Office by visiting the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov and click on the consumer complaint form box. Consumers can also contact the Phoenix office at 602-542-5763.