(Phoenix, Ariz. – Dec. 23, 2005) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a settlement with Holmes Tuttle Ford, Inc. for its alleged deceptive advertising of a “$29 Down and 50% Off MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) Sale” held early this year.
The settlement requires Holmes Tuttle Ford, Inc. to pay the Attorney General’s Office $75,000. The money will be used to pay for consumer fraud education, attorneys’ fees and investigation costs. The settlement also requires future Holmes Tuttle advertisements to be clear, truthful and non-misleading.
From January 19-22, 2005, Holmes Tuttle advertised a “$29 Down & 50% Off MSRP Sale.” The ads implied the sale was available on a large number of cars at the dealership when in fact only two new vehicles were available for this “unprecedented” sale.
“New and used car sales continue to be one of my office’s top complaints,” Goddard said. “Tactics like the ones allegedly used by Holmes Tuttle Ford last January are unacceptable. My office will continue to pursue these types of complaints until all car dealers understand they must advertise truthfully.”
Since January 2005, Holmes Tuttle Ford was acquired by another dealership and has changed management. The consent judgment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by Holmes Tuttle Ford. It includes the following conditions:
- When advertising a sale or lease, Holmes Tuttle cannot imply that the sale or lease applies to all, most, or many vehicles unless it does.
- Holmes Tuttle will advertise in a clear and conspicuous, truthful and non-misleading manner.
- Holmes Tuttle will use display disclaimers and/or disclosures that cannot contradict any statement in the advertisement.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Arizona Attorney General's Office at 602.542.5763 in Phoenix; 520.628.6504 in Tucson; or 1.800.352.8431 outside the metro areas. To file a complaint online, visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov.