Car Dealer, Repair Complaints Led NJ Consumers' Concerns in 2022

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Did you make a complaint last year about a motor vehicle seller or a home improvement company in New Jersey? You weren’t alone---the Division of Consumer Affairs released the top 10 list of consumer complaints made last year, and complaints about motor vehicle sales and repairs topped the list, followed by complaints about home improvement.

And, the state reached “significant settlements” last year with nine car dealerships whom consumers had reported to be violating consumer protection laws.

National Consumer Protection Week runs from March 5-11, which prompted the state’s consumer protection agency to list some top concerns from customers in New Jersey. The DCA works to protect the public from things like deceit, fraud, misrepresentation and misconduct in the sales of goods and services throughout the state.

Anyone who believes they have been cheated, scammed or otherwise abused by a business may file a complaint online with the DCA or call 1-800-242-5846.

NJ’s Office of Consumer Protection handles more than 1,000 new complaints each month alleging violation of state consumer protection laws, the office said in a joint news release with Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin’s office.

Platkin said the DCA’s work is crucial to enforcing consumer protection laws and educating the public to avoid fraud.

“Consumer complaints alert DCA on who is violating those laws and what patterns of fraud are emerging in the marketplace,” he said.

“The complaints we receive each year help the Division set its priorities and deploy its resources to best serve New Jersey’s consumers,” added Cari Fais, acting director of the DCA. “Our public outreach campaigns and enforcement initiatives are guided by the complaints we receive, and the information consumers provide to us.”

Here are the totals for the top categories:

  • 18,084 complaints total in 2022
  • 2,514 complaints about motor vehicle sales and repairs
  • 2,310 complaints about home improvement
  • 1,080 complaints about major appliances

These top three categories made up nearly one-third of all complaints, said the DCA. Other complaints included internet sales, medical care, moving and storage, professional and occupational services, stores, credit and gasoline.

The DCA’s Office of Consumer Protection said motor vehicle-related investigations involve “predatory towing, automotive repairs, car sales and auto parts pricing.” The state also said officials have reached settlements with nine car dealerships in 2022 totaling more than $650,000.

“The dealerships’ alleged violations include failing to list prior accidents, damage and repairs made to vehicles; failing to honor the advertised price of a used car; charging excessive vehicle preparation fees; failing to disclose the full sale price of a motor vehicle; and deceptive advertising,” said officials.

We thank Patch for reprint permission.

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