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New Jersey arbitration: Car dealership settles for $66,000

Used car dealerships in New Jersey are required by consumer protection laws to inform potential buyers about a vehicle's history, which includes any damage. When a dealership violates these laws, it may have to address numerous consumer complaints, in addition to possibly paying penalties and fines. A Paterson used car dealership has agreed to go through a state arbitration process to settle consumer complaints after allegedly misleading customers about the condition of its vehicles.

North Jersey Auto Mall, which is also known as Lencore Leasing, recently agreed to settle these allegations to the tune of $66,000. This amount includes $29,000 in penalties and $37,000 to reimburse the state for investigative costs and legal fees. Despite agreeing to this payout, Lencore Leasing and its owner deny doing anything wrong.

So far, a total of 17 consumer complaints have been filed against the company seeking a total amount of $135,528 in restitution. These and any additional complaints will be handled through binding arbitration for one year. Lencore Leasing faces an additional fine of $50,000 if it does not meet the terms of the settlement.

For many companies in New Jersey, handling consumer complaints through the arbitration process can keep a bad situation from becoming worse. Still, it may be beneficial for business owners to seek the advice of legal counsel through each step of the process. Agreeing to the arbitration process is not an admission of wrongdoing. It is a way to solve disputes that may prevent even costlier and more time-consuming litigation down the road.

Source: The Star-Ledger, Paterson used car dealership to pay $66K to settle allegations it misled customers, Christopher Baxter, Oct. 30, 2013

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