2 Valley-based Nissan dealers to pay $405K in restitution for false advertising
PHOENIX — Two Valley-based Nissan dealerships will pay $405,000 in restitution to consumers as part of a settlement over false advertising allegations.
ABC Nissan on Camelback Road in Phoenix and Pinnacle Nissan on Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in Scottsdale, both owned by Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, allegedly advertised low vehicle prices online but refused to sell the vehicles at that price, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office said in a press release Tuesday.
Employees would tell consumers they had to purchase certain “add-on” accessories, which would raise the price of the vehicle above the advertised cost, according to the release.
“Arizonans shopping for a vehicle deserve an honest and transparent car buying experience,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich said in the release.
“While the market may be experiencing fluctuations, dealerships should avoid advertising prices that they are not prepared to honor.”
Consumers would allegedly be told by Pinnacle Nissan employees that add-on accessories had already been installed and could not be removed, or that they could not remove the accessories because they would have to remove them for everyone, according to the consent judgment.
Both dealerships deny the allegations, according to the release.
People who believe they are eligible for restitution have until July 31 to file a complaint online to be considered.
Add-on accessories for the vehicles included nitrogen in tires, an exterior protective coating, door edge guards, door cups or window tint, according to the release.
The judgment with ABC Nissan is part of the enforcement of a previous consent decree where the company had to pay $130,000 in restitution for similar conduct, according to the release, and will now pay another $100,000 in restitution, along with other penalties and fees.
Pinnacle Nissan, meanwhile, will pay $305,000 in restitution and $50,000 in civil penalties.
The judgments also require the dealerships to advertise the true prices of the vehicles, as well as remove customers who have asked to not receive sales calls from their call lists.