You are reading

City Reaches Settlement With “Predatory” Used Car Dealerships Operating in Woodside

The JF Motors family of dealerships—which includes Luxury Automotive Club on Northern Boulevard–has reached a settlement with the DCWP after being accused of bilking its customers (GMaps)

May 4, 2022 By Christian Murray

A Woodside-based company with used-car dealerships on Northern Boulevard has entered into a $375,000 settlement with the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection after being accused of bilking its customers out of thousands of dollars.

JF Motors, which is headquartered at 60-20 Northern Blvd., advertised its vehicles online at highly-competitive prices—only to charge consumers thousands more through bogus fees.

The company—which operates Automania as well as Luxury Automotive Club on Northern Boulevard—has agreed to pay $225,000 in total restitution to its customers and $150,000 in civil penalties. The company has also agreed to surrender its licenses, preventing it from operating a used car dealership for at least two years.

As part of the settlement, 16 consumers are getting restitution totaling $199,600, leaving $25,400 available for new complainants.

“Preying on New Yorkers looking to buy a used car is not only unacceptable, it’s illegal. With this settlement, we’ve taken swift action to hold these shady dealerships accountable,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams in a statement.

The JF Motors family of dealerships—which includes Automania at 55-11 Northern Blvd.–has reached a settlement with the DCWP after being accused of cheating its customers (GMaps)

According to the complaint, JF Motors would hike the price well above the specials it was offering online. For instance, in one case, it advertised an “internet special price” of $15,795, then added bogus fees—bringing the sale price to $23,780, according to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP).

The DCWP said the dealerships also marketed many of their vehicles as “Certified Pre-owned,” when they were not.

They used the certification to hike the price, since a CPO vehicle typically sells for about $1,000 more than the same model with no certification, according to the complaint.

The dealerships also charged an illegal mandatory “certification fee,” a practice in violation of consumer protection laws. In some cases, the bogus certification fee was $3,000 or more– even though the vehicles weren’t truly certified.

CPO vehicles are required to go through a 125-point inspection by a qualified mechanic. Furthermore, buyers of CPO vehicles receive a 10-year/100,000 warranty and are given a vehicle history report.

The JF Motors dealerships, however, did not make repairs when CPO vehicles broke down—often with issues that should have been discovered during the 125-point inspection, according to the complaint.

There were also cases of random bogus fees, according to the complaint. Some were charged for tire and wheel insurance or theft deterrent systems. They were not itemized on the sales contract—just added to the price.

One buyer discovered he was charged $1,979 for a theft deterrent system that was never requested or installed, according to the complaint.

“When New Yorkers buy a used car, they expect to get a fair and honest deal,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “With this settlement, we are delivering thousands of dollars in restitution for the victims of JF Motors and sending a clear message to the used car industry that DCWP will hold them accountable if they choose to deceive their customers.”

The DCWP encourages New Yorkers who are looking to buy a used car to read the Used Car Consumer Bill of Rights, which dealerships are required to post and give to each consumer before they sign a sales contract.

The Bill of Rights must be provided to the consumer in the language in which the contract was negotiated.

Exhibit from DCWA complaint filed again JF Motors

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Queens Botanical Garden hosts Lunar New Year celebration with globally beloved Miffy

About 4,200 people joined the world-renowned beloved rabbit Miffy to ring in the Year of the Rabbit at Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Queens Botanical Garden’s Lunar New Year celebration included a visit from Councilman Shekar Krishnan, who gave remarks, followed by a program of activities for all ages. Attendees enjoyed a lion dance performance, zodiac crafts, demonstrations, lucky plant sales and more. Miffy was in attendance for photos, story time and to greet children throughout the event.

Mets owner Steve Cohen hosts second community visioning session regarding development of area around Citi Field

Hundreds of community residents and leaders gathered at the Piazza Club inside Citi Field to participate in a visioning session regarding the development of a nearby 50-acre lot. This marked the second visioning session New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has hosted at Citi Field in January as he attempts to collect as much community feedback regarding the development as possible.

Attendees of the visioning session went to a series of interactive stations, sharing what mattered most to them when it came to improving the area around Citi Field, including preferred forms of year-round entertainment, ability to access different forms of transportation and attainable local jobs and training. Information and input was collected from the community in how they would like to see the lot utilized. A common theme among many of those who took part in the visioning session was the desire to see something built there that would bring a lot of economic opportunity to the community and provide year-round entertainment.

NewYork-Presbyterian Queens doctor aims to bring awareness to women’s heart health

With February marking the beginning of American Heart Month, a cardiologist from NewYork-Presbyterian Queens Hospital spoke with QNS about the importance of heart health for women.

According to attending cardiologist Dr. Joanna Troulakis, approximately 400,000 women die as a result of cardiovascular diseases each year in the United States. She noted that women have suffered more cardiovascular disease deaths than men in recent years. When it comes to heart attacks, the mortality rate for women is higher than men.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

‘Where do we go now?’ Michaels set to close its doors in Fresh Meadows next month

The Michaels located at 187-04 Horace Harding Expwy. in Fresh Meadows will be permanently closing its doors on Feb. 23. The announcement that Michaels will be leaving the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center has led to an outpouring of reactions from many community members.

“We know this is disappointing to our customers in Queens, but we hope to continue to serve them at our other locations in New York City or online at Michaels.com,” a spokesperson for Michaels said in a statement to Patch.com.