For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: April 6, 2007
Boise Car Dealer Penalized for Advertising Violations
(Boise) - Boise auto dealer Larry Miller Sundance Dodge will pay a $5,000 civil penalty as a result of a legal settlement resolving allegations that the business engaged in misleading and deceptive advertising of its motor vehicles, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. The agreement also requires Sundance Dodge to pay $830.12 in attorney fees and costs.
In February 2007, Idaho consumers received direct-mail ads from Sundance Dodge with the words “Extremely Urgent: Please Hand Deliver to Addressee” printed across the front of the envelope and “Extremely Urgent – Do Not Bend – Priority Delivery” printed on the back. Despite the official appearance of the envelopes, they contained only an ad for a “Vehicle Liquidation Event” at Sundance Dodge.
The ad included a “$4,000 Instant Savings Voucher,” which, the Attorney General alleged, violated Idaho’s prohibition against dealer rebates. The Attorney General also alleged that the ads failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose all material terms and conditions of the advertised offers, employed color contrasts and tiny print that made the text difficult to read, and used asterisks that confused or contradicted the ad’s principal message.
This is the third settlement between the Attorney General’s Office and Sundance Dodge as to its advertising practices. The first agreement occurred in 1991. The second was entered into in 2005. The current agreement includes more severe penalties that a court may impose on Sundance Dodge if it fails to comply, including a $10,000 civil penalty if the dealer violates the agreement.
The Attorney General publishes the Guidelines for Motor Vehicle Advertising in Idaho to assist dealers in complying with the state’s consumer protection laws and rules. For a copy of the Guidelines, dealers can visit the link on the Attorney General’s website or contact his Consumer Protection Unit at (208) 334–2424. The toll–free number for Idahoans outside the Boise calling area is (800) 432–3545.
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