Learn what happened to a New Hampshire dealer who did not abide by the rules to avoid it happening to you.
NH Attorney General Joseph A. Foster announces that his office brought a consumer protection enforcement action against Platinum Auto Brokers, Inc., formerly located at 535 Amherst St., Nashua, now doing business as Derry Auto Brokers located at 4 Peabody Road Annex, Derry.
The AG's Consumer Protection Bureau received multiple complaints that Platinum Auto Brokers sold unsafe and uninspected motor vehicles without providing the buyers with a Notice of Sale of Unsafe Motor Vehicle or advising them of their right to have the car inspected with the defects noted on the form as is required by RSA 358-F. The company failed to remove old inspection stickers prior to the sale and failed to inform their customers that the car they bought was unsafe for operation on the roads of New Hampshire. The company also failed to provide buyers with the federally mandated Buyer's Guide.
The Consumer Protection Act prohibits any unfair or deceptive act or practice in the conduct of trade or commerce within this state. A violation of the unsafe motor vehicle statute is an unfair or deceptive act or practice in trade or commerce that is prohibited under the Consumer Protection Act.
The AG brought a complaint for unfair or deceptive trade practices and Platinum Auto Brokers agreed to resolve the complaint with a settlement document called a consent judgment. The Hillsborough County Superior Court approved that settlement on February 3, 2017. Under the terms of the consent judgment, Platinum Auto Brokers must provide any buyer of an uninspected motor vehicle with a copy of the Notice of Sale of Unsafe Motor Vehicle form, signed by both the buyer and salesperson, and a federally mandated Buyer's Guide which contains any warranty terms of the sale. Old inspection stickers must be removed prior to sale.
As part of the settlement with the Attorney General, Platinum Auto has refunded approximately $12,000 to consumers who bought used motor vehicles from them that were sold in violation of the Consumer Protection Act. Platinum Auto Brokers was ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 with all but $1,000 of the fine suspended for five years conditioned on the company complying with all terms of the settlement agreement.
Attorney General Foster advises dealers of used cars and consumers of those vehicles that, when purchasing an uninspected car, the buyer must be provided with a Notice of Sale of Unsafe Motor vehicle that advises each buyer of the right to have the car inspected prior to the sale. If the buyer wants the car inspected, the dealer can charge a reasonable fee and the dealer must list on the form the defects to be corrected in order to pass inspection. A buyer may elect not to have the inspection and purchase the car, but until the car passes a safety inspection, the car is considered an unsafe motor vehicle and may not be driven upon the roadways of the state.
Federal law requires that dealers must display a Buyer's Guide on all used cars that list whether the vehicle is being sold "AS IS", that is without warranty or with a specified warranty. The buyer must receive a copy of the Buyer's Guide at the time of sale.
Consumers can call the Attorney General's Consumer Information Line at 1-888-468-4454 or file a complaint on-line here.
This information is derived from a press release from the NH AG's office, available online.