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Attorney General Settles With New Hampshire Car Dealer Over Misleading “Employee Pricing” Advertising

CONTACT: Sandi Everitt, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3189

October 20, 2011

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance filed in Washington Superior Court, with Subaru of Keene owner William Fenton. In 2010 Subaru of Keene ran radio and newspaper ads offering Vermont consumers the opportunity to buy at “employee prices” and to “pay what the dealer pays”. An Attorney General investigation discovered that there was no employee pricing and employees and consumers negotiated the sales price of their car with no special employee or dealer reductions. The dealer also did not disclose the dealer rebate received on car sales. “Dealers that falsely advertise to lure consumers mislead consumers and also steal business from dealers that follow the rules,” said Attorney General William H. Sorrell. “Consumers need to question advertising and make sure they understand the true cost of a vehicle to the dealer, including dealer rebates.”

Subaru of Keene cooperated fully with the investigation and will pay a penalty $8,500.00 to the State. The dealership has also agreed to comply with Consumer Fraud Rules that regulate automobile advertising, inform all management and sales supervisors of the advertising rules requirements and make available to the Attorney General’s Office until 2014, any advertising scripts or copy used by the dealer.

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