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SG Hylan Motors dealerships unlawfully collected over $2m

Staff Writer |
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a lawsuit against two Staten Island dealerships owned by SG Hylan Motors Corp. d/b/a Honda of Staten Island, Staten Island Honda, Nissan of Staten Island and Staten Island Nissan.

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The lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court, alleges that SG Hylan Motors unlawfully sold “after-sale” products and services, including credit repair and identity theft protection services, to over 2,300 consumers. These extra products could sometimes exceed costs of $2,000 per consumer, and the charges were applied without the knowledge of the car buyer.

According to the lawsuit, the SG Hylan Motors dealerships used deceptive sales tactics, including charging consumers for services while concealing such additional charges from the consumers, or by misrepresenting that the services were free.

In fact, consumers did not receive the credit repair and identity theft protection services for which they were charged.

The court papers also allege that the SG Hylan Motors dealerships collected more than $2 million from consumers between 2011 and 2014 using these kinds of deceptive tactics.

The suit seeks a court order prohibiting the dealerships from engaging in such practices in the future and directing them to refund all illegally obtained overcharges to consumers.

SG Hylan Motors arranged with an independent company, called Credit Forget It, Inc., to sell credit repair and identity theft protection services beginning at least in 2011.

It is a violation of state and federal law to charge upfront fees for services that promise to help consumers restore or improve their credit. Contracts that violate the credit repair laws are void.

The court papers further allege that the SG Hylan Motors dealerships added on charges for other after-sale items like security systems and special tire protection services without clearly disclosing what they were charging for such services.

The costs of these services were often bundled into the vehicle sales price and not separately itemized. As a result, unknown to the consumer, the price of the car stated on purchase and lease documents was inflated by the amount of these after-sale items or services.

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