TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office obtained a consent order to resolve a complaint filed against a Jacksonville car dealership and its president regarding the dealership’s misleading business and sales practices. The complaint alleges that Beach Blvd. Automotive used GPS tracking devices to track hundreds of purchased vehicles without consumer’s knowledge or consent to conduct unconscionable repossessions of vehicles. The defendants also allegedly created fake online profiles and, without consumer knowledge, used consumer data to post false positive comments online about the dealership.
According to the complaint, Beach Blvd. Automotive, its exclusive financing arm, Beach Blvd. Auto Financing, and John O. King, Sr., attempted to collect non-existent debt from consumers and threatened to use force to repossess purchased vehicles. The defendants allegedly increased consumers’ monthly car payments by adding optional items to the sales transaction without proper disclosure to customers. On several occasions, the defendants did not honor a promised warranty and, in some instances, charged a $399 pre-delivery inspection fee for an inspection never conducted.
The agreed-upon consent order requires the defendants to modify business practices and provide more than $5 million in debt forgiveness to consumers. As part of the consent judgment, the defendants will also refrain from making reports to the credit reporting agencies for consumers whose accounts are covered under the consent order. The consent order provides that within 60 days of the order’s entry, the defendants will provide equitable monetary relief, such as debt forgiveness, with a value of more than $5.1 million to certain former and current customers with covered accounts. In addition, BBA will pay $2,500 in consumer redress relating to certain binder deposits made by consumers and will also pay more than $280,000 for attorneys’ fees and court costs.
To view the consent order, click here.