July 13, 2017

Natick dealership to pay up to $290K after wrongdoing finding

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A used-car dealership with locations in Natick and two other Massachusetts offices will pay $290,000 in restitution and civil penalties and forgo $650,000 in loan collections as part of a settlement with the Attorney General's Office, which found several cases of wrongdoing at the company.

Auto Drive One, which has a location about three miles east of the Natick Mall on Route 9, was found to have routinely sold unreliable cars, misled consumers about financing arrangements, used false advertising including bait and switch tactics, and charged excessive document preparation fees, Attorney General Maura Healey's office said Wednesday in announcing the settlement.

The dealership saddled customers with unreliable cars while paying high-cost loans and expensive repairs, Healey said in a statement. Those actions violated the state's Consumer Protection Act and other state regulations, her office said.

Auto Drive One agreed to pay $50,000 in consumer restitution, and $240,000 in civil penalties, which are suspended pending compliance with the terms of the settlement. The dealership will not seek to collect more than $650,000 on loans ended in repossession and reduce its standard document preparation fee by $100, along with other business practice reforms, the Attorney General's Office said.

Auto Drive One, which Healey's office said cooperated with the investigation, also has locations in West Bridgewater and East Sandwich.

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