“We have zero tolerance for those who use underhanded and unscrupulous business practices to cheat New Yorkers,” Gov. Cuomo said.
By Forum Staff
More than $1.3 million—including $134,773 in the five boroughs—has been recovered and returned to customers from auto dealers and repair shops after consumer fraud complaints were investigated by the State Department of Motor Vehicles, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday.
The NY DMV’s Vehicle Safety Unit made the recoveries last year on behalf of 720 customers (110 in NYC) across the state, Cuomo noted.
“We have zero tolerance for those who use underhanded and unscrupulous business practices to cheat New Yorkers,” the governor said. “As we continue cracking down on dishonest dealers, I am encouraging anyone who believes they’ve been duped to contact the DMV and recover the hard-earned money New Yorkers are owed.”
According to the Cuomo administration, when customers make a complaint, the DMV first tries to resolve the problem by discussing it with the customer and the business. About half of all complaints are resolved directly with consumers having vehicles repaired, getting refunds on faulty repairs, or with dealers buying vehicles back from customers.
However, if the problem is not resolved, a DMV inspector further investigates the complaint. If it is found that a dealer or shop violated laws and/or regulations, the agency can impose fines and suspend or revoke business registrations.
“We at DMV take our role protecting consumers very seriously, and we urge customers to take advantage of the information we offer when buying a car or getting one repaired,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “We also encourage facilities to be aware of their rights and their responsibilities and to work with us to resolve issues when they occur.”
Cuomo also noted that all State-licensed repair shops have the distinctive green-and-white “Registered State of New York Motor Vehicle Repair Shop” sign outside the shop and a valid State DMV registration certificate inside. For a dealership, the sign will be red-and-white.
The amount of money recovered and returned to consumers last year is up from $1.1 million in 2016.