Attorney General suing Auto One for overcharging on DMV fees

CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - A lawsuit has been filed by the Attorney General's Office against a used car dealership formerly based in Clinton.

According to the Attorney General's Office, Auto One on Route 233 in Clinton, failed to honor its obligation to repay customers it overcharged for Department of Motor Vehicle registration fees.

The AG's office said that Auto One, and its owner Matthew Crever, entered into an agreement with the Attorney General's Office in 2009 to fully refund by December 16, 2009 at least 1,000 consumers who were overcharged a total of $38,000 for DMV registration fees.

The dealer was also required to pay $30,000 in civil penalties to the state by the same date.

However, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said the dealership failed to meet the deadline.

Cuomo's lawsuit, filed in Oneida County Supreme Court, seeks a court order demanding compliance with restitution and penalty requirements of the agreement at 9 percent interest, plus an additional $2,000 in costs.

"This dealership overcharged unsuspecting customers by thousands of dollars, and then broke a binding contract that required it to reimburse the money," Cuomo said. "We're suing to hold the dealership responsible to the consumers who trusted them."

Like many dealerships, Auto One offered customers the opportunity to pay their DMV registration fees directly to the dealership. For customers who did not have a trade-in, the dealership typically charged them $150. But, the actual cost was only $115, which breaks down to $50 for a New York State Certificate of Title, $49.50 for registration for two years (slightly varying depending on the weight of the vehicle) and $15 for license plates.

For customers who did have a trade-in, the dealership typically charged $110 for registration fees. But, the actual cost starts at $57.75, and then goes up depending on the weight difference between the old and new vehicle and how much time is left on the existing registration.

An investigation by the Attorney General's Office determined the dealer was keeping the difference.

Mohawk Valley Consumers who believe they have been defrauded by Auto One or any other business are urged to contact Attorney General Cuomo's Utica Regional Office at (315) 793-2225.

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