Attorney General Announces Agreement To Resolve Allegations Auto Dealer Deceptively Promoted “Vehicle Clearance Event”

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Nashville auto dealer will have to change its marketing practices as a result of an agreement reached with the State of Tennessee to resolve deceptive marketing allegations, Attorney General Bob Cooper announced Wednesday.

A Davidson County Court approved the agreement between Gary Mathews Motors, LLC doing business as Gary Mathews Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Nashville with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office and the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs. The agreement calls for the company to alter its alleged deceptive advertising practices arising from a May 2013 “Regional Clearance Event” mailer sent to consumers in Tennessee. 

The agreement calls for the Antioch-based company to stop making alleged misrepresentations in mailers sent to Tennesseans. It also requires the defendants to pay $10,000 to the State.

The state alleges that the defendant made numerous representations including specific monthly payments, financing offers, and prizes available to consumers.  The State’s investigation determined the mailer violated certain provisions of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.  Specifically, the state alleges Mr. Mathews did not make the proper disclosures to the consumers. Mr. Mathews denied wrongdoing in the settlement.

“It is crucial that when a consumer receives an advertisement from an automobile dealer that the advertisement is presented in a lawful manner and in such a way that the consumer is able to make an informed decision,” Attorney General Cooper said.  “Consumers should be presented all of the details when an item is offered as an incentive to purchase an automobile.”

Under the settlement, Mr. Mathews is permanently enjoined from offering a prize without clearly disclosing the approximate retail price of each prize and the odds of winning such prize. Additionally,Mr. Mathews is prohibited from promoting specific monthly and down payments next to pictures of automobiles that are not included in the financing offer.

Department of Commerce and Insurance Deputy Commissioner Steven Majchrzak said, “Consumers receiving a mail advertisement that they believe is unfair or deceptive should file a complaint with the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting tn.gov/consumer or calling 615 741-4737 or 800 342-8385 (inside Tennessee).” 


Chief Justice Bivins Plans Ceremonial Swearing In With Governor Haslam

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Jeff Bivins will have a ceremonial swearing in with Governor Bill Haslam at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the historic Supreme Court chambers within the Capitol. The event is open to the public.  Chief Justice Bivins was unanimously elected chief by the Court last month. He was appointed to the Court in 2014 by Governor Bill Haslam and was elected ... (click for more)

The CPR LifeWrap Launch Party Is Friday

The CPR LifeWrap launch party will be held Friday from 5-9 p.m at The Edney, 1100 Market St., 5th Floor.  CPR LifeWrap will be launching its Kickstarter campaign, as well as premiering its new video. There will be guest speakers, food, drinks, live music, mingling and door prizes. (click for more)

County GOP Chairman Says Berke Should Resign For Admittedly Using Encrypted Messaging With Top Staff; Berke, Lee Call It Blatant Partisan Attack

Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Tony Sanders said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke "should immediately resign after admitting that he and his senior staff employ an encrypted message application that neither records or stores messages sent and received for the purpose of official city of Chattanooga business on a government-owned server." He said he was guilty of "deliberates ... (click for more)

Grohn Says Berke Use Of Encrypted Message Service Was Deliberate Attempt To Avoid Open Records

City Councilman Larry Grohn said Friday  that the use of an encrypted message service by Mayor Andy Berke was a deliberate attempt to avoid the Open Records Act. Councilman Grohn, who is running for mayor, said, " In recent days, there has been one story after another come out concerning how the Mayor and his head staffers have used end-to-end encryption apps to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's Citizens Are The Best

Today, when I finished my shift, my wife and I had a rare kid-free time where she and I could enjoy a nice quiet dinner. So, when I left my extra job and she left her job, we met at a neat local place in St. Elmo. She and I had been looking forward to and planning this dinner all day. You see, between my work with the city of Chattanooga, my many hours of extra jobs, and our responsibilities ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Knobfather & Me

I’ve seen some beautiful things in my life. I’ve eaten dinner inside the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris all aglitter below. I’ve been sprayed by champagne in the Dallas Cowboys’ dressing room after they won the Super Bowl. I’ve stood both at the top and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’ve snorkeled in the Great Exuma islands, learned to snow ski in the Austrian Alps, and ... (click for more)