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).” 


New And Used Vehicle Sales Increase In July

New vehicle sales in Hamilton County increased to 1,190 in July and used vehicle sales increased to 3,641, according to figures from the County Clerk's office.  That compares to 1,162 new vehicles sold and 3,488 used vehicles sold in July of last year.  Totals for July included 485 new cars and 705 new trucks sold. They included 1,871 used cars and 1,770 used trucks sold. (click for more)

GDOL To Host A Recruitment Next Week In Fort Oglethorpe To Fill 500 Jobs With Convergys

The Georgia Department of Labor will help Convergys hire 500 customer service and sales representatives at a recruitment Tuesday, Aug. 11, in Fort Oglethorpe. The recruitment will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the council meeting room at Fort Oglethorpe City Hall located at 500 City Hall Dr. Convergys is a company that provides customer management solutions for companies internationally. ... (click for more)

Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Indicted On 13 Charges; Report Says He Drove Excessive Hours

The Chattanooga Police Department has issued a capias for the arrest of Benjamin Brewer, 39, concerning the multiple fatality traffic crash that occurred on I-75 northbound on June 25. Brewer was indicted on Monday on 13 counts.  They include six counts of vehicular homicide by impairment, a B-felony; four counts for reckless aggravated assault, a D-felony; one count for DUI ... (click for more)

Rawls Says Schools Could Have Better Spent $16,000 Than For Motivational Speech; County To Explore Performance Guaranteed Utility Contract

Bradley County Commissioner Dan Rawls said three school systems could have better spent $16,000 than for a motivational speaker to fire teachers up at the start of a new school year. He said the payment to Ron Clark, former National Teacher of the Year and the founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, could have gone for school supplies and other needs. Bradley County ... (click for more)

Why Is The City Diverting Federal Transportation Funds From Real Need?

The city of Chattanooga and CBL, owner of Hamilton Place Mall, would have the mass of taxpayers believe that improving mall access from the interstate is not impacting us financially.   Namely, CBL has committed to fund the city’s match of $8 million, so they will receive $32 million in Federal Transportation Funds that are allocated annually to local jurisdictions through ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Very Silly Apology

It didn’t get a lot of attention, as well it should not have, but when I heard Japanese giant Mitsubishi was offered an apology for heinous war crimes that took place during World War II, I thought it was an ill-conceived publicity stunt. But, no, in a solemn ceremony last month hosted by the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, that is exactly what ... (click for more)