The Department of Consumer Affairs is in the middle of its public awareness campaign to educate current and prospective used car owners about the rise of predatory lending in the used car industry.
Campaign ads have been running on targeted bus shelters, telephone kiosks and LinkNYC, as well as in community and ethnic newspapers, on radio and online. DCA is also doing neighborhood marketing and conducting outreach events.
From October 2013 through April 2017, DCA received 5,400 complaints from consumers about used car dealerships. The complaints range from instances of forgery on contracts to a lack of material disclosures by dealership staff and are concentrated in boroughs outside of Manhattan where most of DCA’s licensees are located and customers are more likely to rely on automobiles for transportation.
In March 2017, DCA announced charges against Major World, one of the largest local used car dealerships in the city with multiple locations, for using deceptive financing and sales practices that resulted in predatory lending targeting immigrants and New Yorkers with low incomes.
DCA is encouraging consumers who feel that used car dealers misled them about the prices of their cars or sold them unsafe automobiles to contact the agency by calling 311, or by filing a complaint at nyc.gov/dca.