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Car dealer deceived consumers & falsified info

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Shopping for a car can be exciting. But wading through ads and promotions from car dealers, and deciding how to pay, can make it stressful.

If you decide to finance the car, you have two options: get a loan from a bank, credit union, or finance company, or get dealership financing. Either way, the financing application requires an honest listing of your monthly income and the amount of your down payment.

But not all dealers play by the rules. In a case announced today, the FTC alleges that Tate’s Auto Center of Winslow, Inc. — as well as related dealerships in Arizona and New Mexico and their owner and manager, Richard Berry — used deceptive advertising to get people in the door, failed to disclose required financing terms, and frequently falsified consumers’ income and down payment information in an effort to close the deal. Instead of using the income information people gave, Tate’s often inflated numbers to make it look like people had higher monthly incomes.

The next time you’re deciding how to pay for a new set of wheels, take your time.

  • Carefully read the documents, especially the credit or lease contract.
  • Ask to review your final financing application. Make sure it shows your real income, down payment, and other personal information.
  • Be sure all the terms, including the price and the financing, are what you agreed to. Understand them before you sign.



    For more information, see Financing or Leasing a Car and Are Car Ads Taking You for a Ride? If you think a dealership has broken the law, the FTC wants to hear about it.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


I bought a car from a dealer which financed through American acceptance...I think I got the name right...and I thought I paid the car off bcuz of balance was on car dealer bill sales and wonder why they haven't sent my title but I thought I overpayed them with amount of almost $400 and called them about and they said I owe them interest of amount of $922..why haven't I seen that on my my car sales paperwork. .just fishy

Wow, thank you all for posting. The information is very helpful and informative for those looking to buy a car. In ref to the comment about the "...handing you 50 documents to sign..." it doesn't matter how many documents they give you. I would take "their" time and read them! Better to find out while they are there to answer (or lie to you) questions, then find out after it is too late! Then you can't get answers to questions or get anyone to change what is wrong because you have already signed your John Hancock! Wish the world had a lot more honest people, but this information helps while going through a tough decision like this. Thank you all!

Consumers be aware do NOT go to drive time that company is nothing but a rip off.

Purchased a car from Gainesville,Fl. Hyundai dealer...had good reports. Bought car with cash....I had a very difficult time getting all the papers i signed-over a month.....then they"forgot" to add the extra cash i paid for window tinting. We decided not to get window tinting for $200 so the finance mgr. Said he'd refund the $200 within 10 business..never happened. He's no longer there and now no one at the dealership knows anything! Typical lies and scams. Don't believe one word from a car dealer. Bring in a tape recorder! Got burned!

Most new and used car dealers get money back on the interest rates they try to get you to pay. Always try to get your own financing approved before you go shopping.
They also make money on the extended warranty. Make sure you read the full contract to understand what is excluded and covered.
Spend the hundred dollars or so to have the used car inspected.

University auto group in Florance Alabama University Dodge will lie to your face and after 24 hours return the car and said sorry, here is a free oil change. I am having to pay 20,000 dollars for a car I no longer own. Yes I am angry !

I think that we need laws in place to protect the consumer when it comes to purchasing a new or used vehicle. There’s laws to protect consumers when purchasing a home why not a car?
I have had horrible experiences the last 4 cars I purchased and honestly do not believe that car dealerships are capable of being honest and not ripping off the customer. They don’t care and the past 2 places I used have been snakes and they boldly sold me a vehicle that is messed up And lied about it . I had another dealership add $10,000 to the price of my car after I signed my contract and not disclose the $6000 cash deposit I gave too. There’s no where for us consumers to go to for help in these matters . It’s very sad

Another thing to watch out for...Be careful with dealerships that offer a return policy. We purchased a car from Rick Case Hyundai in Duluth...spent better part of day haggling over price , etc. Finally drove off the lot after dark (9pmish if my memory serves me correctly). Driving home it felt as if the brakes weren't quite right and we noticed a few other odd things. We went on-line and learned that the car had been previously licensed/ owned. ..we had been told the mileage was due to test drives. We went to return the car and they refused us! We thought the return would be based on 24 hours = 1 day. They said NO...the day we took possession at 9 pm counted as an entire day. This is a dealership from who we had previously purchased 2 other vehicles. We had called our sales person the previous day and informed him we would be returning the vehicle...he said nothing. When this was mentioned to the manager his response was, "Why would he have said anything, it wouldn't benefit him." I'm sure this was fraud and had we had the time and money we would have pursued a suit.

Don't let them talk you into one of those SUV's or trucks that are set so high off the ground that a ladder must be used to get into the danged things, especially if you are short! One dealer tried and tried to get me to buy one of those things where the seat was at my chest level. I looked at the guy and held my hand out to where the seat was in relation to my body. Then I asked him how I was supposed to get into it. "Duuhhhh..." I left. A couple of days later, I found the perfect SUV for my short me: an HHR.

Dealerships make commission on loans so they try to get you too go through them instead of getting your own. The problem is people don't report these issues to DMV or the Attorney General if they did then it would stop. Dealers who have something to hide don't like attention from either one.

I know a dealership that does this REGULARLY! People return to them because they sell newer model cars. Tax season is a second Christmas to them because they make money hand over fist! They tell you you've been approved for a certain amount, but then THEY CHOOSE the car they're willing to "sell" to you!

In 2017 I bought a used car from a buy here pay here lot. Things began to go wrong with the car so I took it to a dealer to have the service dept. take a look at it. They sold me a new car by inflating my income by $12,000 per year
I had to have the vehicle repossessed after only two payments. I was told since I signed the documents there was nothing I could do without an attorney which I could not afford as I am on social security, plus I am raising a great grandson who is 8 I am 79.
Thank you


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