New York State Announces More Than $1.3 Million Recovered For Consumers from Auto Dealers and Repair Shops

More Than 700 Victims of Consumer Fraud Helped Across the State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced more than $1.3 million has been recovered and returned to consumers from auto dealers and repair shops. The Department of Motor Vehicles’ Vehicle Safety Unit, which is tasked with investigating consumer fraud complaints, made these recoveries last year on behalf of 720 customers across the state. The amount recovered in 2017 is up from nearly $1.1 million in 2016.

“We have zero tolerance for those who use underhanded and unscrupulous business practices to cheat New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “As we continue cracking down on dishonest dealers, I am encouraging anyone who believes they’ve been duped to contact the DMV and recover the hard-earned money New Yorkers are owed.”

The following is a regional breakdown of consumer recoveries from repair shops, auto dealers, and inspection stations based on complaints made to DMV in 2017:

 

Region

 

Amount Recovered Number of Consumers
Capital Region $423,478 114
Central New York $93,885 65
Finger Lakes $127,604 88
Long Island $138,847 75
Mid-Hudson Valley $159,179 79
Mohawk Valley $55,398 53
New York City $134,773 110
North Country $37,999 19
Southern Tier $7,248 17
Western New York $175,811 100
Total $1,354,222 720

When customers make a complaint, DMV first tries to resolve the problem by discussing it with the customer and the business. About half of all complaints are resolved directly with consumers having vehicles repaired, getting refunds on faulty repairs, or with dealers buying vehicles back. However, if the problem is not resolved, a DMV inspector further investigates the complaint. If it is found that a dealer or shop violated laws and/or regulations, DMV can impose fines and suspend or revoke business registrations.

“We at DMV take our role protecting consumers very seriously, and we urge customers to take advantage of the information we offer when buying a car or getting one repaired,” said Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “We also encourage facilities to be aware of their rights and their responsibilities and to work with us to resolve issues when they occur.”

To learn more about filing a complaint, visit the agency’s Guide to Consumers. DMV also provides assistance to businesses and offers information on their rights if faced with a complaint in our Guide for Facilities.

DMV provides information for New Yorkers about their rights when they bring their vehicles into a repair shop on its Know Your Rights in Auto Repair page.

Consumers can be certain they are using a state-licensed shop or dealer by looking for a green and white “Registered State of New York Motor Vehicle Repair Shop” sign outside the shop and a valid New York State Department of Motor Vehicles registration certificate inside. For a dealership, the sign will be red and white.

Consumers can also verify that a repair shop, auto dealer or motor vehicle inspection station is properly registered on the Find a DMV-Regulated Business web page. For consumers as they prepare to buy, trade or sell a vehicle, the DMV also offers useful information on its Let the Buyer Be Aware page.