2017-03-22 / Front Page

City Charges Major World With Deceptive Sales Practices

By Liz Goff
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) filed charges recently against the Major World Auto Group in Long Island City, charging that the dealership has been engaged in long- standing illegal practices to profit from consumers.

DCA claims that Major World has been luring unsuspecting customers with promises of major deals on used cars and great deals on financing, regardless of customer credit history, income or income-to-debt ratios. The firm allegedly targeted customers with a limited understanding of the English language, according to the DCA charges.

The charges include Major World Chevrolet at 43-40 Northern Boulevard, Major World Chrysler-Dodge, Jeep Ram at 50-50 Northern Boulevard, and Major Kia at 44-11 Northern Boulevard – each located along the Long Island City/Woodside “Auto Row.”

DCA charges that Major World submitted false customer information on consumer credit applications - including nature of customer employment, income and monthly rent obligations, to falsely inflate car values Major World engaged in these practices to make car deals more attractive to financing companies that then issued loans to a number of customers who were not qualified to receive them, DCA said. The practice left many customers saddled with high-interest loans for overpriced vehicles, DCA claims.

DCA is seeking more than $2 million in restitution and fines from Major World, and is seeking revocation of Major World’s three secondhand dealer licenses, and is calling for the establishment of a trust for alleged victims.

The allegations will be heard in front of the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings at a date yet to be determined.

The investigation involved 30 consumers, a fraction of those likely harmed by Major World, DCA officials said. The investigation is ongoing, a DCA spokesperson said.

“Our city’s working families, who often struggle to make ends meet, rely on their cars to accomplish life’s most basic tasks; like going to work or going to school,” DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas said. “Buying that car is usually one of the largest purchases a family makes,” Salas said. “It is outrageous that Major World, who claims to treat its customers like family, traps these hardworking New Yorkers into loans they can’t afford.”

Major World proprietor, Bruce Bendel, did not immediately return calls for comment.

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