Plattsburgh dealership’s ads misled consumers with offers of zero-percent financing and “guaranteed credit approval,” with unreadable foot notes contr

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (December 7, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office reached a settlement with a Plattsburgh-area car dealership stopping it from deceiving customers through false advertisements.

Under a Consent Judgment entered in Clinton County Supreme Court, Della North, Inc. will pay costs and penalties of $7,000 to the state and cease running deceptive advertisements for its Della Suzuki dealership, located on Route 3 in Plattsburgh. The company must also maintain copies of all its advertisements for two years for inspection by the Attorney General’s Office.

“Businesses that try to deceive consumers through obscure footnotes and misleading offers are doing a disservice to the public and creating an unfair marketplace,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “My office will continue to monitor this company’s advertisements to ensure that they are fair and honest.”

The Attorney General’s investigation found that Della was engaging in advertising that violated federal and state laws, as well as the Attorney General’s Automobile Advertising Guidelines.

Attorney General Cuomo’s Office found that Della Suzuki’s print advertisements specifically:

* Misled consumers by appearing to offer both “0%” financing and a specified low purchase price, when in fact a higher purchase price was charged for vehicles financed at “0%”
* Misled consumers by claiming “Guaranteed Credit Approval ... Everyone is Approved” and that zero-percent financing was available, only to then significantly limit or contradict the offers in nearly-unreadable 6-point font footnotes
* Did not list any APR for financing offers and failed to list the number of payments for the offer

Attorney General Cuomo urges any consumer who believes they are a victim of fraudulent or deceptive business practices to contact his office at 800-771-7755. Auto advertising guidelines for dealers are available online at

The matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Glen Michaels under the Supervision of Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge of the Plattsburgh Regional Office Robert Glennon and Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs J. David Sampson.