NEW YORK – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nearly $1.1 million in refunds and repairs from auto dealers and repair shops has been recovered and returned to consumers. The Department of Motor Vehicles’ Vehicle Safety Division, which is tasked with investigating consumer complaints, made these recoveries last year on behalf of 603 consumers throughout the state.
“This administration stands up for New Yorkers and has zero tolerance for those who use unscrupulous business practices to cheat consumers,” Governor Cuomo said. “If any New Yorker believes they have been taken advantage of when buying or repairing a car, I urge them to call the DMV and ensure they receive the fair service they deserve.”
DMV receives more than 6,000 consumer complaints every year involving vehicle dealers or repair shops accused of selling vehicles in poor condition, failing to register vehicles, committing inspection fraud, and making faulty repairs.
The following is a regional breakdown of consumer recoveries from repair shops, auto dealers, and inspection stations based on complaints made to DMV in 2016:
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.
“When people buy a car or bring their car into a repair shop, they should have confidence that they are being treated fairly,” said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner. “If an unscrupulous operator tries to take advantage of them, our Vehicle Safety Division has proven it will stand up for consumers and help them recoup their losses.”
To learn more about the process of filing a complaint, visit the agency’s Guide to Consumers. DMV also provides information and assistance to businesses and offers advice to them on their rights if faced with a complaint in our Guide for Facilities.
DMV provides a host of information for New Yorkers about their rights when they bring their vehicles into a repair shop. You can find that information on DMV’s Know Your Rights in Auto Repair page.
When taking vehicles to a shop or dealer, make sure there is 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. This will confirm it is a licensed repair shop, and for a dealership, the sign will be red and white. You can 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 advice on its Let the Buyer Be Aware page.
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