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BUCKS USED-CAR DEALERSHIP PAYS $6,000 IN 'DEALER PREP' FEE REFUNDS

 BUCKS USED-CAR DEALERSHIP PAYS $6,000 IN 'DEALER PREP' FEE REFUNDS
 HARRISBURG, Pa., July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A Bucks County used-car dealership that allegedly charged illegal "dealer preparation fees" has paid $6,000 to be used for consumer refunds, Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. announced.
 The payment is required under terms of an "assurance of voluntary compliance" negotiated by Preate's Bureau of Consumer Protection with Brace Motor Co., 1820 E. Lincoln Highway, Langhorne.
 The assurance alleges that Brace violated the state's Automotive Industry Trade Practices Regulations by adding a $150 dealer preparation fee to the advertised price of some vehicles it sold to consumers.
 "The regulations require that all charges necessary or usual prior to delivery must be included in the advertised price," Preate said.
 The assurance also alleges that Brace violated state law by not using proper sales contracts in some cases and by failing to provide some consumers with required odometer statements.
 Although not admitting wrongdoing, Brace agreed to pay $6,000 to Preate's office to be distributed to consumers who purchased vehicles from Brace since Jan. 1, 1991, and paid the dealer preparation fee.
 Brace is required to place an advertisement in the Bucks County Courier Times in 15 days to inform consumers of the settlement and the refund procedure.
 Preate said consumers who qualify for a refund should obtain a complaint form from the Philadelphia office of his Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 215-560-2414 or by writing the bureau at 21 S. 12th St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19107.
 The assurance, which was filed today in Commonwealth Court, was negotiated by Deputy Attorney General John E. Kelly, attorney-in-charge of the bureau's Philadelphia office.
 Kelly said that if documented consumer claims exceed $6,000, consumers will received a prorated refund. If claims are less than $6,000, he said, the state will retain the remaining amount as costs of investigation.
 /delval/
 -0- 7/7/92
 /CONTACT: Jack J. Lewis of the Office of Attorney General, 717-787-5211, or at home, 717-657-9840/ CO: Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


MK -- PH004 -- 6872 07/07/92 09:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 7, 1992
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