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Be Careful of Advertising Add-ons for Electric Vehicles

Nov 07, 2022

As the sale of new electric vehicles (EV) continues to gain steam in New Jersey, an increasing number of used electric vehicles are also being sold.  More often than not, used EVs are being sold by dealerships of a different make who are not completely informed about what is offered in the used EV.  This sets up a possible violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) and the Motor Vehicle Advertising Practices Regulations.

When advertising a motor vehicle, it is prohibited to make any false or misleading statement or to omit important information which makes the information given misleading.  A Dealership’s inexperience with selling used EVs from a manufacturer they are unfamiliar with could lead to inadvertent violations of the CFA if they advertise items that are not included in the vehicle.

Dealerships have faced lawsuits because an EV was advertised and confirmed to have an autopilot (Telsa), when in fact it is only the option to upgrade to autopilot that was available in the vehicle.  An autopilot option costs an average $12,000 to purchase. Any customer faced with this situation could have a valid CFA violation against the dealership.

NJ CAR recommends that before a used EV is advertised, the dealership conduct a thorough assessment of what is offered in the vehicle to make sure what is advertised is readily available rather than an option to purchase.  This will go a long way in preventing inadvertent misrepresentations that could be very costly.

If dealers have questions about this topic or any other questions, they can contact Greyson P. Hannigan, NJ CAR’s Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs at (609) 883-5056 – ext. 340 or via email at [email protected].