Smart Automotive Group Fined $5m for Deceptive Practices

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The Smart Automotive Group [website "under construction," no relation to the SMART city car] got more than a slap-on-the-wrist for sending out "promotions" on behalf of Georgia car dealers. The Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) whacked owners Michael and Ben Burst $1,660,320 each for violating the Fair Business Practices Act. Specifically, the Louisiana agency arranged ads that claimed ordinary sales were "liquidations" or "Georgia's only reprocessed vehicle event," told consumers they'd won cars they hadn't, misrepresented the monthly payments and the number of cars available for sale and claimed customers were preapproved for loans when they weren't. And this is AFTER they told the OCA they were no longer doing business in the state. Nice how the dealerships can shuffle off the blame to the advertising company, when they approved the ad copy and benefited from its mischaracterization.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Edgett Edgett on Jul 19, 2007

    Imagine that, a dishonest car trader. This news is as shocking as hearing that a congressman has been bought by lobbyists.

  • Sykerocker Sykerocker on Jul 19, 2007

    Only worry here is that Penske's Smart car franchise could end up getting some unintended bad publicity from people who can't tell the difference.