New York's AG Tells Dealers to Trash 'Clunker' Ads

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has issued cease-and-desist orders to nearly 40 auto dealerships in the state for running misleading and deceptive advertisements about the U.S. government's "cash for clunkers" program.


Cuomo's office has taken action against the auto dealerships, claiming their ads fail to mention specific requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for get the government's rebate program.

As a result, Cuomo's office charges, the ads mislead consumers into believing that their trade-in vehicle will qualify for the program when it does not or that they are eligible for a rebate of several thousand dollars, when they are not, Cuomo said, in a written statement.

The letters order all dealerships to immediately modify promotions and advertisements to clearly explain how the program works, Cuomo said.

In order to qualify for the government's program, cars must be in drivable condition; have a combined city/highway fuel economy of less than 18 miles per gallon; and be insured and registered to the current owner for at least a year prior to the trade-in.

If a vehicle clear those hurdles, the consumer is entitled to a credit of $3,500 or $4,500.

According to Cuomo, several of the dealerships aggressively promoted the program without fully disclosing its limitations, while other dealers advertised similarly named "cash for clunker" promotions that have nothing to do with the federal program without making the distinction.