Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has ordered Sensible Auto Lending LLC to pay $733,925 to resolve allegations it knowingly facilitated the sale of defective vehicles by certain used-car dealerships.
The Danbury, Conn.-based auto lender agreed to provide relief for consumers who were “cheated” by F&R Auto Sales Inc. and three other Massachusetts dealerships from August 2012 to December 2016, Healey said in a statement.
The AG investigation found that Sensible had provided financing for “defective and inoperable vehicles” despite knowing of consumer complaints against the dealerships and customers’ high default and repossession rates.
Sensible Auto has since changed its business practices to better protect consumers from fraud — namely, tracking consumer complaints and repossession and delinquency rates of the dealerships with which it conducts business, Healey said. Sensible Auto declined to comment.
The AG’s office started its investigation after more than 100 consumers complained of alleged deceptive sales practices. According to the state AG press release, F&R Auto frequently misrepresented vehicle safety and reliability and would dismiss claims or refuse to make repairs when customers found issues with their vehicles.
The investigation also found that F&R Auto failed to assign titles to vehicles or to provide documents about vehicle sales. The now-defunct dealership and its former owner were fined $450,000 in restitution and penalties to resolve the allegations.