State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a $120,000 settlement with Portland's Courtesy Ford.
The state says 4,000 customers were misled into buying a “Data Dots” theft deterrent system because of how it was worded on the contract.
“They didn't need this service, they didn't ask for it and it was incorporated as almost a governmental requirement,” said Attorney General Rosenblum.
According to a release by the DOJ, this service was often itemized on consumers’ contracts as “D.O.T. Reg” or “Registration Data”.
Rosenblum said this led consumers to think that the $238-$549 charge was a required DMV fee.
“As a part of this settlement, Courtesy Ford has agreed to refund 4,000 Oregon consumers’ money— but consumers have to take action first. You must complete and return a claim form that was mailed last week,” said Rosenblum.
The state also says Courtesy Ford misrepresented the MSRP of the Ford Raptors listed for sale on their website.
According to the DOJ, due to limited supply, Raptor trucks regularly sell for $5,000 to $10,000 above the MSRP.
The state said Courtesy Ford took advantage of this and falsely represented the marked-up sale price as the MSRP.
Courtesy Ford owner Rick Boyer told KGW in part:
"In November 2018 Courtesy Ford resolved certain allegations being investigated by the Oregon Department of Justice that related to sales of certain products, including vehicle theft deterrent product known as “Data Dots”, certain Ford Raptors and Demonstrator vehicles being sold as New.
"The settlement is a matter of record with no admittance of wrong doing and an assurance of voluntary compliance. In Courtesy Ford’s 35-year history and over 100,000 customers we have always done what was best for our customers and this settlement is no different."
Tyler Walker, who purchased a 2017 Ford Raptor from Courtesy Ford last year, will get a$ 5,000 refund back for the MSRP issue and a few hundred dollars back for the Data Dots purchase.
“Giving us our refunds is impressive and I appreciate that,” said Walker.
Courtesy Ford gave further response here:
If consumers think they qualify for the settlement, or have questions about the claim form they got in the mail, they should contact the Oregon Department of Justice’s consumer hotline at 1-877-877-9392.