Car Dealer Settles Deceptive Ad Complaint

ATLANTA Bill Heard Enterprises has agreed to a $188,000 settlement after an investigation of deceptive advertising practices by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs.

Involved were four metro-Atlanta dealerships: Bill Heard Chevrolet at Town Center, Buford and Union City, and the Tom Jumper dealership in Roswell.

The practices cited by the state include: telling customers they were pre-approved for a loan when they were not; claims that vehicles were available for sale when they were not; claims that all vehicles came with limited warranty when they did not; and claims that cars were available in repossession sales when most of the vehicles were not repossessed.

Michael Elwood, vice president of the company’s Atlanta operations, said changes already are under way and the company would provide comprehensive training to its managers as part of the agreement.

Bill Heard Enterprises employs more than 3,500 people at 15 dealerships in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Nevada and Arizona.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.