A car dealership is being accused of installing GPS tracking devices in vehicles without buyer knowledge that were used to find and repossess cars — even some that weren’t behind on payments.
The Florida Attorney General’s office is suing Beach Boulevard Automotive in Jacksonville, Fla., on a variety of counts of consumer deception including:
- Requiring buyers to purchase several types of insurance as a condition of the sale, insisting it is state law. (King denies this, claiming he only offered the insurance.)
- Tracking vehicles’ locations without customer knowledge. (King admits to placing GPS devices in cars bought by people with bad credit, which is legal in Florida only with the buyer’s permission.)
- Tacking on a $400 fee for a “pre-delivery” inspection that customers claim was never done or explained. (King insists this fee is included in every buyer’s packet.)
- Repossessing cars that weren’t behind on payments. (King flatly denies this.)
Selling finance plans without the proper license between December 2010 and September 2011. (King admits this, but insists it was simply a clerical error.)
The attorney general’s office said the investigation into Beach Boulevard Automotive has been underway since May 2010, and has uncovered 79 complaints. The Better Business Bureau rates the dealership at a B+, with 19 complaints on file over the past three years.
King was also accused of limiting the appearance of unhappy customers by using employees, under a variety of fake names, to post positive reviews of the dealership.