On September 26, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office filed a complaint against used car dealer JD Byrider, accusing the dealership of using predatory practices in its sale of allegedly defective vehicles.  The AG’s Office contends that JD Byrider sold allegedly defective vehicles with high cost loans to Massachusetts consumers in the “JD Byrider Program,” which bundled the car sale, financing, and repair in one transaction.

“We allege that JD Byrider ripped off Massachusetts drivers by offering predatory loans for defective and inoperable cars,” Healey said in a statement.  “Our goal in this lawsuit is to recover losses to Massachusetts consumers and make this company pay for the harm they caused to thousands of drivers across this state.”

Specifically at issue in the complaint is the financing and service contract JD Byrider allegedly required consumers to enter into.  According to the AG, consumers did not know that JD Byrider priced its cars at more than double their retail value and allegedly forced consumers to finance their purchase at an annual percentage rate of 19.95 percent, regardless of their credit qualifications.  In addition, the complaint asserts that the “JD Byrider Program” finance contract required consumers to agree to an extended service contract with a fixed price of approximately $1,300.  Because this service contract was bundled into the “JD Byrider Program,” consumers often were forced to pay 20 percent interest on the service contract as well, according to the complaint.  The AG further alleges that consumers could only get the benefit of the service contract by using a JD Byrider service center.  The service contract allegedly did not, however, cover towing costs or a number of parts, including fuel injection components, seals, gaskets, hoses, and belts, among others.

The AG further alleges that JD Byrider targets low-income consumers with poor credit and refused to negotiate the terms of the “JD Byrider Program.”  The AG also described the company’s underwriting process as “flawed” and, according to the complaint, “routinely and deliberately” underestimates a consumer’s monthly expenses so that they qualify for loans which they cannot truly afford.  While the dealer allegedly sells all of its cars at the same price, it reportedly does not disclose this information to consumers.

The complaint, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, seeks injunctive relief and restitution for consumers, as well as penalties, costs, and attorneys’ fees.