Twenty Pennsylvania car dealers will collectively pay more than $10,500 to settle accusations of falsely advertising as individual sellers on Craigslist, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday.
The settlements followed investigations targeting dealerships that were advertising vehicles for sale without disclosing they were auto retailers, as required by the state's consumer protection law, the attorney general's office said.
Car dealers advertised in the "for sale by owner" section of the Craigslist website, authorities said. Craigslist charges dealers $5 per ad, while postings for individual sellers are free. At least 178 vehicles were illegally advertised, according to the attorney general's office.
"These car dealerships used deceptive advertising and were dishonest with Pennsylvania consumers," Shapiro said in a statement. "Car buyers are making a significant investment, and they need to have full knowledge of whom they are buying from."
The dealers are not admitting guilt and have agreed to operate lawfully under the settlement agreements, called Assurances of Voluntary Compliance. The following businesses are subject to the legal actions: