TRENTON — A state lawmaker is pushing a plan to protect used car buyers from deceitful sellers.

Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, D-Camden, said some used car dealers currently operate out of what are referred to as multi-dealer locations, but “these are nothing more than mail drops, they have hundreds of cubicles that look like people should be working there but there’s no employees whatsoever, it’s just a complete charade.”

The proposal comes after the State Commission of Investigation released a report about ongoing abuses and illegal activity in New Jersey’s wholesale used car industry.

Moriarty said the SCI investigations found “some of these wholesale dealerships can continue to participate in illicit activities, such as tax fraud, insurance fraud and consumer fraud, and people are getting hurt.”

Moriarty’s Used Car Buyers Bill of Rights “would prohibit 'as is' sales of used cars. It would require contract cancellation options for consumers and it would prohibit dealers from selling cars that are deemed certified, or any other descriptive term that suggests the vehicle meets certain standards, when the dealer knows that there are repair issues.”

Another measure, the Used Motor Vehicle Licensing Act, would require a new wholesale used car license “and remove oversight of that license from the Motor Vehicle Commission to a new eight-member board that would be located in the Division of Consumer Affairs.”

The legislation would require complete criminal background checks prior to applicants getting a license.

Both bills were formally introduced earlier this month and could be moved by the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee in the coming weeks.

Moriarty stressed changes must be made because right now “it’s buyer beware for people buying an older car in New Jersey."

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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