Attorney General Todd Rokita today announced agreements with six Indiana motorcycle dealerships that allegedly charged excessive document-preparation fees to more than 1,700 Hoosier consumers over a two-year period. The agreements call for the dealerships – located in Plainfield, Bloomington, Lafayette, Michigan City, Kokomo and Valparaiso – to send $100 restitution checks to each consumer who purchased a vehicle from the dealerships during the relevant dates. The dealerships will pay a total of $174,000 in restitution.
“I will do all I can to put money back into the pockets of Hoosiers who fall victim to deceptive business practices,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We are pleased that these dealerships have agreed to send checks to affected Hoosiers and to lower their document-preparation fees in accordance with Indiana law.”
The Office accused the dealerships of charging fees in violation of an earlier version of Indiana law that limited the types of fees dealers could charge for document preparation. Under current Indiana law, automobile and motorcycle dealers may not charge more than $200 for document preparation. If dealers advertise the sale price of a vehicle and charge a fee for document preparation, the document preparation fee must be included in the advertised price, current law states.
At the time, the dealerships had never determined the actual costs of preparing documents for a motor vehicle sale and arbitrarily chose to charge $299, the Office alleged. During the Office’s investigation, the dealerships were only able to come up with approximately $200 worth of document-preparation expenses per vehicle. After May 1, 2019, the dealerships lowered their document-preparation fees to $199.
The impacted dealerships include Indywest Harley-Davidson, Inc., Piranha Incorporated dba Harley-Davidson of Bloomington, Hunter’s Moon Harley-Davidson, Harley-Davidson of Kokomo, Inc., Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso, Inc. dba The Harley-Davidson Shop of Michigan City, and Honda of Michigan City.
Attorney General Rokita’s announcement comes during National Consumer Protection Week, a week dedicated to helping people understand their consumer rights and make well-informed decisions about money. The Office of the Attorney General shares important information with Hoosiers about prevalent scams in Indiana, how they can avoid common scams, and what people should do if they encounter scams. Follow the Attorney General’s Office on Facebook and Twitter for additional information.
If you have additional questions, you may contact the Consumer Protection Division at (317) 232-6330.