A Massachusetts man is challenging a Toyota tire promotion, claiming it tricks consumers into being overcharged for tires.
Plaintiff Joseph Presti is suing defendants Toyota Motor Sales (USA) Inc. and his local dealership Colonial Imports Corp. Presti accuses the defendants of running a misleading tire promotion that appears to promise a bargain for a purchase of four tires, when in fact three of those tires would be sold at a higher than normal price.
According to Presti, the defendants ran a tire promotion that deceptively promised consumers they could purchase a fourth tire for $1 with a purchase of three tires at regular price.
However, Presti claims the defendants increased the price of the three supposedly “regular price” tires, ostensibly hoping consumers wouldn’t notice. Presti argues the undisclosed price increase makes the overall bargain illusory and deceptive.
According to the Toyota class action lawsuit, defendant Toyota Motor Sales ran the promotion at issue in September and October of 2016, in cooperation with dealerships such as defendant Colonial Imports.
Presti includes with his complaint copies of advertisements from various Toyota dealerships promoting the “Tire Savings Event” at issue. The advertisements offer a fourth tire for one dollar with the purchase of three other tires.
Presti says he went to Colonial Imports to take advantage of the advertised Toyota tire offer. He claims the Toyota dealership offered him three tires at $173 each. The same tires had been offered for sale before the Toyota tire promotion for $149.30 each.
To back up his claims, Presti includes copies of advertisements depicting what appears to be the same tire offered at significantly different prices within a few weeks of each other.
Presti says he complained to management at Colonial Imports. The dealership then gave him a $35 “loyalty discount,” – though that still left him paying more than the regular price for three of his tires, he claims.
Presti now argues that the allegedly deceptive pricing is a regular policy and practice of Toyota Motor Sales, Colonial Imports and other dealerships. He argues this practice runs afoul of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which according to the FTC’s application bars a merchant from advertising an item at a “usual” or “regular” price unless it is the “price at which the seller ordinarily sells the thing advertised.”
Presti proposes to represent a plaintiff Class covering all persons who, within three years prior to the filing of this action, bought tires under the promotion at issue from dealers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California, Illinois or New York, and who paid more than the regular price for the three supposedly regular-price tires.
He also proposes a subclass of Class Members who bought their tires from Colonial Imports.
He is asking the court for an award of actual and statutory damages, court costs and attorney’s fees, plus an injunction against further alleged violations.
Presti is represented by attorney Christopher M. Lefebvre of Consumer & Family Law Center of Claude F. Lefebvre | Christopher M. Lefebvre PC.
The Toyota Tire Saving Event Class Action Lawsuit is Joseph Presti v. Toyota Motor Sales (USA) Inc., et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-10320, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.