SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court against Paul Blanco’s Good Car Co., a network of franchised and independent dealerships, and its chief executive, Paul Blanco.
The group includes eight dealership locations in California, including Kia and Mitsubishi points in Sacramento. Blanco also has locations in Las Vegas and Reno, the latter of which includes a Mitsubishi franchise.
The AG alleges that the company engaged in a variety of unlawful business practices, including false advertising regarding credit and discount programs, making false statements on credit applications, and deceiving customers regarding add-on products and additional charges.
Charging documents say dealership personnel deceived finance sources about the value of vehicles and the customer’s ability to repay the loans. Borrowers themselves were told some F&I products, including service contracts and GAP coverage, were required by law; others were simply packed into the loan, all according to the lawsuit.
“Paul Blanco’s abhorrent conduct put vulnerable families at risk, through deceitful advertising and illegal sales and lending practices. It’s disgraceful and it’s unlawful.”
The company also ran numerous false and deceptive advertising campaigns on television, radio and the internet promising falsely low interest rates even for consumers who wouldn’t normally qualify for such rates to lure unsuspecting consumers to their dealership.
In a statement, Becerra said Blanco’s “deceitful and unlawful conduct” targeted vulnerable, predominantly low-income consumers with subprime credit, many making the most expensive one-time purchase of their lives.
“A car is one of the largest, and most important purchases for many families, allowing people to get to work, school, and connect to their communities,” Becerra said. “Far from a good car company, Paul Blanco’s abhorrent conduct put vulnerable families at risk, through deceitful advertising and illegal sales and lending practices. It’s disgraceful and it’s unlawful. Working families make every dollar count. Today’s action is about protecting our families from deception and unlawful practices that swindle these dollars away, leading to unaffordable debt.”