An investigation by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) has found that Tong's Auto Sales, a Naugatuck car dealership, engaged in deceptive sales tactics that misled customers and violated state regulations.

Investigation Findings:

The DCP's investigation uncovered a pattern of deceptive practices at Tong's Auto Sales, including:

  • Misrepresentation of vehicle history: The dealership allegedly sold vehicles with undisclosed accidents or other damage, claiming they were "clean" or "never been in an accident."
  • False advertising: Advertisements for vehicles often contained false or exaggerated claims about their condition, mileage, or features.
  • Pressure sales tactics: Salespeople employed high-pressure tactics to push customers into signing contracts without fully explaining the terms or allowing them time to consider.
  • Unconscionable contracts: The dealership allegedly used contracts that contained unfair terms, such as non-refundable deposits and exorbitant fees.
  • Lack of disclosure: Customers were not adequately informed about important details such as extended warranties, dealer fees, and finance charges.

Consumer Complaints:

Numerous consumers have filed complaints with the DCP alleging deceptive practices at Tong's Auto Sales. These complaints include:

  • Being sold a vehicle with undisclosed damage that resulted in costly repairs.
  • Being pressured into signing a contract they didn't understand.
  • Being charged excessive fees for services that were not disclosed upfront.
  • Experiencing difficulty getting refunds or resolving issues with the dealership.

Legal Action:

Based on the investigation findings, the DCP has taken legal action against Tong's Auto Sales. The dealership is facing charges of multiple violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The case is currently pending in New Haven Superior Court.

Consumer Advice:

The DCP advises consumers to take the following steps to protect themselves from deceptive sales practices:

  • Research the dealership and read online reviews before making a purchase.
  • Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics and always take time to read and understand the contract before signing.
  • Get a vehicle history report and have the car inspected by an independent mechanic before purchasing.
  • Be aware of all fees and charges associated with the purchase, including dealer fees, extended warranties, and finance charges.
  • Report any suspected deceptive practices to the DCP or other relevant authorities.

Industry Response:

The Greater Waterbury Chamber of Commerce, which represents local businesses, has expressed concern about the accusations against Tong's Auto Sales. The Chamber emphasizes the importance of ethical business practices and encourages consumers to support reputable dealerships.


The Deceptive sales practices employed by Tong's Auto Sales have eroded consumer trust and violated state regulations. The ongoing legal action serves as a reminder that businesses must adhere to ethical standards and that consumers have rights to be protected from unfair and deceptive practices.

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