Car dealer denies racial discrimination allegations

September 20, 2022 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — Management at a Massachusetts car dealership accused in a lawsuit filed by the state of illegally charging Black and Hispanic customers more for remote starters, paint protection and other add-on products than it does for white customers is denying the allegations.

The attorney general announced Monday that the complaint alleges that Jaffarian Service Inc. engaged in unfair, deceptive, and discriminatory pricing practices in violation of the state’s Consumer Protection Act and the Public Accommodations Law.

“Jaffarian Volvo Toyota ... has never received any complaint from any customers regarding discrimination in its sales, pricing or services and denies the Massachusetts Attorney General’s claims of discrimination,” the dealership said in a statement.

The Haverhill-based dealership said it is cooperating with the attorney general’s office, has supplied the office with thousands of documents and has offered to sit down to discuss the documents.

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President Gary Jaffarian said a significant proportion of the company’s employees are Black and Latinx, and it serves an area with a significant Latinx population, so by discriminating “we would be hurting ourselves.”

Jaffarian appears to have charged Black and Hispanic customers, on average, about $500 more and $400 more respectively for add-on products, the complaint alleges.