1A Smart Start, LLC is on the receiving end of a proposed class action in which an Arizona consumer claims the ignition interlock device company has failed to provide certain financial disclosures in its equipment lease agreements.
According to the case, Smart Start ignition interlock devices can be linked into a car’s electrical system to prevent the vehicle from starting unless the driver passes a test that measures the level of alcohol in their breath. With regard to some DUI or DWI charges, one of the defendant’s ignition interlock systems may take the place of a license suspension, the suit adds.
Alleging violations of the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA), the 22-page lawsuit claims the defendant’s conduct has led consumers to sign lease agreements with the company “without understanding their true financial obligations.”
Under the CLA, the lawsuit argues, leasing agreements provided by 1A Smart Start in connection with ignition interlock installation must contain disclosures “segregated from other information” that clearly state:
The amount due upon lease signing or delivery;
The number, amount, and due dates of payments scheduled under the lease, as well as the total amount of payments;
The amount of other charges due under the lease, itemized by type and amount, that are not included in the periodic payments;
The total amount that the consumer will have paid by the end of the lease;
Whether the consumer can purchase the leased property and the price of such at the end of the lease term; and
That the consumer should refer to the rest of the lease documents “for additional information on early termination, purchase options and maintenance responsibilities, warranties, late and default charges, insurance, and any security interests, if applicable.”
The plaintiff claims the “Contract for the Provision of Monitoring Services” she signed in accordance with her equipment lease did not adhere to the CLA’s “segregated” disclosure requirement. Specifically, the suit says the payment disclosures were found “in single-spaced text sandwiched between” rectangular boxes of emphasized information “roughly three-quarters of the way down the page.” Further, specific payment amounts and other payment figures not included in the pre-printed text of the agreement were handwritten on blank lines and in the document’s margins, the lawsuit alleges.
“Among these added figures are a $75 ‘REMOVAL’ fee and $10 ‘MODEM FEE,’” the complaint states, noting that in some months the plaintiff paid as little as $79 while being charged as much as $129 during other months.
The lawsuit looks to represent all Arizona residents who leased an ignition interlock device from the defendant with an initial lease term of more than four months and whose lease, which must be currently in force or terminated on or after May 19, 2019, did not contain the aforementioned disclosures.
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