'Huge' upstate New York car dealerships pay $1.6M to settle lawsuit over anti-theft package

Associated Press

A chain of upstate New York car dealerships whose ubiquitous television ads tout "huge" deals has agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by customers who paid nearly $300 for an anti-theft package.

Billy Fuccillo's auto business and 18 of its upstate dealerships agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle the lawsuit filed in 2009. The agreement approved last November by a federal judge in Albany calls for each of 5,320 customers to receive payments of $160.

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One of the buyers, lead plaintiff Heidi Seekamp, was awarded $10,000. The plaintiffs' attorneys will get $750,000.

Seekamp sued Fuccillo after she purchased his company's "Auto Theft Security Discount" when she bought a car in 2007. She claimed the package was misleading and nearly useless.

Fuccillo's company didn't admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.