A final agreement has been hammered out between the State Attorney General’s Office, the Division of Consumer Affairs and the Toms River towing company that allegedly charged drivers exorbitant amounts of money to retrieve their vehicles and watercraft that had been towed from Seaside Heights following Superstorm Sandy.

After it was learned APK Auto Repair Corporation – also known as APK Auto Repair and Towing – had been charging so much, an initial agreement was reached on November 20th of last year, whereby 70 vehicles and watercraft were returned to their owners without any charge.

However, some folks had already paid APK large sums to retrieve their vehicles, and additionally about 50 vehicles and watercraft were never claimed – presumably because they were badly damaged and replaced through insurance. The final settlement resolves these issues.

The owners of unclaimed vehicles or watercraft still in APK Towing’s possession will be notified that their vehicles or watercraft will be sold if not reclaimed within 21 days of receiving notice.  If not claimed, the State will scrap the vehicles and use the proceeds to reimburse any owners who previously paid APK to retrieve their vehicles prior to the November 20 agreement.

State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa says “we did not want these consumers, already victims of Hurricane Sandy, to be victimized again, they did nothing wrong, and Division of Consumer Affairs investigators worked diligently to resolve this matter and allow these storm survivors to move forward without this unnecessary burden.”

APK Towing also agreed to adhere to the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and Predatory Towing Prevention Act under terms of the Consent Order, and APK also was assessed more than $15,000 for the state’s investigative costs.

Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, particularly as a result of Hurricane Sandy, can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 or 973-504-6200.