Ahead of Passover, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a consumer alert on Friday urging Jews to be mindful of discriminatory pricing practices at car washes.
Over the years, some car wash businesses have been seen raising prices by as much as 50 percent in predominantly Orthodox Jewish communities in the days leading up to Passover, according to a press release from the attorney general’s office.
In 2011, Met Council CEO David Greenfield, who at the time was a City Council member, told NBC New York that many car wash businesses in his central Brooklyn district offered a “Passover special” — which he alleged was simply a way of ripping off Jewish customers.
Many Jews do a deep clean of their homes, cars, and offices in order to remove every last crumb of chametz, or leavened food products, which are not consumed during the eight-day holiday.
This year, ahead of the holiday which begins the evening of Friday, April 15, James sent letters to two organizations representing car wash owners to remind them that this type of business practice is illegal. She said it was “shameful” that a warning even had to be sent out to Jewish communities over businesses taking advantage of them during a holiday. “If we learn of any businesses engaging in such disgusting and antisemitic practices, we will not hesitate to take swift and serious legal action,” she said in a press release.