FTC Approves Final Consent Orders Involving Auto Dealers' Deceptive Ads

FTC Approves Final Consent Orders Involving Auto Dealers' Deceptive Ads
Image: NCCC
May 6, 2014

Following public comment periods, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved final consent orders involving 10 auto dealers' deceptive advertising charges.

Under the approved settlement orders, the auto dealerships are prohibited from misrepresenting in any advertisement for the purchase, financing, or leasing of motor vehicles the cost of leasing a vehicle, the cost of purchasing a vehicle with financing, or any other material fact about the price, sale, financing, or leasing of a vehicle.

When relevant, consent orders also address the alleged Truth in Lending Act and Consumer Leasing Act violations by requiring the dealerships to clearly and conspicuously disclose terms required by these credit and lease laws. In the case where the dealership misrepresented that consumers had won a prize, the consent order also prohibits misrepresenting material terms of any prize, sweepstakes, giveaway, or other incentive.

The ten auto dealerships are: Casino Auto Sales, Courtesy Auto Group, Honda of Hollywood, Fowlerville Ford, Infiniti of Clarendon Hills, Nissan of South Atlanta, Norm Reeves Honda Superstore, Paramount Kia, Rainbow Auto Sales, and Southwest Kia.

The cases were part of Operation Steer Clear, a nationwide sweep focusing on misleading advertising associated with the selling, financing, and leasing of motor vehicles. Auto-related complaints remain one of the top 10 complaints to the Commission, and the sweep was part of the agency's ongoing efforts to protect consumers in the auto marketplace.