WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission approved final consent orders settling charges against two auto dealers for deceptive advertising.
The FTC charged Don White’s Timonium Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Cockeysville, Md., with advertising “dealer discounts” and “internet prices” not available to a typical consumer. Additionally, Cleveland-based Ganley Ford West Inc. was charged with misrepresenting that vehicles were available at a specific dealer discount, when, in fact, the discounts only applied to specific, more expensive models.
Under the settlements, both dealers are prohibited from advertising discounts or prices unless the ads clearly disclose any qualifications or restrictions. The settlements also prohibit the auto dealers from making misrepresentations regarding the existence, price, value coverage or features of any product or service associated with the motor vehicle purchase, as well as the number of vehicles available at particular prices.
Both cases are part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to combat deceptive motor vehicle dealer practices. The FTC announced these cases in September 2013 after a nationwide sweep that resulted in 10 dealers being charged with deceptive advertising this past January.
The commission unanimously voted to approve the final order.