WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission approved final consent orders involving 10 dealers’ deceptive advertising charges this week.
Under the settlement orders, which were approved following public comment periods, the dealerships are prohibited from misrepresenting in any advertisement 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.
The 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 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 received by the FTC, and the sweep was part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to protect consumers in the auto marketplace.