April 10, 2024 — Press Release

Today, 104 national and state organizations sent a letter to Congress expressing support for the Federal Trade Commission’s Combating Auto Retail Scams (CARS) Rule. As stated in the letter, the Rule will bring some long overdue relief to car buyers who are tired of dishonest pricing, and will pave a path for the FTC to pursue future rulemakings to regulate car dealers.

“For many Americans a car is a necessity, yet the car buying and financing process is designed to allow dealers to profit from complexity and withholding information rather than from honest competition,” said John W. Van Alst, senior attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “The CARS rule is a good first step to bring transparency and fairness to the process.”

“Buying and owning a car is more expensive than ever, and car dealers have created an opaque, confusing process,” said Erin Witte, director of consumer protection at Consumer Federation of America. “The CARS Rule will improve some parts of the process and send the message that car dealers are not too politically powerful to regulate.” 

“The rule prohibits junk fees, for instance, charges for products or services that do not benefit the consumer,” said Amanda N. Jackson, director of consumer campaigns at Americans for Financial Reform. “Dealers must have the expressed and informed consent before charging for any product or service. The CARS Rule is a big win for consumers, who can expect established standards of truth and transparency.”

“The FTC’s CARS Rule will make it harder for crooked car dealers to get away with cheating America’s new and used car buyers by engaging in common scams like bait and switch pricing, yo-yo financing, and loan packing – charging huge amounts for unwanted, worthless items. The Rule will also benefit honest car dealers who currently face unfair competition,” said Rosemary Shahan, president of Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety.

“The FTC’s new CARS rule will make it possible for consumers to know the full cost of a car –upfront – with no wiggle room for hidden junk fees,” said Ruth Susswein, Consumer Action’s director of consumer protection.

“Consumers are beyond frustrated with the deceptive practices some unscrupulous auto dealers use to jack up the price of cars,” said Chuck Bell, advocacy programs director for Consumer Reports. “The FTC’s new rule will protect consumers from shady bait and switch sales tactics and help ensure that car dealers provide fair and accurate prices for vehicle purchases.”

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