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FTC: Operation Steer Clear

Buying a car is a big decision that requires a lot of careful research to get a vehicle that matches your needs and your budget. So! With that said, let us give a big Thank You to the Federal Trade Commission for doing a national sweep of car dealerships to make sure that they did not do false advertising! (Clap clap clap)

Caveat emptor!

An LA Times article sums it up pretty well: “The nationwide sweep, dubbed Operation Steer Clear, targeted dealers that ran misleading print, online and video ads that misrepresented costs for the sale, financing and leasing of automobiles.”

There were four dealerships in Southern California and five others from the rest of the country that were charged with this offense. The same article explains that the dealerships settled with the FTC. But, how do the settlements protect consumers?

The settlements bar dealers in the future from violating the consumer protection laws they are accused of breaking, as well as preventing them from misrepresenting information on the sale, financing or leasing of motor vehicles, she said. Future violations could result in fines of $16,000 per violation per day.”

Yea, okay, I guess I’ll take it. One thing to note is that the dealerships did not have to admit guilt in order to reach the settlement, which is kind of lame.

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