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Dealer-assisted financing defended

November 23, 2011
The Federal Trade Commission’s third and final Motor Vehicle Dealer Roundtable on Nov. 17 focused on the following areas:
• alleged misrepresentations and other misconduct in consumer leasing transactions;
• consumer and business education;
• alleged abuses by automobile dealers that significantly harm consumers; and
• widespread dealer conduct that currently is lawful but may nevertheless harm consumers.
Although many dealer practices were discussed during the roundtable, abusive spot delivery transactions received the most attention. The FTC is examining these topics to determine what, if any, actions it should initiate to further protect consumers, such as rulemaking, enforcement, and consumer and business education.
As with the two FTC roundtables earlier this year,  NADA representatives offered a vigorous defense of the dealer-assisted financing model and provided extensive information to correct and rebut a series of misstatements, distortions, and attacks against various dealer practices.
Gary Reynolds, chairman of the NADA Regulatory Affairs Committee, said that despite repeated requests for empirical information from the FTC, the consumer group allegations of dealer misconduct were anecdotal and unsupported by current and reliable data demonstrating that they are widespread.
Reynolds said the NADA will remain actively engaged in this matter and will continue to work with the FTC to promote a better understanding of the extraordinary value and benefits that dealer-assisted financing provides to millions of consumers each year.
The NADA also will continue to stress to its members the need to keep current with the full range of federal and state legal requirements governing their operations.