Chicago Automobile Trade Association

Dealers continue to press case for dealer-assisted financing

August 19, 2011
The Federal Trade Commission this month held the second in a series of roundtable discussions on selling and financing motor vehicles.
Repeating comments made at the first roundtable in Detroit in April, David Vladeck, the FTC’s director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, said that the FTC is considering what, if any, additional federal regulation is necessary in relation to auto finance.
At this month’s gathering, in San Antonio, the FTC also sought information about how military personnel finance their automobile purchases.
The FTC roundtables of the automobile business emanate directly from the Dodd-Frank Finance Reform Act, under which auto dealers succeeded in avoiding the regulatory purview of the specially created Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, but not expanded regulatory scrutiny by the FTC.
The San Antonio roundtable produced a public record that documented:
1. Another failed attempt by consumer activists to use dated anecdotes to demonstrate systemic problems related to dealer assisted finance;
2. The fact that every alleged car purchase abuse already is illegal under state and/or federal law;
3. The absence of any data to support the prevalence of abusive dealer practices; and
4. The flawed data, flawed methodology and flawed conclusions previously offered by consumer activists as “evidence” of abusive dealer practices.


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