Chicago Automobile Trade Association

Include deadlines for advertised prices to avoid confusion: AG

November 24, 2010

Action by the Illinois attorney general's office is pending against a Chicago Chevrolet dealer accused of selling an advertised car for more than the price indicated for that vehicle in print advertising. When a dealer advertises a specific price for a specific vehicle, the dealer is bound to sell the vehicle at that price, attorneys contend. A solution: Include a date in the ad when the special pricing expires.

Until that date, however, the vehicle may not be sold for more than the advertised price. Unless an end date is indicated, a perception exists that the advertised price is valid indefinitely, lawyers said at a recent meeting of the Attorney General's Automobile Dealers Advisory Council. Patricia Kelly, chief of the attorney general's consumer protection division, said recent consumer complaints point to advertised vehicles, identified by stock number, that are not available when customers see the ad.

Dealers pointed out that specific cars can be sold in the time between the deadline to submit advertising and the date the advertising appears. But state lawyers referred to cars "not available" when an ad appears, but which are featured again in later advertising



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