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NADA responds to inaccurate, irresponsible NYT editorial

June 19, 2015
Peter Welsh, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association sent the following letter to the editor of The New York Times in response to a June 14 editorial, "Putting an End to Abusive Car Loans." The editorial contained false statements and discredited rhetoric about auto finance.
Honesty Matters at the Dealership. It Should Matter to The New York Times
Consumers have a number of rights when it comes to buying a car. They have the right to negotiate, they have the right to look for a better deal wherever it exists, and they have the right to choose the financing that is best for them. These are real financial advantages that save Americans billions of dollars.
Washington, however, wants to take those rights away. Washington wants to limit consumer choice and deny Americans the ability to benefit from the discounted financing rates that are often available at their local dealerships. It doesn’t take a study or an expert to see how wrong that is.
Consumers also have the right to something just as important - the truth. But they were denied that on Sunday, when a Times editorial, "Putting an End to Abusive Car Loans," chose to ignore the truth about a now-thoroughly debunked statistic claiming that Americans lose - rather than save - money when they finance vehicle purchases through their local dealerships.
Even the Center for Responsible Lending — the original source of the figure used by the Times — has acknowledged that this number is flawed. And numerous sources have explained in detail how CRL’s claims about auto financing are patently false.
For reasons they did not explain, the editorial board of the Times chose to gloss over this reality.
Consumers deserve to know why. They deserve to know that when they’re getting information about how Washington wants to involve itself in auto financing, they’re getting facts. They deserve to know that they’re being told the truth.
Americans take the process of buying a car very, very seriously - and rightly so. In this instance, The New York Times could stand to learn a thing or two from many of its readers.
Peter Welch, president, National Automobile Dealers Association