As auto prices surge, agency launches rulemaking to protect consumers’ pocketbooks and level the playing field for honest dealers. The Federal Trade Commission has proposed a rule to ban junk fees and bait-and-switch advertising tactics that can plague consumers throughout the car-buying experience. As auto prices surge, the Commission is seeking to eliminate the tricks and traps that make it hard or impossible to comparison shop or leave consumers saddled with thousands of dollars in unwanted junk charges. The proposed rule would protect consumers and honest dealers by making the car-buying process clearer and more competitive. It would also allow the Commission to recover money when consumers are misled or charged without their consent.
“As auto prices surge, the Commission is taking comprehensive action to prohibit junk fees, bait-and-switch advertising, and other practices that hit consumers’ pocketbooks,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Our proposed rule would save consumers time and money and help ensure a level playing field for honest dealers.”
The FTC is taking his step toward establishing a set of guidelines that would provide consumers with key protections against dealers who unlawfully charge junk fees without their consent or engage in bait-and-switch advertising. In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announced today, the Commission is seeking comment on proposed measures that would:
The notice includes questions for public comment to inform the Commission’s decision-making on the proposal. These include questions about provisions in the proposed rule and whether other provisions should or should not be included in the rule, as well as questions related to the costs and benefits to consumers and auto dealers of the proposed rule. In addition, the notice includes a preliminary regulatory analysis estimating that the net economic benefit of the rule would be more than $29 billion over ten years. After the Commission reviews the comments received, it will decide whether to proceed with issuance of a final rule.
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