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Another reason why you might want to shop elsewhere than the dealer for financing...

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Mike500, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Mike500

    Mike500 Senior Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Feds Go After Crooked Car Deals in National Crackdown - DailyFinance

    Feds Go After Crooked Car Deals in National Crackdown
    The Associated Press

    Mar 26th 2015 1:50PM
    Updated Mar 26th 2015 4:37PM

    Tetra Images/Alamy

    WASHINGTON -- A nationwide crackdown on auto dealers has turned up widespread evidence of false ads, deceptiveloansand fake odometer readings, the government said Thursday.

    The investigation led by the Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement resulted in 252 enforcement actions and $2.6 million in consumer refunds and fees.

    It was the second time that the FTC has gone after the car industry. Last year, the agency announced 10 cases of deceptive advertising and loans. Officials say the more recent investigation in U.S. and Canada involved the Justice Department and state prosecutors.

    ... law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for deceptive and illegal practices by auto dealers, and will take whatever action is necessary to protect consumers.

    "The clear message is that across this country, and indeed internationally, law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for deceptive and illegal practices by auto dealers, and will take whatever action is necessary toprotect consumers,," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

    In one case, a company called the National Payment Network Inc., in San Mateo, California, set up car buyers with an automated payment program that was pitched as a way to save money. But regulators said the fees associated with the program were so heavy they canceled out anysavings. For example, a standard five-year auto loan would charge $775 in fees.

    Matt Blatt dealerships, which have multiple locations in New Jersey, worked with National Payment Network to sell loans and received commission for the more than 1,000 consumers they enrolled, accord to the FTC.

    As part of a settlement, National Payment Network will refund $1.5 million to consumers and waive $949,000 in fees to current customers. Matt Blatt Inc. and Glassboro Imports will pay $184,000.

    Take our free
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    How to Buy a CarStart Now ยปView all CoursesBoth companies Thursday denied any wrongdoing. Matt Blatt Inc. believed it had clearly explained the terms and benefits of the payment program in question but agreed to settle with the FTC to avoid "protracted and expensive litigation," according to a company statement released Thursday.

    Likewise, National Payment Network said it "strongly disagrees" with the FTC and presented "considerable evidence, including consumer satisfaction surveys, training materials for dealership personnel and other documents that support its position and demonstrate the value" of the payment programs in question.

    "NPN has decided, however, that a settlement is in the best interest of its customers and auto dealer channel partners," the company wrote in an emailed statement.

    The FTC also accused three auto dealers of false advertising and violating truthful lending laws. According to the agency, Cory Fairbanks Mazda of Longwood, Florida, Jim Burke Nissan of Birmingham, Alabama, and Ross Nissan of El Monte, California, have agreed to settle charges that they advertised sales, as well as lease or finance options, without disclosing relevant terms, such as required down payments. In the end, the FTC said any value of the offer was canceled out by "fine-print disclaimers."

    Telephone calls to each of the three dealerships were not immediately returned Thursday.

    Several other cases handled by the Justice Department involved odometer fraud and inflating a car buyer's income in order to qualify them for a loan. Other cases pursued by state attorneys general found that some car dealerships failed to disclose mechanical defects and charged customers supplemental warranties without their consent..
  2. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

    Aug 26, 2010
    2015 Prius
    "I swear...I didn't kill him, but because it will cost to much to prove it, I'll take life in prison instead. Can I keep my gun?"
  3. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

    Nov 26, 2006
    South Jersey
    2010 Prius
    In NJ at least some Nissan dealers try to collect sales tax on LEAF purchases although the car is exempt. (I can name two.)