By on February 26, 2017

behind the wheel

Finance companies have begun using ignition kill switches and tracking devices, which allow them to disable and then easily locate vehicles for repossession. Some of the devices even remind borrowers when they’ve missed a payment. According to PassTime, a company that sells such devices, somewhere between 35 and 70 percent of cars financed on subprime loans have some variant of the hardware installed.

Now the the Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether these automotive finance companies are illegally harassing consumers with poor credit by imposing the hardware onto their vehicles — potentially violating their privacy while also garnering unnecessary intimidation from banks.  (Read More…)

By on July 28, 2016

Mercedes E-Class ad

A glitzy Mercedes-Benz commercial that touts the 2017 E-Class as a vehicle that “can drive itself” has consumer and safety advocates fighting mad.

A number of groups are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to take action against the automaker, saying Mercedes mislead the public. In a letter to FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the groups claim the E-Class doesn’t come close to being a self-driving vehicle, and fine print doesn’t cut it. (Read More…)

By on March 29, 2016

volkswagen-jetta-tdi-clean-diesel-event-no-better-time-to-buy-large-3

It wasn’t so clean, was it?

The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against Volkswagen on March 29, claiming the automaker’s “Clean Diesel” ad campaign was a deception that tricked buyers into purchasing its supposedly eco-friendly vehicles.

By filing the complaint against Volkswagen, the FTC (which can’t levy fines) would be able to seek compensation for buyers via a federal court order.

(Read More…)

By on October 15, 2015

TDI Clean Diesel

The Federal Trade Commission will join the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency in investigating claims that Volkswagen cheated consumers and regulators with bogus emissions claims of its diesel cars, Politico reported (via Bloomberg).

The FTC’s inquiry will focus on whether the German automaker lied to consumers about “clean diesel” claims in its advertisements when, in fact, the cars were engineered to deceive emissions tests.

The FTC, Justice Department and EPA’s investigations also joins an investigation by the U.S. Senate Finance committee on whether the automaker illegally obtained $50 million in federal subsidies through car buyers who purchased its cars and received the lean-burn technology motor vehicle credit.   (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2015

Tesla Showroom In California Circa August 2014

In its battles for the right to sell its wares directly to consumers, Tesla has found a valuable ally in the Federal Trade Commission.

(Read More…)

By on March 27, 2015

Cory Fairbanks Mazda Dealership

The Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday its results from Operation Ruse Control, a collection of investigations over deceptive dealer practices.

(Read More…)

By on May 23, 2014

PA also 225

The Federal Trade Commission is launching an investigation into biweekly payments sold as a product by dealership finance departments on the basis that consumers may not be getting their money’s worth with such payments.

(Read More…)

By on May 2, 2014

FordCMaxHybridAdCap-626x338

The Federal Trade Commission voted 4-0 Thursday to resume its review of fuel economy claims in advertising by automakers and dealers, and whether or not the agency should revise the 40-year-old guidelines governing them.

(Read More…)

By on January 24, 2014

Nissan North America and TBWA Worldwide, Nissan’s ad agency have agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over the FTC’s claims that a television commercial for the Nissan Frontier misled consumers about the truck’s ability to climb hills. The 30 second ad, titled “Hill Climb”, portrayed a Frontier pushing a stranded dune buggy up a steep sand dune. In reality, the Frontier wold not be able to perform the stunt in the ad. To shoot the ad, both vehicles were towed up the hill using cables.

(Read More…)

By on September 16, 2013

 truecar-screen-1

The United States Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into whether car dealers colluded against the online car shopping site, TrueCar, over price competition the site encouraged. Automotive News is reporting that a number of car dealers, including the Kelly Automotive Group in the Boston area, received letters from the FTC saying that the agency is looking into whether companies in the “retail automobile industry” committed anticompetitive acts “by agreeing to refuse to deal with TrueCar” during 2001 and 2012.

(Read More…)

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