FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges Involving Two Auto Dealers’ Deceptive Ads

Washington, DC - Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission approved final consent orders settling charges that two automotive dealers deceptively advertised the cost or available discounts for their vehicles.

The FTC charged Don White’s Timonium Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Cockeysville, Md., with advertising “dealer discounts” and “internet prices” not available to a typical consumer. Ganley Ford West, Inc., in Cleveland, was charged with misrepresenting that vehicles were available at a specific dealer discount, when in fact the discounts only applied to specific, and more expensive, models of the advertised vehicles.

Under the settlements, both dealers are prohibited from advertising discounts or prices unless the ads clearly disclose any qualifications or restrictions. The settlements also prohibit the auto dealers from making misrepresentations regarding the existence, price, value coverage, or features of any product or service associated with the motor vehicle purchase, and the number of vehicles available at particular prices.

Both cases are part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to combat deceptive motor vehicle dealer practices. The FTC announced these cases in September 2013 as well as a nationwide sweep against 10 other dealers in January 2014.

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