Protecting Yourself from Dishonest Dealers: CARS Act Overview
Many individuals loathe automobile shopping, despite the fact that they adore cars. The difficulty lies in the sales tactics and the items sellers attempt to encourage potential buyers to purchase. Repeatedly, salespeople employ techniques which make people wonder, “Shouldn’t that be against the law?” In response, the Federal Trade Commission has taken action by passing fresh regulations to tackle certain actions of automobile merchants – making some of the most outrageous selling measures illicit.
The Combative Auto Retail Scams Act (CARS) has been introduced to make a lasting impact. Comprising an abundant 372 pages, the legislation address several key elements in order to help protect consumers. Let’s take a closer look at these vital changes.
It is strictly prohibited to utilize bait-and-switch tactics in any dealership. If a business advertiser features a car at a certain price, that same vehicle should be obtainable at the exact same cost for those who visit the location. In addition, any discounts or financing rates listed must also remain valid. Additionally, many are unaware of this fact, but the commercialized car must also be an existing model; it is an unfortunate truth that some dishonest merchants may list cars which do not exist, or autos that have already been sold at an unbelievably low rate, only to upsell consumers into buying something different. “Allow me to show you our newest arrival!”
Importantly, the CARS regulations prohibit any false or incorrect disclosures concerning substantial facts. This would include not just the sticker price of the car but also all other charges that the customer could be liable for. Additionally, merchants are expected to be candid when it comes to proposed additional accessories and services. They may not deceive purchasers into thinking they must obtain an extended warranty, for instance.
It merits mentioning that various provisions within the CARS initiative were formed with reference to input provided by the public during a period of open comment. Tales of comparable captures proliferated, thus leading to the incorporation of certain rules one would presume should be conspicuous; yet clearly, such proved not to be the case. Needless to say, selling service contracts for oil changes on electric cars is no longer admissible. Additionally, GAP insurance policies and subscribed services which could not feasibly be advantageously availed of as related to the vehicle in question or its locale are also warrantedly prohibited.
Unfortunately, numerous regulations in CARS were based upon grievances from members of our military forces. The Department of Defense even declared their opinion on this matter, shouting out that service personnel need additional safeguards against deceptive actions by car merchants. In other words, dealers are not permitted to deceive clients by claiming a bond with the army nor telling falsehoods concerning which vehicles enabled for financing can be taken across state lines. Since servicemen often rely on transferring from one place to another, some car sellers opt to oversee their finances when they give credit. Whilst there already exist laws outlining when a financier is allowed to take back an auto owned by a service man, CARS re-establishes them.
The CARS program is anticipated to be initiated on July 30, 2024. It’s likely that numerous automobile merchants will critique these rules and how difficult it is to remain informed of them all. However, if you make the effort to look over the regulations you’ll probably have a feeling that they can be easily reduced to a couple of major ideas. Deceptive tactics such as bait-and-switch are against the law, as are other underhanded and deceptive strategies for sales. Plus, service members must not be taken advantage of. It’s rather hard for one to challenge that.
Steve Lehto, an idiosyncratic barrister native to Michigan, is renowned for his specialism in Lemon Law. As a popular author, his works include the book titled ‘Preston Tucker and His Battle to Envisage the Motor Car of the Future’ and ‘Dodge Daytona and Plymouth Superbird: Design, Evolution, Realization and Race’. On top of this, he holds a podcast.