FTC drives settlement with Massachusetts auto dealer
As part of the FTC’s crackdown on deceptive practices related to the sale, financing, and leasing of motor vehicles, Courtesy Auto Group of Attleboro, Massachusetts has agreed to settle charges that it deceptively advertised that consumers could lease a vehicle for $0 down and specific monthly payments. In fact, the advertised amounts did not mention substantial fees that the dealer charged.
The case against Courtesy is part of Operation Steer Clear, the agency’s nationwide sweep against 10 auto dealers that made misrepresentations in print, internet, and video advertisements.
If you’re in the market for a new ride, ask the right questions. The answers should help you determine whether special promotions offer genuine value — or are simply smoke and mirrors.
Once you get a written offer from the dealer, be sure all the terms, including the price and the financing — if you get credit through the dealer — are what you agreed to. If you lease from the dealer, check that the terms are what you negotiated. Read the documents you get very carefully, especially the credit or lease contract. Make sure you understand the terms before you sign. If the deal isn’t what you negotiated, ask questions. Don’t sign, and don’t leave the dealership with a new vehicle until the terms you and the dealer negotiated are on the contract, and you are clear about your obligation, including all your payments.
To learn more, check out Buying & Owning a Car.