FTC curbs auto dealers’ deceptive advertising
Some auto dealers put tempting promises in their ads. But when you try to close the deal, it’s another story. Such is the case with Las Vegas-area auto dealers, Planet Nissan and Planet Hyundai.
According to the FTC, Planet Nissan and Planet Hyundai’s ads touted sales, lease or financing options that seemed attractive but were cancelled out by fine-print disclaimers. Some of their disclaimers also left out relevant terms, like the total amount due at signing.
A prime example: Some Planet Nissan ads label vehicle offers as a “PURCHASE! NOT A LEASE!” when, in fact, many of the offers are for leases. What’s more, Planet Nissan’s ads tout leases available for “$0 DOWN” when $2,000 is actually due at signing.
Some of Planet Hyundai’s ads promote “50% OFF” purchase prices on vehicles. But the prices are only available to customers who meet several requirements, like being a recent college graduate or a member of the military, owning a currently registered Hyundai, and trading in a vehicle.
Under the proposed settlement, Planet Nissan and Planet Hyundai must stop misrepresenting the cost of buying or leasing a vehicle, and whether the offer is for the purchase, sale, financing or leasing of a vehicle. Both dealerships must also clearly and conspicuously disclose certain leasing and financing terms.
If you’re in the market for a new or used car, don’t let deceptive business practices leave you spinning your wheels. Check out our free consumer information about buying and owning a car before you start shopping.
If you think you’ve been misled, report it to the FTC. Your complaints help us stop rip-offs, scams and frauds.