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Consumer Protections for Automobile Buyers Could Become Stronger This Summer


For the past year and a half, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been working to impose a new set of regulations that protect consumers from fraudulent and abusive tactics when buying cars.  The FTC first proposed the rules in the summer of 2022, and if all goes well, they will go into effect this summer.  Of course, car dealers are not happy about new rules requiring them to play fair.  The FTC’s new rules have faced challenges from several groups that represent the interests of car dealerships.  Most recently, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the Texas Automobile Dealers Association have announced that they have filed legal challenges to the rules, claiming that these regulations are excessive and that they will harm the economy by making it prohibitively for small businesses that sell cars to operate and that they will make it more expensive for larger car dealerships to create new jobs and keep current employees on their payroll.  If you are struggling with unaffordable car loan payments because of unfair practices by car dealerships, contact a Philadelphia debt relief lawyer.

Car Dealerships Fight for Their Right to Charge Unnecessary Fees

These are some of the new rules that the FTC intends to implement, and which NADA and other car dealers’ groups have opposed:

  • A ban on bait-and-switch advertising tactics, in which dealers advertise vehicles that they know are not available, and then when customers contact them, they try to persuade the customers to buy more expensive vehicles
  • A ban on “junk fees” for extras that do not benefit consumers, such as oil change service contracts for electric cars or an upcharge for nitrogen-filled tires that do not actually contain more nitrogen than ordinary tires
  • Accurate pricing disclosures in advertisements and other communications with customers
  • Accurate record keeping regarding advertisements and interactions with customers

According to the FTC, the new rules will make the process of buying a car, saving the American public 72 million hours per year.  They also predict that it would save consumers $3.4 billion per year.

What to Do If You Have Been a Victim of Junk Fees

If you are struggling with your car payments but can’t afford to trade in your car and don’t have reliable access to public transportation, you may be able to make your monthly payments lower.  If you qualify for one, you can take out a debt consolidation loan and use it to pay off your car loan.  You might also be able to get the dealership to lower your payments by extending the term of your loan.  You can even call the dealership and ask them to waive some of the junk fees, although car dealerships do not make it easy to do this; they often make you jump through lots of hoops before they will waive the fees.

Contact Louis S. Schwartz About Car Loan Debt

A Philadelphia consumer law attorney can help you lower your car payment or avoid unnecessarily expensive payments on a car loan you are currently trying to negotiate.  Contact Louis S. Schwartz at CONSUMERLAWPA.com to set up a free, confidential consultation.



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