The filing points out that Ford advertises the Fusion as an American car, when the vehicle is actually assembled in the automaker's facility in Sonora, Mexico. The complaint goes on to say that the advertisement is misleading and gives consumers the wrong impression about the sedan's origins.
Chrysler fared no better. The Made in the USA Foundation specifically took issue with the company's new commercials for the Chrysler 300. The spots carry the popular "Imported from Detroit" tagline, which the foundation says leads buyers to believe that the sedan is American built. In fact, the 300 is assembled in Ontario, Canada using an engine built in Mexico.
So far, there's no word on how the FTC will proceed with the complaints, though we can imagine the automakers' defense. While both vehicles may be assembled elsewhere, the bulk of their engineering took place right here in the States. Plus, both Mexico and Canada are indeed both in North America, just not the United States of America. Hit the jump for the Made in the USA Foundation press release.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Made in the USA Foundation has filed two complaints with the Federal Trade Commission against U.S. auto manufacturers (Ford and Chrysler) for misleading ads, claiming certain vehicles were made in the United States when they were actually imported.
The Foundation filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Chrysler Corporation for its television and print ads for the Chrysler 300. The tagline of the ad states, "Imported from Detroit." Joel D. Joseph, general counsel to the Foundation said, "The ads are clever, but they are false. The Chrysler 300 is made in Canada. The Chrysler 300 is assembled in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and often includes a Mexican-made engine. Last time I checked, Detroit is not in Canada. Chrysler is flat wrong to imply the Chrysler 300 is made in the United States and we have asked the FTC to order corrective advertising."
The complaint against Ford is for a radio advertisement for the Ford Fusion. The ad states that the Fusion is an American car. Joseph said, "The Fusion is made in Mexico, and is not an American car. The Ford ad misleads and confuses the public and we have asked the Federal Trade Commission to stop the ads."
The Made in the USA Foundation has also alleged that Chrysler and Ford have stripped country-of-origin information off of these and other cars at the New York, Washington, Detroit and Los Angeles Auto Shows. Joseph said, "Chrysler and Ford are intentionally misleading consumers by implying all of their vehicles are Made in the USA, when they are not. To add to their wrongdoing Chrysler and Ford have removed country of origin labels from their car windows at auto shows where millions of consumers get their first look at many new cars."
The Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 and dedicated to promoting American-made products. Although its initial funding was provided the Ford Motor Company, the Foundation will object when Ford violates the law.
The Foundation's website is www.madeusafdn.org. For more information contact the Foundation at 310- MADE-USA.