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23FTC cracking down on car dealer ads with fine print that's too... fine [w/video]

Two years ago the Federal Trade Commission served notice to five car dealers over what it considered breaches of the Truth in Lending Act regulations. One of the issues was that certain dealer ads promised to pay off the loan on a buyer's trade-in, regardless of the amount; customers thought they were getting completely out of a loan, but the dealerships would add the negative equity from the old loan into the purchase price of the new car. Another issue for the FTC was that the ads didn't clear

2FTC cracking down on car dealer ads with fine print that's too... fine [w/video]

Two years ago the Federal Trade Commission served notice to five car dealers over what it considered breaches of the Truth in Lending Act regulations. One of the issues was that certain dealer ads promised to pay off the loan on a buyer's trade-in, regardless of the amount; customers thought they were getting completely out of a loan, but the dealerships would add the negative equity from the old loan into the purchase price of the new car. Another issue for the FTC was that the ads didn't clear

26Tesla wants court to dismiss Georgia dealer lawsuit

Like the fire that forced Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara to flee Atlanta in Gone With the Wind, the battle between Tesla Motors and Georgia's auto dealers is heating up. In late August, the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association (GADA), which represents about 500 dealerships, filed a petition to prevent Tesla from selling its electric vehicles in the state. Tesla is now requesting a Georgia judge to throw out the petition, the Atlanta Business Chronicle says.

211What Not To Say To A Car Dealer

How to get the best bang for your buck at the dealership

Apprehensive about shopping for a new car? Afraid you'll say the wrong thing to a car dealer that will give him the upper hand in the price battle? Shopping for a new car, or even a used one, doesn't have to be that kind of nerve-jangling roll of the dice that it was many years ago. For starters, the advent of the Internet allows car shoppers to go into battle armed with more information today tha

48Alfa Romeo franchises 86 dealers across North America

Alfa Romeo's return to North America has been a long time coming, which has given us plenty of time to wonder: Will the now-merged Fiat-Chrysler let Fiat dealers sell Alfas, or will the shapely Italians be available in Maserati dealers? The answer we've been waiting for? Both.

93Cadillac dealers get $5,000 incentive for ELR test drives

The 530 Cadillac dealers - out of 940 total dealers - that signed on to sell the brand's ELR for $75,000 or lease it for $699 per month have managed to move 247 of them in the last five months. That's a little less than two cars for each dealer more than two dealers for each car if you need help with the math. With inventories of the luxury plug-in hybrid building up - Automotive News reports a 725-day supply - General Motors has created the Demonstrator Allowance Program to billow the sails on

26Porsche responds to PETA after tiger cub displays at Macan dealership events

Porsche has found itself in the good graces of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is pretty odd considering it's the only brand we know of that offers leather-lined vents. The activist group is praising the sports car manufacturer's handling of reports that some of its dealerships were set to feature tigers or tiger cubs at the local launch events for the Macan. Apparently, "macan" is the Malay word for tiger, which explains the connection between a highly touted crossover and a

7Google Cars test shopping program shuts down

Google is restructuring its car buying tools, and part of the process means shutting down its Google Cars shopping service. Launched a little more than a year ago with expectations that it would disrupt the auto sales industry, other early commentary noted that some dealers were already unhappy with the way the service worked and that Google Cars would need to overcome their issues in order to succeed. Rolled out in the San Francisco Bay Area, the service worked by showing local inventory in the

86New Jersey votes against Tesla, stores may close April 1

Doesn't New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have enough people mad at him already? Apparently not, since more than a few folks who like Tesla Motors are ready to get riled up. The governor is already embattled via his office's alleged role in a scandal involving politically-motivated lane shut-downs to the George Washington Bridge. And with him now deciding to let the state's motor-vehicle commission rule on allowing for Tesla to own its dealers, Tesla has likely lost that battle and may have to shut

53Ally to pay $98M to settle ethnicity-based discriminatory lending practice probe

Ally Financial has agreed to pay a $98-million fine to settle an investigation into unfair lending practices overseen by the Justice Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). In an investigation of lending practices in the year after April 2011, the government agencies determined that Ally Financial and Ally Bank charged roughly 235,000 Asian/Pacific Islander, Black and Hispanic borrowers higher interest rates than their credit profiles warranted and higher rates than white

150Slumping VW rolls back US sales targets

After three years as one of the fastest-growing car brands in the US, Volkswagen has hit a sales rut, and it can't get out. In response, Volkswagen Group of America downgraded VW's 2013 US vehicle sales target to 440,000, from the original target of about 486,000, reports Automotive News. The stair-step incentive program under which dealerships earn bonuses also was restructured early this month, yet VW USA remains committed to its goal of producing 800,000 cars annually by 2018.

AddNorth Carolina targets Tesla, considers banning direct-to-consumer sales

North Carolina is the latest state to line up against Tesla Motors by proposing a bill that would bar direct automaker-to-customer sales within the state, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Still, Tesla says plans to open a showroom there and has sold about 80 cars to North Carolina residents, with reservations for about 60 more.

113Carfax slapped with $50M antitrust suit by 120 dealers

In December 2012 Automotive News published a piece on dealers unhappy with Carfax, alleging that the most well known used vehicle history reporting company had maneuvered itself into a monopolistic position. Dealers were paying the price for it by being charged more for Carfax reports than they'd have to pay for those from similar agencies, and there was nothing they could do about it. Now it will be for a judge to figure out: Automotive News reports that 120 dealers have joined a class-action l

AddTesla faces increased dealer opposition to opening stores in Minnesota

Yes, MADA's a little, uh, mad, about the prospect of Tesla Motors opening stores in the Land 'o Lakes. Tesla is facing increased opposition from Minnesota auto dealers to the California-based electric-vehicle maker's plans to open stores in the state, Automotive News reports.

AddMild hybrid Malibu Eco with eAssist not meeting GM's sales targets

General Motors is getting some bad news about its eAssist mild hybrid technology – it's not very popular. That's being made clear by soft sales for the highest-volume eAssist model, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco.

16How social media is changing the way car defects and complaints are discovered

Social media can allow direct and faster access to a person, a group or discussion of an issue, and that has led to wide ranging players in the automotive world figuring out how to use it in order to improve performance. Dealers encourage customers to use sites like Google+ and DealerRater.com for reviews, automakers like Hyundai and Chrysler have someone dedicated to watching Twitter for complaints, and federal agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey forums and w

40Massachusetts dealers appeal ruling in Tesla store case

Massachusetts auto dealers are not taking "no" for an answer when it comes to Tesla Motors. On Tuesday, the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association and other dealer plaintiffs filed an appeal after a court dismissed their lawsuit against Tesla's factory-owned stores on December 31, 2012.

26Gangnam Style and Swagger Wagon influence makes it to local Hyundai dealer ads

It used to be that a wild car dealership commercial meant a screaming frontman in a hideous suit making terrible puns and begging for you to help him out of some terrible predicament having to do with surplus inventory. No more – as production values have increased so has the number of commercials to so unusual that you spend the first few seconds trying to believe what you're seeing.

44More car dealers capping finance and insurance products amidst ethics concerns

Automotive News reports a larger number of dealers are scaling back the markup on their finance and insurance products as well as aftermarket service plans in an effort to avoid the ire of regulators. There are no industry numbers on how many dealers use self-imposed caps on how much they can charge their customers for these services, but Automotive News polled dealers in an independent survey. Of those who responded, around two-thirds say they use caps, with two-thirds of those who do attributi

52Why Google is frustrating your local car dealer

Car salesmen have long ranked among the most universally reviled members of society, just south of real estate agents and lawyers. But the past decade has seen the plaid sports jacket and gold chain crowd doing much to bolster their image, with many auto dealers building impressive online reputations by cultivating positive customer feedback.

11Car dealerships selling more cars per store than ever before

A consulting firm has boosted its auto sales estimate for 2012 to 14.3 million vehicles, but the big news is that, in aggregate, dealers are again making money selling cars.

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