FTC Approves Final Consent Order Against Ohio Auto Dealers Charged with Deceiving Consumers Regarding Key Lease Terms

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final consent order against Progressive Chevrolet Company and Progressive Motors Inc., of Massillon, Ohio, which the FTC charged with deceiving consumers by using advertising that touted low monthly car lease payments and down payments but failed to disclose other key terms of the offers.

In November 2015, Progressive Chevrolet Company and Progressive Motors Inc. agreed to settle FTC charges that they failed to properly disclose terms such as credit score requirements and the fact that the payment does not include tax, title, and fees.

The consent order, prohibits the dealers from advertising the amount of any monthly payment, down payment, or other payment, unless they clearly and conspicuously disclose all qualifications or restrictions on a consumer’s ability to obtain the advertised terms. If the ad states that consumers must meet a certain credit score in order to qualify for the offer and a majority of consumers are not likely to meet the stated credit score, the ad must clearly and conspicuously disclose that fact.

The dealers also are barred from misrepresenting the cost of buying or leasing a vehicle, or misrepresenting any other material fact about the price, sale, financing, or leasing of any vehicle.  In addition, they are prohibited from advertising a payment amount, or that any or no initial payment is required at lease inception, without clearly disclosing other key terms.

The Commission vote approving the final consent order and a letter to the one commenter was 3-0.

This article by the FTC was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.