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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on a proposed qualitative survey of consumers to learn about their experiences in buying and financing automobiles at dealerships. The comments will be considered before the FTC seeks clearance for the survey from the Office of Management and Budget, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act.

The FTC is committed to protecting consumers in automobile-related transactions. Since 2011, the agency has brought more than 25 cases in this area, including a law enforcement sweep of 10 actions against auto dealers for deceptive advertising, and a federal-state effort that yielded more than 200 actions for fraud, deception, and other illegal practices. The survey is designed to assist the FTC by providing useful insights into consumer understanding of the automobile purchasing and financing process at the dealership.

The FTC invites comments on whether the proposed consumer survey, which will include consumer interviews and receipt of consumers’ purchase and finance documents, is necessary and useful; the accuracy of estimates of the burden on consumers to be surveyed; ways to enhance the quality of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of collecting information.

The Commission vote to publish a Federal Register Notice proposing the survey and seeking public comment was 4-0. It will be published in the Federal Register shortly. Instructions for filing comments appear in the Federal Register Notice. Comments must be received on or 60 days after the notice appears in the Federal Register. All comments received will be posted on the FTC’s website. (FTC File No. P154800; the staff contact is Carole Reynolds or Teresa Kosmidis, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3230 or 202-326-3216)

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).  Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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