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The Auto Marketplace

Buying or leasing a car is the biggest financial transactions for many consumers aside from owning a home, and having access to a vehicle also is essential for many Americans to carry on their daily lives. The FTC plays several important roles in making sure consumers get a fair deal in the auto marketplace:

  • The agency brings auto-related enforcement actions, including against companies falsely promising to reduce auto loan payments, car dealers and others making deceptive advertising claims, telemarketers pitching bogus auto “warranties” that are actually extended service contracts, and companies promoting illegal pyramid operations through lease offers.
  • The agency also enforces the Used Car Rule, which requires the familiar windshield stickers that appear on used cars at dealers throughout the country and give consumers critical information about who will pay for repairs if something goes wrong with the car they buy.
  • In addition, the Dodd - Frank Act passed by Congress in 2010 gives the FTC new and expanded authority regarding motor vehicle dealers. Since 2011, the FTC has been gathering information on possible consumer protection issues that may arise in the sale, financing or lease of motor vehicles through a series of roundtables and by seeking public comments.