Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter TT of Longwood, Inc., also doing business as Cory Fairbanks Mazda #00006

Submission Number:
Parker Lichtenstein
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter TT of Longwood, Inc., also doing business as Cory Fairbanks Mazda
Matter Number:


Along with Cory Fairbanks Mazda, I have noted for several years that many central FL car dealerships employ what I have long considered to be highly deceptive price advertising in local newspaper ads. Typically, the ads picture several various vehicles along with large print 'SALE' prices. Checking the 'fine print' statements at the bottom of the ad page, one discovers that the 'SALE' price usually does not include a 'dealer fee' of from a few hundred to nearly one thousand dollars, plus a $1,000 to $3,000 cash down payment or equal value trade-in, plus a several hundred dollar acquisition fee for vehicle leases, plus financing only through a specified lender or lose thousands of $$ in discounts and incentives. For example, here is the verbatim 'small print' text from one dealer's ad that appeared in the Friday, April 10th, 2015 edition of the Orlando (FL) Sentinel newspaper: [ *Prices plus tax, tag, title, $699.95 dealer charge, plus dealer & factory installed options. Must be a one-to-one member. Must qualify for NMAC Financing. Not in conjunction with any other offer. Rebates assigned to dealer. Two or more of each model in stock. **Payments based on closed-end lease, must qualify and lease with NMAC. $2,999 down and first payment (includes $595 acquisition fee), payments plus tax, tag, and dealer fee or factory installed options and 479 appearance package, 12,000 annual miles. TOTAL SAVINGS ON ADVERTIZED MODELS ONLY IN STOCK. **On select new 2014 or 2015 NISSANS. Must qualify for NMAC financing; maximum 60 months. Pictures for illustration purposes. Not responsible for typographical errors. Nissan rebates / cash back subject to change. Must finance with NMAC approved or lose $2,000 in discounts and incentives. Good day of publication only. ] Note: The ad page for the dealership which is the subject of the above 'small print' example, also had, in large print at the top of the ad page the following statement: "SAVINGS UP TO $20,000 OFF". And, yes, there was in fact a (1 only) vehicle listed with that discount - a car with an M.S.R.P. of $113,400. I doubt that very many car buyers would believe that having only one single high-priced vehicle qualifying for a $20,000 discount would justify a bold type, top of the page statement: "SAVINGS UP TO $20,000 OFF" It is my firm belief that ALL business advertisements, not only car dealerships, should be required (regulated) to print/publish/display, etc. ONLY one 'sale' price, to include ALL other 'added' fees, options, dealer 'prep' charge, dealer installed items, required customer cash or trade-in 'down payments', etc. No more 'bottom of the page fine print' disclaimers, added charges, fees, exclusions, etc. I make it a point to never buy from ANY business, car or otherwise, that uses misleading price advertising. And I firmly believe that car dealerships, in particular, need to be held to a new higher standard of honest, above-board, non-misleading clarity in their sale pricing ads!