In the Matter of Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. d/b/a Coggin Automotive Group and Crown Automotive Group, File No. 1523103
I respectfully submit that this proposed consent agreement is absolutely horrendous for the American consumer. It would allow Asbury Automotive Group to advertise that a used car is "certified" or "safe" even if it has unrepaired safety recalls that have been demonstrated to kill or injure people. As a result, this agreement would specifically allow the dealer to engage in fraud, misrepresentation and other unfair and deceptive practices. You simply cannot claim a car is certified or safe if it contains safety defects. It is either certified and safe, or it is defective; it cannot simultaneously be both. No amount of "disclosure" can change that basic fact. It is unconscionable that the FTC would intentionally allow any business or person to knowingly commit fraud, and is directly contrary to the mission of the Federal Trade Commission. This proposed agreement would also undercut the laws of many states that currently prohibit Asbury Automotive Group (and other businesses) from engaging in such fraudulent and deceptive conduct. Because other businesses in the automotive field simply prohibit dealers from selling cars with unrepaired safety recalls, approving this agreement sends a signal to those businesses that they should no longer keep such prohibitions. This, in turn, will spur a "race to the bottom" where the losers are American consumers, especially those who will be killed or injured as a result of the conduct the FTC is poised to approve. In my opinion, approving this agreement will mean that the FTC (and the individuals at the FTC who are personally involved in this) will have blood on their hands from those victimized by this practice. I further respectfully submit that the FTC itself should be investigated by the FTC Office of Inspector General for allowing such misconduct by the FTC and its staff, since it is directly contrary to the stated mission of the FTC "to protect consumers". Please reject this proposed consent agreement.