The Federal Trade Commission will host its third roundtable on November 17, 2011, in Washington, D.C., to gather information on consumers’ experiences in the leasing of motor vehicles at dealerships. The roundtable also will address what has been learned about auto sales, financing and leasing at all of the roundtables; what consumer and business education initiatives would be useful; and any practices that may harm consumers significantly or that are widespread.
Buying or leasing a car is among the most expensive transactions that many consumers make. Financing obtained at a dealership may provide benefits for many consumers, such as convenience, special manufacturer-sponsored programs, access to a variety of banks and financial entities, or access to credit otherwise unavailable to a buyer. Dealer-arranged financing, however, can be a complicated, opaque process and could potentially involve unfair or deceptive practices.
The FTC’s first roundtable, on consumer protection issues involving dealership sales and financing of cars, SUVs, and light trucks, was held in Detroit in April. The second roundtable, on military consumers’ experiences in buying and financing motor vehicles, the role of financial literacy in consumers’ understanding of that process, and fair lending issues, was held in San Antonio in August.
The roundtable will be held at the FTC’s Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. It is free and open to the public.
Pre-registration is not required but is encouraged to help staff plan the event and to expedite attendees’ passage through security. Details can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/motorvehicles/. The FTC will offer a live webcast of the event. The Commission staff will identify and invite people with relevant expertise to participate and may invite others to participate who have submitted requests. Those who want to be panelists at the roundtable may e-mail their name and affiliation to MotorVehicleRoundtables3@ftc.gov on or before November 4. Please note that if you submitted a request to participate in the prior roundtables, you need not submit another request to participate in the Washington, D.C. Roundtable. All requests to participate that were submitted will be considered. At this time, no other roundtables have been scheduled.
Those who wish to submit comments on roundtable topics or on motor vehicle sales, finance and lease issues more generally may file comments at http://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/motorvehicleroundtables3 per instructions on the web-based form. The FTC will accept comments on roundtable topics or on motor vehicle sales, finance and lease issues until at least January 31, 2012. More information will be posted at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/motorvehicles/ as it becomes available.
Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. If you need an accommodation related to a disability, please call Carole Reynolds at 202-326-3224. Your request should include a detailed description of the accommodations you need and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please provide advance notice. (FTC File No. P104811; staff contacts are Jim Chen, Carole Reynolds, and Robin Thurston, Division of Financial Practices, Federal Trade Commission; 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580, 202-326-3224.)
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.