Car safety called into question by the FTC

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CarMax, others settle US actions over ads on used car safety

The Federal Trade Commission announced the agreements with CarMax, the largest U.S. used-car dealer, Asbury Automotive Group Inc. and West-Herr Automotive Group.

The agency also finalized agreements in similar cases with General Motors Co. and two other retailers.

Under the FTC's proposed consent orders, which are open to public comment through Jan. 17, CarMax, Asbury and West-Herr can't claim that used vehicles are safe unless recall repairs are made or open recalls are disclosed. The companies were not fined.

They also have to notify recent customers by mail that cars they bought as far back as July 1, 2013 may be subject to recalls.

Companies that advertise car inspections and safety must be honest about recalls, the agency says. The FTC says it has taken about 40 actions to protect car buyers since 2012.

CarMax noted that it will change some language about recalls in its advertising. The company, based in Richmond, Virginia, said in a statement that it shares vehicle-specific recall information in its stores and online to ensure that customers are aware of them before buying cars.

By permitting the companies to disclose that cars may be subject to recalls, the FTC is allowing them to advertise that recalled and unrepaired used cars are safe and have been “repaired for safety,” Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety said in a statement.

Read full article and learn more about Deceptive Advertising here.

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Disclaimer:  This article is provided for informational purposes only. It’s not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is created. Neither the author nor FTC Guardian, Inc. is endorsed by the Federal Trade Commission.

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