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The car shopping process can be challenging — and expensive. Deceptive and unfair practices can make the shopping process even more confusing and costly. That’s why the FTC recently passed the CARS Rule. And it’s why the FTC and State of Connecticut just sued Manchester City Nissan (MCN), its owners, and some key employees.

The agencies say MCN charged buyers junk fees — hidden and bogus fees that can harm consumers and undercut honest businesses. Car buyers paid thousands of dollars for certification fees, add-on products, and government fees that buyers had already said they didn’t want to pay for, didn’t know about, or that MCN tricked them into buying. The lawsuit claims MCN routinely tacked on certification fees that ranged anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars beyond the price of the car — even though manufacturer Nissan’s rules say the dealer must not charge such a fee. Sometimes MCN didn’t complete the certification process for the supposedly “certified” vehicle, meaning buyers paid twice for a certification they didn’t actually get. The lawsuit also claims that MCN charged buyers for add-on products, like GAP agreements or service contracts — that buyers weren’t aware of or didn’t authorize — and that the dealership inflated state registration fees on buyer’s contracts.

The FTC’s CARS Rule requires accurate information and transparency and fights two common types of illegal tactics people face when buying a car: bait-and-switch tactics and junk fees. That means a dealer must tell you the all-in price for the vehicle, excluding only required government charges. And a dealer can’t charge you for products or services that won’t benefit you, like a warranty that’s duplicative of a manufacturer’s warranty.

Thinking about buying a car? Read this post to learn more about your rights under the new rule. And if you believe a dealership charged hidden fees or used deceptive practices, please tell us at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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ftc.gov/carsrule

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Ahamed Ashiq
January 08, 2024

Good

Robert Finnigan
January 08, 2024

Thank you for the good work. Nice to read the name of the Dealer involved, not just a pronoun. My guess is that there will be a lengthy time involved in getting the CARS act out there and obeyed. Sort of like the NoSurpriseAct which is still not being enforced in AZ or TX or by Medicare. TX has sued twice in that matter, won twice, and is suing again.

PAUL C FERRANDO
January 08, 2024

Good information. Thank You. Paul

KALEMILAK GEBR…
January 08, 2024

nice

Mary Amalbert-Murray
January 08, 2024

In October, I went to Crowley KIA to purchase a used KIA Soul. I was told that there were many of them on the lot for sale. While I was there, I was interviewed by two sales associates that collected my information. I was told that they would get back to me in a few days. Someone did call me with information on a totally different car, and a totally different request on a downpayment.
I believe that the sales associates were trying to run a price hike for a vehicle which I didn't ask to purchase. I have experience as a Sales Associate for two different car dealerships. So therefore, I can see red flags when presented to me! Maybe the government/FTC should check that dealership out.

Chai
January 08, 2024

Will this apply to motorcycle dealers as well?

Ralph
January 08, 2024

Buying a new car is right up there with having root canal.All car dealers are the same.How many times has your salesman got up and said he had to talk to the manager.He probably just took a walk long enough to let you think he was really trying to get you a better deal.

Pat Jorczak
January 08, 2024

WOW. You are REALLY DOING YOUR JOB!

Ricardo
January 08, 2024

Excellent ! We need something like that in FL where the FTC is absent whether it is wire fraud, scam or else. Corruption at its highest point near 60%. Please protect the consumers!

David Logan
January 08, 2024

I strongly urge that the FTC investigate Middletown Nissan for these same allegations. Luckily, for me their underhanded tactics were a dealbreaker.

Thomas Castriota
January 08, 2024

It's important to remember that the recent FTC action against a car dealer does not represent the majority of car dealerships. Just like in any industry, there may be some "bad actors," but this doesn't mean that all car dealers operate in the same way. With millions of automotive transactions happening every year, cases like these are rare and only account for less than 0.25% of 1% of the total number of transactions. Reference Consumer Data Book 2021 and S&P Global: Wards Intelligence.

Rachael
January 08, 2024

Same thing happened to me at Manchester City Nissan back in 2021 I bought a used vehicle and the finance manager said he was adding on a couple free things for my car and it ended up raising the price of my car, thought because I signed off on everything that I couldn't say anything I should have!! Horrible

Diane Carr
January 10, 2024

Thank you for all the information you provide to Consumer's.
There are many scams to take our money you just have to know what to look for. Your site gives us that... Thank you again... 🥰

R Pate
January 10, 2024

Just in time! Currently turning in a Leased Nissan. Haven't inked any Agreement documents yet. Reassuring to know of the Cars Act. I will read it before finalizing any purchase or leasing Terms of Agreement.

Thank You, FTC. Gov.

R Pate
Lansing, Michigan