Car Dealerships

News & Analysis as of

The Key to Steering Clear of the FTC’s Crack Down on Car Dealership Advertisements

Car dealerships are notorious for running loud, flashy ads with too-good-to-be-true offers for outrageous deals to buy or lease cars. Some dealerships downplay or even hide the seemingly endless list of qualifications on...more

Why Does the CFPB Want to Curb Auto Lenders’ Discretion to Charge Higher or Lower Interest Rates?

On July 14, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) and Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced they had reached a “groundbreaking settlement” with American Honda Finance Corporation (“Honda”).(1) The...more

It Is Now Easier To Draft Class Action Waivers and Arbitration Agreements

Last week, the California Supreme Court provided additional guidance as to how to draft an enforceable arbitration agreement and how Courts should analyze whether mandatory arbitration provisions can be held unconscionable...more

CFPB Refers Another Auto Finance Company to DOJ on Disparate Impact Allegations

Not long after taking action against American Honda Finance Corporation under the disparate impact doctrine for allegedly discriminatory auto loan pricing, the CFPB has struck again—this time reportedly referring Santander...more

Adjusting to CFPB's Auto Finance Examination Authority

On Aug. 9, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule that enables the CFPB to supervise the biggest nonbank automobile finance companies took effect, subjecting the auto finance industry to new and unprecedented...more

Ask Fisher & Phillips: Our Top 10 Questions From Dealers (Part Three)

This edition of “Ask Fisher & Phillips” picks up where our last newsletter left off – here is the concluding segment of the “Top 10 Questions from Dealers” from the past year....more

The California Supreme Court Holds Consumer Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Provisions Are Enforceable Under Federal Law

On August 3, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited arbitration decision in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC, No. B228027. The Court held that the arbitration provision found in a standard form auto...more

Dealership Handbooks Remain In The NLRB's Crosshairs

As we advised almost a year ago, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recently been subjecting dealership handbooks to increased legal scrutiny. Whether or not your dealership is unionized, your employment policies...more

Preventing Whistleblower Claims in the Automotive Industry

Whistleblower and retaliation claims are some of the most costly claims brought by employees and they are on the rise. OSHA, who governs complaints for over 20 whistleblower statutes, reports a 58% increase in whistleblower...more

New York AG Schneiderman Settles with Auto Dealers Over Alleged Deceptive Auto Advertising

On July 14, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced two settlements with auto dealers over allegedly deceptive advertising practices. The first settlement was reached with a White Plains-based auto dealer that...more

Supreme Court Slams The Brakes On Challenge To Disparate Act

As of now, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits dealers from unintentional, or “disparate impact,” discrimination in setting dealer reserves in auto financing. This disparate impact can result from policies or...more

Add-On Products Continue To Present Litigation Risks For Lenders

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent action against two credit card vendors regarding credit monitoring and identity theft protection services is a reminder of the legal risks associated with certain add-on...more

Regulators Keep Their Feet on the Gas in Actions Against Auto Lenders; NY AG Latest to Bring Suit

Why it matters - The automotive industry is continuing to face heavy scrutiny from regulators. On the heels of a Federal Trade Commission operation and new oversight from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the...more

CFPB Brings First ECOA Disparate Impact Action Post-Inclusive Communities

Just over 18 months after bringing a disparate impact-based ECOA case against Ally Financial (“Ally”) for discriminatory auto loan pricing, the CFPB has struck again—this time taking action against American Honda Finance...more

Maryland High Court: Mandatory Arbitration Hinges on “Entire Agreement,” Not “Single-Document Rule”

A mandatory arbitration provision is enforceable even when not contained within the four corners of a retail installment sales contract between a consumer and an automobile dealer, Maryland's highest court has ruled....more

FTC Resolves Claims Against Auto Dealers Based on Alleged Deceptive Advertising

On June 29, the FTC filed two administrative complaints and issued proposed orders against two Las Vegas auto dealers to resolve allegations that they engaged in misleading advertising practices that misrepresented the...more

New York AG Announces Nearly $14 Million Agreement with Local Auto Dealers Over Deceptive Sales Practices, Plans to Sue an...

On June 17, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an approximate $14 million agreement with three jointly-owned auto dealers in connection with the alleged unlawful sale of add-on products, such as credit...more

6 Ways for Car Dealers to Avoid a $540,000 Sexual Harassment Jury Verdict

Many dealers took notice of the recent sexual harassment jury verdict against a Massachusetts Lexus dealer, in which a jury awarded $500,000 in punitive damages against the dealership although it awarded only $40,000 in...more

FTC follows in CFPB footsteps with GLBA privacy notices

The FTC recently proposed amendments to its Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) rules requiring motor vehicle dealers to send their customers an annual privacy notice. The amendments would allow motor vehicle dealers to notify...more

CFPB Expands Supervision to Nonbank Auto Finance Companies

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published a rule that expands the CFPB’s supervision to nonbank auto finance companies for the first time. The CFPB currently supervises automobile financing at the largest...more

FTC Follows in CFPB Footsteps with GLBA Privacy Notices

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently proposed amendments to its Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) rules requiring motor vehicle dealers to send their customers an annual privacy notice. The amendments would allow motor...more

UPDATE: CFPB Publishes Rule Authorizing it to Supervise Auto Finance Companies

On June 10, 2015, the CFPB published a new regulation that has been dreaded by the auto finance industry for more than a year. Following up on the rule it proposed in June 2014, the CFPB published a final rule on June 10,...more

You Should Know - June 2015

In This Issue: - What Are Lemons? - Your Rights - Avoid a Lemon - Excerpt from Is This Your Car? - Your Rights and How to Avoid a Lemon: If you buy a pair of jeans at the GAP that don’t fit, you...more

CFPB Finalizes Automobile Finance Larger Participant Rule and Publishes Examination Procedures

On June 10, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a final rule that will allow it to supervise larger nonbank automobile finance companies. Accompanying the rule, it also published the procedures...more

CFPB Finalizes Rule to Supervise Nonbank Auto Finance Companies, Releases Auto Finance Examination Procedures for Banks, Nonbanks

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued a final rule allowing it to supervise nonbank companies that qualify as “larger participants of a market for automobile financing.” Relatedly, it adopted simultaneously a...more

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