Nicole Frush Munro | Hudson Cook, LLP
Beginning in April, the Federal Trade Commission will host a series of roundtables around the country to gather information on consumers’ experiences when buying or leasing motor vehicles. The FTC intends to use the roundtables to explore consumer protection issues pertaining to the sales and leasing of cars, SUVs and light trucks by dealers over which they have exclusive or concurrent (with the CFPB) authority.
The roundtables will be held in three to five cities around the United States and will provide an opportunity for regulators, consumer advocates, industry participants, and other interested parties to discuss consumer protection issues in connection with motor vehicle sales and leasing. As stated in the federal register notice introducing the first roundtable, “the motor vehicle roundtables are intended to inform the FTC regarding what consumer protection issues, if any, exist that could be addressed through a possible rulemaking or other initiatives.” All of the roundtables will be free and open to the public.
The first roundtable will take place on April 12 at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, the co-host of the event. FTC staff will identify and invite people with relevant expertise, including representatives from the industry and consumer advocates, to participate as panelists, and may invite others who submit requests in response to the Federal Register notice.
Tom Hudson from Hudson Cook’s Maryland office and Michael Benoit from Hudson Cook’s Washington, D.C. office have been invited by the FTC staff to participate in the Detroit roundtable. Tom will serve on a panel that will explore the auto finance transaction in the dealership. Michael will serve on a panel that will discuss the use of GPS devices as a collection tool.
Topics proposed for comment and for the roundtable include the following:
Whether you think these are valid questions or an indictment of motor vehicle dealer practices – it’s good know that Tom and Michael will be there to assist with the responses.
Note that we have not provided all the questions or all of the subparts of the questions presented for discussion by the FTC. These are available in the federal register at this link.
Dates for the additional roundtables to be held in 2011 will be posted on the FTC Website.