Consumers for
Auto
Reliability and
Safety ®

Consumer Action Alert

Fed up with auto dealers taking billions in taxpayer dollars, with NO reforms for consumers? Tired of seeing auto dealers get billions in taxpayer dollars, while their victims get little or no relief? Meanwhile, consumer complaints against auto dealers are #1 and soaring. You can help stop crooked auto dealers from getting away with cheating their customers, including military Servicemembers and their families -- costing us tens of billions of dollars and putting our national security at risk through shady practices such as:

In Washington, auto dealers got the U.S. House of Representatives to give them a pass, so the Consumer Financial Protection Agency will be barred from policing dealers' predatory, abusive lending. Unless the U.S. Senate changes that, crooked auto dealers will keep getting away with cheating their customers -- costing us tens of billions of dollars through shady practices such as:

•  Selling cars they don't even own, destroying car buyers' credit and costing many their jobs

•  Falsifying credit applications, to fatten the kickbacks they get from lenders

•  Engaging in bait-and-switch financing (advertising low rates, then charging higher ones --     even when the buyers qualify for a lower rate), sometimes raising the rate AFTER you buy

•  "Loan packing" high-profit add-ons like "theft protection," GAP, & service contracts

42 pro-consumer and civil rights groups have appealed to the U.S. Treasury Auto Task Force and Congress for help. But auto dealers -- after gobbling billions in taxpayer dollars -- paid off politicians, who have failed to provide any assistance for car buyers, or any reforms to hold crooked dealers accountable. Instead, they just keep giving dealers more of our money.

What can you do to protect yourself? 

•  If you still have payments due on your car loan, don't trade in your car.  Dealers promise to pay    off the remainder, adding it into your next loan.  But then they fail to pay it off, ruining your credit.    Law enforcement officials can't keep up with the volume of complaints about this.

•  If you plan to buy a used car from a dealer, insist that they show you the title before you buy.    Make sure the VIN on the title and the description match the car.

•  Avoid add-on products like "lifetime" oil changes, GAP insurance, or extended service    contracts. Often, car dealers sell these items at a huge profit, then just pocket the money and    close their doors. Months later, when you have a claim, there is no one to back it.

•  Never get financing at the dealership. Instead, pay cash or pre-qualify for a loan from a    reputable bank or credit union. You can almost always get better rates that way.  Even if a dealer    advertises "0% interest,"  most buyers don't get those rates.


Want to help change things for the better?

Congress is deciding NOW whether to protect car buyers -- or auto dealers. Call your member of Congress today, and tell them you want auto sales reform NOW. Every call counts, especially if you have an auto rip-off story to tell. Here's the number to call: U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121. They will route you to the right Congressional office. Or you can look up your Congressional representatives here: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues/basics/.

At this stage, phone calls are more effective than e-mails. Thanks for helping save car buyers billions, and restore some fairness and justice to the auto marketplace.

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CARS is a national, award-winning,
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CarMax sells cars with deadly
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Buyer Beware! Auto dealers use
forced arbitration
to get away with cheating customers
Even when car dealers flagrantly violate consumer protection laws, you may not be able to get justice. That's because almost 100% of car dealers stick "forced arbitration" clauses into their contracts. If they cheat you, and you try to take them to court, they can just laugh at you. That's because they can get your case kicked into arbitration -- a secret, rigged process that favors big, corrupt lawbreakers. The dealer often gets to choose the arbitration firm, and even the arbitrator who hears your case. Unlike judges, arbitrators are perfectly free to ignore the law.

Dealers claim that arbitration is quick. But Jon Perz in San Diego had to wait over 8 years in "arbitration limbo" before he finally got justice, after Mossy Toyota sold him an unsafe car. CARS produced a short video exposing what happened. More than 1.3 million people have watched our video on YouTube:
See the billboard CARS displayed
right next to Mossy Toyota's car lot,
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