Consumers for
Reliability and
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C.A.R.S. Activities 2011

Federal Trade Commission delves into auto scams, and invites president of CARS to present consumer perspective at public forums.

Roundtable in San Antonio, TX focuses on the impact of auto sales scams on military troops

Panelists include representatives of the auto industry. consumer organizations, and the Armed Forces, including Holly Petreaus, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Office of Servicemember Affairs and wife of Gen. David Petreaus

Roundtable in Washington, DC focuses on types of auto sales scams, and how to address them

More details, including a link to transcripts of the roundtables, are posted on the FTC's website, here:

CARS plays leading role in passage of new law to curb sales of unsafe rebuilt wrecked vehicles

More: Van Nuys News Presss report

CARS helps expose common auto sales scam --

CARS contributed to a report by ABC News zeroing in on shady auto dealer practice -- bait-and-switch financing, also known as yo-yo financing
More: See ABC News report

Tip for car buyers: The best way to avoid becoming a victim of yo-yo financing is to either pay cash or get a loan from another source, such as a credit union. NEVER get financing at the dealership. Even if the dealer claims you qualify for 0% financing, and you both sign a contract at 0%, they may try to change the terms after you drive off, and if you don't agree to a higher interest rate, they may repossess the car or report it as stolen.

CARS opposes attempt by Republicans in Congress to stall desperately needed protections against unsafe products, pollution and financial scams

U.S. House Republicans have proposed radical new legislation that, if adopted, would eliminate the ability of government agencies to simply do their jobs, and protect the American people and their families from unsafe products, pollution, and financial scams. The proposed bills, backed by powerful special interests, would give those special interests even more power than they already have. It would also let them and their cronies in Congress bully agencies that are trying to protect the public. Among the unsafe products that would be unleashed on the public:
  • Unsafe rental cars that are under a safety recall, but the rental car company has not bothered to have them fixed, prior to renting it to the public
  • Used cars that have been recalled for safety defects, but haven't been repaired yet

    CARS contributes to major series exposing shady practices at "Buy Here Pay Here" auto dealerships

    Over a period of more than a year, CARS provided expertise, consumer contacts, and other information that contributed to Los Angeles Times reporter Ken Bensinger's highly acclaimed multi-part series about predatory practices at "Buy Here Pay Here" auto dealerships. The dealers prey on vulnerable low-income consumers who have credit problems, or are students and have no credit histories at all, and overcharge them for shoddy vehicles that tend to break down or need major repairs soon after purchase. Some hedge fund investors see this as a growing source of funds they can package, securitize and sell on Wall Street.

    Part One: A Viscious Cycle in the Used Car Business
    How auto dealers profit from "churning" used cars that break down soon after purchase and need expensive repairs the buyers can't afford
    The Los Angeles Times
    by Ken Bensinger
    October 30, 2011

    Read more: Buy Here Pay Here part 1
    Part Two: Wall Street investors place big bets on Buy-Here-Pay-Here auto dealers
    Exploiting the poor pays big dividends for fat cat lenders
    The Los Angeles Times
    by Ken Bensinger
    November 1, 2011

    Read more: Buy Here Pay Here part 2
    Part Three: A hard road for the poor in need of cars
    Non-profit programs help struggling families get better jobs, improve their education, and transform their lives
    The Los Angeles Times
    by Ken Bensinger
    November 3, 2011

    Read more: Buy Here Pay Here part 3
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    C.A.R.S. Mission
    CARS is a national, award-winning,
    non-profit auto safety and consumer
    advocacy organization working to
    save lives, prevent injuries, and
    protect consumers from
    auto-related fraud and abuse.

    to everyone who has supported CARS' work, including the more than 573,500 people who have contributed financially to CARS, signed or shared CARS' petitions, and / or posted personal comments.

    Read more here

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    Buyer Beware: CarMax sells cars with killer safety defects.
    Advertises cars passed "rigorous inspection" and qualify as "CarMax Quality Certified" without getting safety recall defects fixed.

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    Take Action
    Sign CARS' petition: Tell CarMax to stop selling unsafe, recalled cars to consumers
    Buyer beware!  
    NEVER trust that a dealer will have the safety recall repairs performed before selling you a car that is being recalled. Dealers are so eager to make a buck, fast, they are unwilling to delay sales long enough to get the safety recall repairs done -- for FREE.

    Plus -- dealers are actively opposing legislation in Washington, DC and in California that would prohibit them from renting, selling, leasing, or loaning unsafe, recalled vehicles to consumers, unless the safety recall repairs have been performed first.

    CARS' tips on how to buy a safe, reliable used car — without having to risk going to a dealer:

    Top 12 used car buying tips

    Dealers playing "used car roulette" with customers' lives — and opposing legislation to make them stop

    Did a dealer sell you an unsafe, recalled car? We want to hear your story. Contact CARS

    Buyer Beware! Auto dealers' one-
    sided contracts can ruin your life
    Even if the car dealer breaks the law, you might not be able to get justice. Forced arbitration clauses hidden in the fine print can keep you tied up for years. The dealer often gets to pick the arbitrator who hears your case. CARS exposed how a dealer abused arbitration, after selling Jon Perz an unsafe car. CARS' video has received over 1.3 million views on YouTube. Jon and his attorney eventually won, but because of forced arbitration, Jon had to wait 8 years for justice:
    Think this is outrageous? Call your member of Congress at 202-224-3121, and urge them to vote for the Arbitration Fairness Act. More about the AFA, now pending before Congress:
    Here's what we're doing to bring
    more attention to Jon's plight:
    Used Car Nightmare logo

    Jon Perz has started a new petition
    on the website
    You're invited to check it out and send a message letting Mossy Toyota know what you think:
    used car nightmare petition

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