Consumers for
Reliability and
Safety ®

Where to Complain

Cheated by a shady auto dealer? Scammed over auto financing?
You have lots of company.
Year after year, auto dealers and auto sales rank #1 in consumer complaints to state and local consumer protection agencies and the Better Business Bureau. Usually, the agencies are so overwhelmed by complaints they don't have enough resources or staff to handle them all.

The good news -- consumers now have two new cops on the beat in Washington, DC who actually want to hear from you about your car-buying problems. Thanks to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform law, the Federal Trade Commission and newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have new authority to act, to protect consumers. Before, the FTC was preoccupied with home mortgage issues, identity theft, telemarketing abuses, and other types of scams. Now -- for the first time in decades -- it is making auto sales issues a priority.

If you were ripped off by an auto dealer, it's very important to complain to the FTC. The Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction over auto dealers, and can now issue rules to curb unfair and deceptive acts committed by auto dealers. If the FTC gets enough complaints from consumers, it may also take enforcement action, and target individual dealers who have a history of engaging in bad practices. Eventually, that may result in victims receiving restitution or other relief. The agency may also issue a new rule to prohibit the shady practices.

The more consumer complaints the FTC gets, the better. Consumer complaints are a HUGELY important factor in whether the agency decides to act.

Where to complain:

If you were scammed by a dealer who sells only used cars, at a smaller independent car lot, then it's a good idea to also tell your story to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB has jurisdiction over so called "Buy-Here-Pay-Here" car lots, and they are eager to act. Like the FTC, they need to hear from consumers to be able to justify moving forward.

Where to complain to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

Note: It may take months for either agency to act. So keep in mind that complaining to them is important, but not a substitute for getting legal advice and taking your own legal action.

To find an attorney who is expert in winning against unscrupulous dealers or manufacturers,
check out the "find an attorney" section at the National Association of Consumer Advocates,

Read more:

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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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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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