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Dealers Must Avoid Claims of Harassment

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 12:10
It seems there is a new story every day about sexual harassment in the workplace. As a a result, employees are now willing speak up about comments or conduct that may have been afraid to speak up about in the past, said attorney Matthew Simpson of Fisher & Phillips LLP. “It’s not they type of situation where you want to walk up to the line and not cross it,” Simpson said. “You want to stay far away from that line.” Simpson said dealers already face elevated scrutiny due to the reputation of their business. This makes avoiding any additional accusations even more important. Harassment can come anybody in the store, including employees, vendors and even customers. The legal standard is fairly high, Simpson said. It requires a sever offense or unwelcome action or conduct that’s sever or offensive. So saying a woman looks good in a dress might not meet the legal requirement.  Saying it on a daily basis gets closer. Simpson said dealers need to take steps to prevent any claims of harassment. This means training staff on proper behavior and taking any claims seriously. All this comes with a cost, but the cost of lawsuits and bad publicity are much higher.

AG Sues Dealer for Failing to Deliver Titles

Monday, 11 December 2017 22:02
The Ohio attorney general announced a consumer protection lawsuit against a Cleveland used car seller accused of failing to deliver vehicle titles to customers.
The lawsuit accuses New School Auto LLC and owner Abigail Ferry of violating Ohio’s consumer protection laws.
 The Ohio attorney general’s office has received dozens of complaints against New School Auto of 3855 Ridge Road in Cleveland. Some consumers complained that they never received titles to vehicles they bought from the dealership, resulting in 15 claims totaling $33,876 being paid from the state’s Title Defect Recision Fund to help resolve consumers’ title complaints.

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FTC Settles with Dealer for Spanish-Language Ads

Friday, 08 December 2017 04:35
Cowboy AG, LLC, a Dallas, Texas, company doing business as Cowboy Toyota and Cowboy Scion (Cowboy Toyota), has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceptively advertised loan and leasing terms in ads placed in a regional Spanish-language newspaper.The FTC’s administrative complaint charges that Cowboy Toyota ran full-page Spanish-language ads claiming that consumers could buy or lease a vehicle at certain favorable terms that were prominently stated in Spanish in the ads, with material limitations to those terms provided only in fine-print English at the bottom of the ads. The complaint alleges the dealerships violated the FTC Act by misrepresenting many claims, including that:No down payment was required;
 The advertised low monthly payments were available to consumers who financed their purchases;
 The advertised interest rates, monthly payments, and other terms were available to consumers with bad credit; and
 Certain new 2016 Toyotas were available for purchase at the time of the ads in 2017.According to the FTC, Cowboy Toyota’s misrepresentation of the cost of purchasing or leasing cars, qualifications or restrictions for financing or leasing cars, and the availability of cars violated the FTC Act. The dealership also failed to clearly and conspicuously disclose credit or lease terms they are required to state under the Truth in Lending Act or the Consumer Leasing Act when they touted certain “triggering” terms of the credit or lease, such as the monthly payment.

CFPB Fines Xerox for Misreporting Auto Credit Performance

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 23:47
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against Xerox Business Services, LLC, now called Conduent Business Services, for software errors that led to incorrect consumer information about more than 1 million borrowers being sent to credit reporting agencies. The company also failed to notify all of its auto finance clients about known flaws in its software that led to the errors. The consent order requires Xerox to pay a $1.1 million civil penalty, explain its mistakes to its finance clients, and fix its faulty software.Xerox Business Services operated and customized a third-party software application for five auto creditors. The software automatically generated and transmitted information about borrowers’ auto loans to consumer reporting agencies. Lenders use information furnished to the consumer reporting agencies when considering whether to issue a loan and on what terms, so it is essential the information is accurate. Widespread defects in the finance-servicing software that Xerox used led creditors to report inaccurate information about consumers’ performance on their contracts. In 2016, its reports for more than one million of the auto creditors’ 6.4 million customer accounts had one or more errors. Xerox had acquired the rights to this software from its creator, an independent software developer. When creditors asked for certain features, Xerox would modify the software’s source code. Between 2004 and 2010, one modification was supposed to enable three of Xerox’s clients to provide consumer data in the Metro 2 Format. Metro 2 is the standard industry format used for furnishing this information in a uniform way to credit reporting agencies. However, Xerox’s modifications were based on a flawed, unreleased version of Metro 2 source code that led to the reporting of incorrect consumer information. This violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.