The FTC’s intention to enforce laws against false advertising and unfair and deceptive acts and practices involving auto dealers’ sales of unsafe, unrepaired recalled used cars, particularly vehicles advertised and sold as “certified,” is laudable. This is an important public safety and consumer protection issue. While we applaud the Commission’s decision to engage in this area, the proposed consent agreements would fail to protect consumers from false and misleading statements, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and – most importantly – unsafe cars. The consent orders should be amended to prohibit dealers from selling any “certified” vehicle to a consumer if it has unperformed safety recalls. The consent orders should not rely on mere disclosure of a safety defect at all, but it would be particularly harmful to rely on disclosures of open safety recalls when a vehicle is advertised as having passed an inspection, or being “certified,” or safe.
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