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09 January 2014

Federal Trade Commission Cracks Down on Nissan of South Atlanta for Deceptive Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that Nissan of South Atlanta agreed to settle deceptive advertising charges, after the FTC found that the car dealership told consumers they could finance a vehicle purchase with low monthly payments when, in fact, the payments were temporary "teasers" after which consumers would owe a different amount.

According to the FTC complaint, which can be read here, Nissan of South Atlanta ran advertisements telling potential car buyers that they could own a vehicle for $0 down and $99 per month.

"The advertisements fail to state clearly and conspicuously that consumers will pay $99 per month for only the first two months of an 84-month period. The advertisements also fail to state the amount of each payment beyond the first two months of financing," the FTC complaint against Nissan of South Atlanta reads.

"Buying or leasing a car is a big deal, and car ads are an important source of information for serious shoppers," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Dealers' ads need to spell out costs and other important terms customers can count on. If they don't, dealers can count on the FTC to take action."

The Federal Trade Commissions crack down on the metro Atlanta car dealership is part of a larger, nationwide program called "Operation Steer Clear"; aimed at protecting consumers in the auto marketplace.

Nine other car dealerships across the nation were listed in the Operation Steer Clear crackdown for making a variety of misrepresentations in print, Internet, and video advertisements that violated the FTC Act, falsely leading consumers to believe they could purchase vehicles for low prices, finance vehicles with low monthly payments, and/or make no upfront payment to lease vehicles.