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FTC CARS Rule and CFPB Insights from the 2024 NIADA Convention & Expo

Conference scene at the luxurious Wynn in Las Vegas during the NIADA Convention, featuring a prominent speaker at a podium with the NIADA Convention logo in the background. The engaged audience consists of automotive industry professionals. Visual elements include scales of justice and documents, symbolizing legal and regulatory discussions. The atmosphere is professional and dynamic, highlighting the significance of compliance and regulatory issues in the automotive industry.

We're thrilled to share our recent experience at the NIADA Convention and Expo, at the Wynn in Las Vegas. Our CEO, Jim Ganther, had the opportunity to attend several enlightening sessions. Check out our recap below.

Unpacking the FTC CARS Rule

The FTC CARS Rule, designed to protect consumers by ensuring transparent disclosure of vehicle pricing, has left many in the industry seeking clarity. Eric and Mark provided a comprehensive analysis, but unfortunately, their insights highlighted more questions than answers. Here are some key points from their session:

  1. Ambiguity in Definitions: Eric and Mark emphasized the pervasive ambiguity within the FTC CARS Rule. The lack of clear definitions, especially regarding Express, Informed Consent, creates significant challenges for compliance. Mark drew a compelling analogy, likening the FTC’s guidance to a fiancée who tells you what she doesn't want for dinner but not what she does.

  2. The Offering Price Dilemma: A critical component of the CARS Rule is the requirement for dealers to disclose the full price of every good or service, including both cash price and financed cost. However, the rule's ambiguity leaves dealers questioning whether this Offering Price needs to generate Express, Informed Consent in every document it appears, such as menus, product contracts, buyers’ orders, and installment sale contracts. This uncertainty could necessitate a complete rewrite of these documents and their associated processes.

What Lies Ahead?

As we await further clarification, the industry is keeping a close watch on the NADA and TADA v. FTC case, currently pending before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral arguments are expected to be heard as soon as July or August, with a potential decision by the end of the year. This decision could provide much-needed clarity and direction for automotive dealers nationwide.

Fireside Chat with the FTC

Jim also attended a thought-provoking session featuring a Fireside Chat with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This session provided high-level insights but left many questions unanswered, particularly regarding Express, Informed Consent.

Key Takeaways:

  • The FTC provided high-level insights but didn't offer specific answers to critical questions.

  • The session's most valuable moments came after the presentation, where off-stage interactions provided deeper insights.

  • Our primary question: What will constitute Express, Informed Consent under the new rule? The current rule only tells us what it is not.

  • While a definitive answer wasn't provided, the FTC representative suggested that a properly configured menu might serve as documentation of Express, Informed Consent for vehicle protection products.

Fireside Chat with the CFPB

In another session, Jim attended a Fireside Chat with the CFPB. While the presentation itself did not offer much new information, the Q&A session that followed provided valuable insights.

Session Highlights:

  • The session focused on a recent CFPB report on negative equity, issued earlier this week. While no immediate actions are planned, the Q&A revealed the CFPB’s current priorities.

  • The CFPB is focused on cancellations and refunds. This includes scenarios where a car is totaled, repossessed, or a contract is voluntarily canceled.

Action Points for Dealers and Providers:

  • Review and enhance your processes for handling cancellations and refunds.

  • Ensure your processes are quick, efficient, transparent, and accurate to comply with CFPB expectations.


At Mosaic Compliance Services, we understand the complexities and challenges posed by evolving regulations. We are committed to staying at the forefront of industry developments and providing our clients with timely, accurate information to ensure compliance and operational efficiency.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to navigate these regulatory changes together. If you have any questions or need assistance with compliance matters, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


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