top of page

Understanding the FTC's CARS Rule: Insights from James Ganther at Agent Summit 2024

F&I agent and dealership manager discussing compliance strategies in a car dealership showroom, highlighting proactive measures and collaboration for adherence to the FTC's CARS Rule.

At Agent Summit 2024, James Ganther, Esq. delivered a powerful speech dissecting the implications of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) CARS Rule. This blog post will explore Ganther's key insights and provide actionable strategies for dealerships to stay compliant.


Key Takeaways from Ganther's Speech

Challenging the CARS Rule’s Portrayal of the Industry

Ganther argued that the CARS Rule unjustly portrays the auto retail industry as inherently deceptive. He emphasized that most dealerships are dedicated to serving customers honestly and ethically.

Redundancy in Fraud Regulations

Ganther pointed out that fraud is already illegal, questioning the necessity of the CARS Rule. He suggested that adding more regulations could create unnecessary complexity without significantly enhancing consumer protection.

Practical Challenges with Pricing Disclosures

The rule’s requirement for clear and conspicuous pricing disclosures poses practical challenges. Ganther highlighted the difficulties dealerships might face in implementing these requirements, which could lead to consumer confusion rather than clarity.

Ambiguities in the Rule’s Language

Ganther criticized the rule’s ambiguous language and terminology, calling for clearer and more precise regulatory guidelines to ensure fair enforcement.

Implications of the CARS Rule for Dealerships

Transparency in Advertising

The CARS Rule mandates transparent advertising practices, requiring dealerships to disclose the full price of vehicles, excluding only required government charges. This aims to eliminate bait-and-switch tactics and hidden fees, promoting a fairer marketplace.

Website Compliance

Dealership websites must adhere to the rule’s advertising disclosure requirements. Ensuring compliance across digital platforms will be crucial, as non-compliance could result in significant fines.

Dealer Fees and Add-Ons

The rule prohibits charging for add-ons that do not provide a benefit to consumers. Dealerships must review their fee structures and ensure all add-ons are genuinely valuable and clearly disclosed.

Clear and Conspicuous Disclosures

Dealerships must implement clear and conspicuous disclosures in all advertising. This includes both visual and audible disclosures, ensuring that consumers fully understand the terms of the transaction.

Navigating Compliance

Proactive Measures

Dealerships should take proactive steps to ensure compliance. This includes staying informed about regulatory updates, regularly reviewing advertising practices, and updating contracts and policies.

Strategic Partnerships

Partnering with knowledgeable agents and compliance experts can provide invaluable support. These partners can offer training, resources, and ongoing guidance to help dealerships navigate the evolving regulatory landscape.

Empowering Agents as Compliance Allies

Agents play a vital role in supporting dealerships through regulatory changes. They can help by:

  • Staying informed through industry events and updates.

  • Educating dealers about the CARS Rule and providing resources like recorded presentations.

  • Preparing for compliance by developing policy templates, training materials, and website review processes.

  • Offering support by helping dealerships find specialized compliance vendors and navigate the evolving landscape.


The automotive compliance landscape is constantly evolving. The FTC’s CARS Rule introduces significant changes that dealerships must adapt to. By staying informed and proactive, dealerships can not only ensure compliance but also build trust with consumers through transparency and honesty.

Watch the Full Video for More Insights

For a deeper understanding of the CARS Rule and its implications, watch James Ganther’s full keynote address at Agent Summit 2024.

Stay Updated on Automotive Compliance

Subscribe to our blog for ongoing discussions on the CARS Rule, automotive compliance updates, and industry best practices. Follow us on LinkedIn to join the conversation and stay ahead of the curve. Let's navigate the world of automotive commerce together!

More About the CARS Rule:


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page