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Notice

City Nissan Inc., Proposed Consent Order to Aid Public Comment

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed Consent Agreement.

SUMMARY:

The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before April 27, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/​ftc/​citynissanconsent online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “City Nissan Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323114” on your comment and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/​ftc/​citynissanconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write “City Nissan Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323114” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Jacobs, Western Region—Los Angeles, (310) 824-4360, 10877 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, California 90024.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for March 26, 2015), on the World Wide Web at: http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​actions.shtm. Start Printed Page 17436

You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before April 27, 2015. Write “City Nissan Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323114” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential,” as discussed in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).[1] Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/​ftc/​citynissanconsent by following the instructions on the web-based form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

If you file your comment on paper, write “City Nissan Inc.—Consent Agreement; File No. 1323114” on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.

Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before April 27, 2015. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.htm.

Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from City Nissan, Inc., also doing business as Ross Nissan. The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the FTC will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final the agreement's proposed order.

The respondent is a motor vehicle dealer. According to the FTC complaint, the respondent has advertised promotions for the leasing and financing of automobiles. In advertising lease offers, the complaint alleges, the respondent has misrepresented that consumers can pay $0 at lease inception to lease the vehicles shown in the advertisements for the advertised monthly payment amount. The complaint alleges that, in fact, consumers must pay substantially more to drive off with these vehicles. The complaint alleges therefore that the representations are false and misleading in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

The complaint further alleges that the respondent has advertised an annual percentage rate of 0% to finance the vehicles shown in the advertisements for the advertised monthly payment. The complaint alleges that in fact, the annual percentage rate is substantially greater than 0%. The complaint alleges therefore that the representations are false and misleading in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act.

Additionally, the complaint alleges violations of the Consumer Leasing Act (“CLA”) and Regulation M for failing to disclose or to disclose clearly and conspicuously certain costs and terms when advertising credit. Finally, the complaint alleges violations of the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and Regulation Z for failing to disclose or to disclose clearly and conspicuously certain costs and terms when advertising credit.

The proposed order is designed to prevent the respondent from engaging in similar deceptive practices in the future. Part I.A of the proposed order prohibits the respondent from misrepresenting the cost of: (1) Leasing a vehicle, including but not limited to the total amount due at lease inception, the down payment, amount down, acquisition fee, capitalized cost reduction, any other amount required to be paid at lease inception, and the amounts of all monthly or other periodic payments; or (2) purchasing a vehicle with financing, including but not necessarily limited to the amount or percentage of the down payment, the number of payments or period of repayment, the amount of any payment, the annual percentage rate or any other finance rate, and the repayment obligation over the full term of the loan, including any balloon payment. Part I.B prohibits the respondent from misrepresenting any other material fact about the price, sale, financing, or leasing of any vehicle.

Part II of the proposed order addresses the CLA allegations. Part II.A prohibits the respondent from stating the amount of any payment or that any or no initial payment is required at lease inception without disclosing clearly and conspicuously: (1) That the transaction advertised is a lease; (2) the total amount due at lease signing or delivery; (3) whether or not a security deposit is required; (4) the number, amounts, and timing of scheduled payments; and (5) that an extra charge may be imposed at the end of the lease term in a lease in Start Printed Page 17437which the liability of the consumer at the end of the lease term. Part II.B prohibits the respondent from violating any provision of the CLA or Regulation M.

Part III of the proposed order addresses the TILA allegation. Part III.A requires the respondent to make all of the disclosures required by TILA and Regulation Z when any of its advertisements state relevant triggering terms. It also requires that if any finance charge is advertised, the rate be stated as an “annual percentage rate” using that term or the abbreviation “APR.” In addition, Part III.C prohibits the respondent from failing to comply in any respect with TILA and Regulation Z.

Part IV of the proposed order requires the respondent to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating claims made in the advertisements. Part V requires the respondent to provide copies of the order to certain of its personnel. Part VI requires notification to the Commission regarding changes in corporate structure that might affect compliance obligations under the order. Part VII requires the respondent to file compliance reports with the Commission. Finally, Part VIII is a provision “sunsetting” the order after twenty (20) years, with certain exceptions.

The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any way the proposed order's terms.

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By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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[FR Doc. 2015-07408 Filed 3-31-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P