Helping Automotive Dealers Comply with All Relevant Federal Laws

Providing proactive legal counsel and strong advocacy for car companies across Ohio

Automotive dealers are responsible for understanding and complying with all applicable federal laws, including consumer laws. Violations of these laws can result in substantial civil penalties, legal fees, and punitive damages. There are federal laws on a wide variety of consumer business matters, including discrimination in credit, protection of consumer credit information, reporting suspicious transactions to the federal government, disclosure requirements, and having plans in place to protect the consumer.

Our federal automotive law attorneys understand which laws apply to automotive dealers. We review your existing policies and contracts to see if they comply with current legal standards. If changes are needed, we advise the company and any affiliates of the steps that must be taken. At Gertsburg Licata, we also aggressively defend businesses who have been sued by consumers or who have received a failure to comply notice from the federal government.

Some of the federal laws that apply to automotive dealers in Ohio

Many consumer federal laws apply to automotive companies and the finance companies that the dealers work with to help customers purchase their vehicles. We ensure that our clients are in compliance with the following applicable laws:

  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). This law applies to automotive dealers who give loans to customers to help them finance or lease their vehicles. The act requires that these dealers must have a current policy in place that protects foreseeable security threats and threats to data integrity, including the collection, disclosure, and safety of the applicant’s personal identifiable information such as bank accounts and social security numbers. The GLBA is enforced by several federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • FTC rules. As part of the GLBA, the FTC has several additional rules that automotive dealers must meet:
    • The Safeguards Rulestrong. Automotive dealers must keep customer information secure and make sure that their service providers and affiliates also safeguard customer information. Our Cleveland federal law attorneys advise companies on their customer data risk analysis systems and recommend how to make them better.
    • FTC Financial Privacy Rule. This rule mandates that financial institutions give each consumer a privacy notice explaining what information is being collected, who has access to it, that the consumer can opt out of the data being shared with unaffiliated companies, and other details.
    • Pretexting privacy. The GLBA prohibits activities such as phishing, emails, mail, and phone calls if the aim is obtaining customer information without authority.
  • Patriot Act. This law requires that automotive dealers create certain programs to prevent anti-money laundering, such as reporting large cash or cash-like transactions and responding to specific requests from the federal government. The aim of the Patriot Act is to target potential terrorists.
  • IRS cash reporting rules. Cash transactions of $10,000 or more require automotive dealers to complete Form 8300, an IRS and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network document. The aim is to help the government investigate individuals who are trying to evade the duty to report taxes or trying to profit from crimes.
  • Truth in Lending Act (TILA). This 1968 Act requires detailed disclosure about credit terms.
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). This 1974 Act protects consumers against discrimination by finance companies, retailers such as automotive dealers, and other companies, based on:
    • Race
    • Color
    • Religion
    • Sex
    • National origin
    • Age
    • Marital status
    • The fact that the consumer is getting public assistance or has exercised a right pursuant to the Consumer Credit Protection Act
    • Other factors including receipt of alimony or Social Security payments

Regulation B of the ECOA can mean up to $10,000 in punitive damages and class action lawsuits for ECOA violations.

Others federal laws such as the Do Not Call Act may also apply to automotive dealers.

Call now to find out what laws apply to your business

At Gertsburg Licata, our lawyers have decades of experience helping automotive companies comply with federal law. Effective and professional preparation can prevent consumer complaints and federal action. To get the help you need, please call now to speak with one of our federal consumer lawyers. We can be reached at 216-573-6000 or by filling out our contact form.