- Associated Press - Friday, January 29, 2016

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - Medford-based Lithia Motors has reached a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission in connection to the auto retailer’s online pitches that promised rigorous vehicle inspections that allegedly didn’t meet expectations.

Lithia Motors does not admit any wrongdoing as part of the agreement and faces no fines or penalties, but the company must be honest about recalls if it advertises vehicle inspections, The Mail Tribune reports (https://is.gd/WxEfre). They also have to notify people who bought used cars with open recalls after July 1, 2013.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Lithia said it offered thorough vehicle inspections and a long warranty, but some of the cars advertised were subject to unrepaired recalls involving defects in the key ignition switch and other safety features.

“The FTC does not claim the statements about our inspections were false, but alleges we did not provide sufficient information about vehicles that might have been subject to an open recall,” Lithia Motors said in a statement. “The settlement sets out certain changes we must adopt, and we have already made those changes.”

The company said it had a policy of rigorously inspecting all vehicles before putting them on the market and making recall repairs when possible.

“We are not aware of a single customer complaint about our advertising or disclosures of manufacturer recalls,” Lithia stated. “We strongly believe we have fully complied with the letter and spirit of the law. We agreed to a settlement with the FTC to avoid the costs and disruption of litigation.”

The FTC also announced similar agreements with General Motors and east coast auto retailer Jim Koons Management at the same time.


Information from: Mail Tribune, https://www.mailtribune.com/

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