Home » Dealers Are Fighting Back Against The FTC’s Anti-Junk Fee Rule

Dealers Are Fighting Back Against The FTC’s Anti-Junk Fee Rule

Morning Dump Dealership
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Enjoying a car is a wonderful experience, but buying a car can be hours of pulling hair and putting your feet down that you absolutely don’t want whatever overpriced, unnecessary tat a dealer could be trying to force on you. While the FTC was supposed to make this easier, America’s car dealers are attempting to fight back using the legal system. No consideration for optics, I suppose.

In addition, Ford is reportedly cutting a massive bulk of F-150 Lightning assembly jobs, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is surprisingly quick down that one funny toll road in Germany. Welcome to The Morning Dump, your morning automotive news round-up with a name Lil Wayne’s lyricism might appreciate.

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Dealer Associations Are Stalling Anti-Junk Fee Rules

Saturn Dealership

Remember the Federal Trade Commission’s CARS (Combating Auto Retail Scams) rule that was touted to end scummy upcharges at dealerships? Well, it was supposed to go into effect on July 30, but now it’s anyone’s guess. To delay the effective date of this rule, the National Automobile Dealers Association and the Texas Automobile Dealers Association have filed a Petition For Review in the Fifth Court of Appeals, under the grounds that the CARS rule is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, without observance of procedure required by law, or otherwise not in accordance with law.” Lol, lmao even.

When was the last time you stepped foot into a financing and insurance office without wanting to go full Dan Campbell on the F&I guy’s kneecaps? Dealers developed a bad reputation for junk fees for a reason — attempting to upcharge customers is nearly universal due to the pay structure at most dealerships. Most salespeople are paid on commission and unless dealing high-end, new car commission rates are fairly small. However, stuff like rubberized undercoating of dubious effectiveness and questionable third-party service contracts are highly lucrative, and many salespeople are paid commissions on those. Junk fees are the system working as intended, so any change at many dealers will be like pulling teeth. In any case, there are a few ways this battle could play out. Ideally, the CARS act will hold and its introduction will only be delayed by a few months. However, lobbyists have money, so you never know.

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Ford To Cut Two-Thirds of F-150 Lightning Jobs

F150 Lightning Rouge Plant

While electric vehicle sales are expected to increase as time goes on, the short-term outlook is looking rocky for some manufacturers. Automotive News reports that 1,400 Ford F-150 Lightning assembly line workers will either retire or be shuffled to other plants as demand for the electric pickup truck wanes. The Rouge Electric Vehicle Plant will soon be a single-shift facility. The big winner in all of this? Traditional combustion-powered SUVs and pickup trucks. As per Automotive News:

Ford said 700 people, or roughly half the affected workers, will transfer to the nearby Michigan Assembly Plant, where it’s adding a third crew to increase production of the Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup. Those 700 will join 900 additional hires for a total of 1,600 workers on the new third crew.

Unsurprisingly, demand is still strong for new Broncos, and I can’t blame anyone for desiring a capable convertible SUV with far better highway manners than a Jeep Wrangler. It’s a compelling product without much direct competition, while the F-150 Lightning has competitors coming at it from all fronts. The Rivian R1T and, technically, the Tesla Cybertruck are being delivered to customers now, and trucks like the Chevrolet Silverado EV and Ram 1500 REV aren’t that far down the road.

One Fast Hyundai

The 641-horsepower Hyundai Ioniq 5 N is one of the more compelling performance EVs on the horizon, and it just laid down a number sure to spark even more intrigue. German outlet Sport Auto took a Hyundai Ioniq 5 N and racing driver Christian Gebhardt to the Green Hell, where the combination clocked a lap time of 7:45.59. That makes the Ioniq 5 N faster around the Nürburgring Nordschleife than a Porsche 718 Cayman S. Not bad for a family crossover. Astonishingly, the Hyundai’s time was only 3.2 seconds slower than Porsche’s own lap time in a Taycan Turbo, and it’s fair to say that thing isn’t a slouch.

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Thermal management is a challenge for any car attempting a flat-out lap of the Nordschleife, and it’s a massive problem for electric vehicles. Clearly, Hyundai’s focus on performance is working, as this oversized hatchback is shaping up to be an electric giant slayer. As you’ve probably guessed, I’m eager to have a crack at it.

What I’m Listening To While Writing This

I’m frequently a fan of off-kilter genre-hopping stuff. After all, the concept of genre was torched by the blogosphere before being dipped and liquid nitrogen and shattered with the hammer of streaming, so why confine yourself to one sound? On 2023’s High School Football, Massachusetts duo Brevin Kim eschewed their hyperpop-esque beginnings in favor of a sound that blends folksy guitar with electronic gleam and two scoops of autotune. By all accounts, it shouldn’t work, but sometimes the vibes are just impeccable. I had “I’ll Be Damned” blaring on my first drive after buying my Boxster, and as January’s well and truly set in, I’m yearning for the weather to warm up, the snow to melt, and the top to drop.

The Big Question

Is the electric truck market about to become oversaturated? With a raft of competitors cropping up and the possibility of slim Venn diagram overlap between truck enthusiasts and EV enthusiasts, not to mention the politicization of green vehicles, does anyone get the sense that some manufacturers are wading into a short-term quagmire?

(Photo credits: yonkershonda licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0, Ford, Google Streetview)

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Nick Fortes
Nick Fortes
3 months ago

I don’t doubt Ford cutting back on Lightning staff. In my NW corner of PHL all I see is Rivian R1T and R1S, it’s like every other vehicle is a Tesla (car, not Cybertruck) or a Rivian. I’ve seen one Lightning.

OnboardG1
OnboardG1
3 months ago

NGL American car culture is ace but I’m glad I don’t have to buy a car there. I paid the retail price for my car, plus the charge for the fancy paint I wanted and the minor damage insurance (which is mostly because of how soft Mazda Soul Red paint is). The extras were about £400 and they threw in mats. No shipping fees, no financing fees, no paperwork fees no hidden extras. Cars are pricier over here but you pay what you see for the most part.

Greensoul
Greensoul
3 months ago

SERIOUSLY, WHY IS IT STILL CALLED PAPERWORK WHEN NO PAPER IS INVOLVED AS YOU GET BENT OVER AND SCREWED WITH NO LUBE INVOLVED??????

Greensoul
Greensoul
3 months ago

Let’s just call it what it is, an electronic computer form fuccck fee from the dealer. Just say NO!

Greensoul
Greensoul
3 months ago

Nancy Reagan said it best. JUST SAY NO!!!! frick paper work fees. All of this sh#t is done online anyway. Question of this decade…. Why is it still called paperwork when no paper is involved?

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
4 months ago

Those fees and dealer behavior in general is why people tolerate Tesla’s poor build quality and Elon’s unhinged antics: no dealers!

Bizness Comma Nunya
Bizness Comma Nunya
4 months ago

Junk fees man…

If there is a single fucking thing that all sides of all political fences should get behind regulating, it’s this.

Unless of course you are associated with some slimy business that does make money from junk/hidden fees.

Also, fuck car dealers in general. 1 out of 10 are good, max.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
4 months ago

Instead of addressing it generally they are tackling them one by one; dealers, telcom, media, airlines, etc. Just make a general law the price is the price. But part of me says well if you aren’t smart enough to figure it out oh well. How else can spirit airlines sell a plane ticket for $5 and after fees it ends up being $300.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
4 months ago

Too much Autotune!

No, not oversaturated, just well saturated capitalism.

Greensoul
Greensoul
3 months ago
Reply to  Crank Shaft

Needs more cowbell…..

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
4 months ago

Is the electric truck market about to become oversaturated?”

No.

The electric truck market will eventually become the ‘truck market’ as we move away from ICE vehicles.

And the likely reason why Ford is cutting Lightening production is because they probably can’t get enough battery cells to maintain production AND introduce the other models they want to introduce.

Greensoul
Greensoul
3 months ago

Dream on. Never going to happen unless your a poser. Electric trucks are the last frontier EV ‘s should be exploring. EV and truck should never, ever, be said in the same sentence! Well, real trucks anyway. Real trucks, as you should know, are used as, well, real trucks. I’m not talking about [redacted]’s mall ride truck. I’m talking about folks that use trucks as, well, trucks. 95 mile range while towing my horses to rodeo and an hour wait to get 100 miles of more range? Fukk that! (Maybe 50 miles when it’s sub zero and I actually find a working charger) again, Fukkk that. Unless your a poser, an electric truck makes zero times infinity sense. Lets please keep supporting China and buy all the lithium they can sell us using slave labor to get it. Virtue signaling is so expensive for all parties involved. EV trucks are a stop before they even get started.

Last edited 3 months ago by Matt Hardigree
Rafael
Rafael
3 months ago
Reply to  Greensoul

What percentage of the truck market you think is composed of people that actually need “real trucks”?

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Greensoul

EV and truck should never, ever, be said in the same sentence! “

Except that it is and it’s gradually happening right now… even for Class 8 Semis… which is as “real truck” as you can get.

What closet have you been sleeping in that you’re not aware of this?

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
28 days ago

I had a huge laugh as we were driving across New Mexico & Arizona yesterday. There was a big rig with a lowboy hauling an electric “26,000”# truck. Meanwhile there were plenty of semi tractors hauling 3 more, just like the prime mover, plus a tree trimmers truck pulling a chipper, obviously going from a manufacturer of the vocational body to the buyer.

That silly electric truck will spend its life doing route deliveries and other short haul work, returning to home base every night after a 100 mile day.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
27 days ago
Reply to  Hondaimpbmw 12

“That silly electric truck will spend its life doing route deliveries and other short haul work, returning to home base every night after a 100 mile day.”

Short haul trucking is anything but silly and is probably the best application for electric trucks at the moment. All that stop-and-go city driving makes for even bigger savings compared to a conventional truck. And it’s not just the efficiency of the powertrain. But the brakes will last longer due to regenerative braking.

The reduced maintenance is seen as a huge benefit to fleet operators

And don’t just think of delivery trucks. Consider other stuff like garbage trucks, city buses, construction vehicles and many other commercial vehicle types that typically aren’t used for driving long distances.

It’s a huge market.

That’s also why the Toronto Transit commission as decided that all new bus orders in the future will be BEVs.

And that decision was made after having 60 electric buses as a test fleet.

Commercial Electric vehicles are now at a usability point that was completely unthinkable (even by me) 10 years ago.

Anybody in the industry who thinks commercial electric vehicles are a joke are setting themselves up for going out of business.

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
27 days ago

Actually, I agree with you that short haul delivery is a great use case for that electric truck. My problem is with the State of California who are gonna mandate that Diesel powered long haul trucks will not be allowed to be sold in the state. I haven’t figured out if the CARB is gonna stop out of state common carriers from entering the state. The notion that the unicorn riding Air Resources Board can defy the laws of physics and “Save The World” from air pollution is just laughable.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
27 days ago
Reply to  Hondaimpbmw 12

The air pollution from diesel is real. And I say that as an asthma sufferer as well as a father with a daughter who also has asthma.

In my view, the faster we can phase out diesel, the better.

And part of the problem are some diesel owners who remove their emissions equipment. But even “clean” diesels are still not all that great.

Defenestrator
Defenestrator
3 months ago

The Lightning production cuts are also getting some pretty terrible headlines. As I understand it they basically doubled their production plans twice, then cut them in half. That’s not as good as keeping the plan for 4x, but it’s still 2x.

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