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Infiniti of Clarendon Hills has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against it by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its deceptive advertising of lease deals, according to a release from the commission.
The settlement with Infiniti of Clarendon Hills is one of nine the FTC has agreed to with dealerships all over the U.S. that were caught by "Operation Steer Clear," a nationwide FTC effort to protect auto consumers.
According to the FTC's suit, which can be read here, Infiniti of Clarendon Hills was deceptive in ads that promoted "no money down" leases that, in fact, did require first month's payment, an acquisition fee, or even a down payment.
Those up-front costs were included in the small print at the bottom of the ads.
"Buying or leasing a car is a big deal, and car ads are an important source of information for serious shoppers," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement. "Dealers' ads need to spell out costs and other important terms customers can count on. If they don’t, dealers can count on the FTC to take action."
Infiniti of Clarendon Hills executive manager Peter Korallus told Automotive News that the dealership "committed an oversight" in including the term "no money down" in some of its ads, but that it cooperated with the FTC completely and will be "more diligent" in the future.
Read the full Automotive News report here.
Terms of the settlement between Infiniti of Clarendon Hills and the FTC were not reported in the FTC release.