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General Motors, LLC; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  General Motors

General Motors, LLC; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

Donald S. Clark
Federal Trade Commission
3 February 2016


[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 22 (Wednesday, February 3, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5752-5754]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-01946]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

[File No. 152 3101]


General Motors, LLC; Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid 
Public Comment

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed consent agreement.

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SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged 
violations of

[[Page 5753]]

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 February 29, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/generalmotorsconsent online or on paper, 
by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``General Motors LLC--
Consent Agreement; File No. 152-3101'' on your comment and file your 
comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/generalmotorsconsent by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``General 
Motors LLC--Consent Agreement; File No. 152-3101'' 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Evan Zullow (202) 326-2914 or Courtney 
Estep (202) 326-2788, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580.

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 January 28, 2016), on the World Wide Web 
at: http://www.ftc.gov/os/actions.shtm.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before February 29, 
2016. Write ``General Motors LLC--Consent Agreement; File No. 152-
3101'' 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. Sec.  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.
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    \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 Sec.  4.9(c).
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    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/generalmotorsconsent 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 ``General Motors LLC--
Consent Agreement; File No. 152-3101'' 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 February 29, 2016. 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'' or ``Commission'') has 
accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent 
order from General Motors, LLC. 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 an automobile manufacturer that sells the cars it 
manufactures through local franchise dealerships. According to the FTC 
complaint, the respondent has represented that the used motor vehicles 
it markets and advertises have been subject to rigorous inspection, 
including for safety issues, but has failed to disclose that these used 
motor vehicles are subject to open recalls for safety issues.
    For instance, the respondent has posted advertisements on its Web 
site

[[Page 5754]]

that make the following representations about vehicles that purportedly 
undergo a rigorous 172-point inspection:

We Check It, So You Don't Have to

172-Point Inspection and Reconditioning

* * * * *
    Our 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning Process is 
conducted only by highly trained technicians and adheres to strict, 
factory-set standards to ensure that every vehicle's engine, chassis, 
and body are in excellent condition. The technicians ensure that 
everything from the drivetrain to the windshield wipers is in good 
working order, or they recondition it to our exacting standards. The 
vehicles are road-tested, put up on a lift for a complete underbody and 
frame inspection, and then completely checked for any cosmetic flaws.
    And we do check it all. From the engine block to the shocks, right 
down to the floor mats, no major system is overlooked. If it fails a 
single point, we completely recondition it--or it won't be Certified.
    Even though it makes such claims, the respondent has allegedly 
advertised on its Web site numerous Certified Pre Owned (``CPO'') 
vehicles that were subject to open recalls for safety issues. In 
numerous instances, when the respondent allegedly advertised CPO 
vehicles that are subject to open recalls for safety issues, it 
provided no accompanying clear and conspicuous disclosure of this fact. 
The proposed complaint alleges that this failure to disclose 
constitutes a deceptive act or practice under Section 5 of the FTC Act.
    The proposed order is designed to prevent the respondent from 
engaging in similar deceptive practices in the future. Part I prohibits 
the respondent from representing that used motor vehicles it markets or 
advertises are safe, have been repaired for safety issues, or have been 
subject to a rigorous inspection unless the used motor vehicles are not 
subject to any open recalls for safety issues or the respondent 
discloses, clearly and conspicuously, in close proximity to such 
representation, any material qualifying information related to open 
recalls for safety issues. Part II is a provision that orders the 
respondent to notify every consumer who purchased a CPO used motor 
vehicle from a GM dealership between July 1, 2013 and the date of entry 
of the Order, and whose vehicle has not had the open recall repaired, 
that (1) the consumer's vehicle has been recalled for safety issues 
that have not been repaired, and (2) how to get the vehicle repaired.
    Parts III through VII of the proposed order are reporting and 
compliance provisions. Part III requires the respondent to maintain for 
five years, and produce to the Commission upon demand, any relevant ads 
and associated documentary material. Part IV is an order distribution 
provision that requires the respondent to provide the Order to certain 
current and future principals, officers, and directors, and to all 
current employees, agents, and representatives having responsibilities 
with respect to the subject matter of the Order. Part V requires the 
respondent to notify the Commission of corporate changes that may 
affect compliance obligations. Part VI requires the respondent to 
submit a compliance report to the Commission 60 days after entry of the 
order, and also additional compliance reports within 10 business days 
of a written request by the Commission. Part VII ``sunsets'' the order 
after twenty 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.

    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-01946 Filed 2-2-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6750-01-P

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