Federal Trade Commission sues Jonesboro auto dealer for not displaying 'Buyers Guides'

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The Federal Trade Commission filed a federal lawsuit against a Jonesboro auto dealer for not displaying a key piece of documentation on vehicles.

According to a news release by the FTC on Friday, the government agency sued Abernathy Motor Company as well as Wesley Abernathy and David Abernathy for failing to display a "Buyers Guide" on used vehicles offered for sale. The guide is required to be placed on vehicles by the FTC's "Used Car Rule".

The company could pay a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per violation.

The FTC's "Used Car Rule" requires dealers to disclose whether or not the vehicle for sale comes with a dealer warranty. If there is a warranty, the guide must list its basic terms and conditions, including the duration of coverage, the percentage of total repair costs to be paid by the dealer, and the exact systems covered by the warranty.

According to court documents, the FTC first visited the dealership in Nov. 2012 and found none of the vehicles for sale displayed the guide. Abernathy Motor Company was notified of the findings and an FTC publication was sent to the dealership explaining the rule.

The documents also state the FTC visited again in May 2013 and found the dealership and affiliated dealership, Ab's Best Buys AMC Inc., had not displayed the guide once again on all of their vehicles for sale.

Abernathy Motor Company has dealerships in Jonesboro, Blytheville and West Memphis.

In Jan. 2013 the FTC announced a warning issued to 11 used vehicle dealerships in Jonesboro, including Abernathy Motor Company, about the violation of the "Used Car Rule". All of the dealerships came into compliance with the rule except for Abernathy Motor Company, the FTC stated.

An attorney representing the Abernathy's told KAIT Friday afternoon they denied the allegations and planned to fight them. The case was filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas.

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