Ford Authority

Ford Dealers Would Face Even More Scrutiny Under Proposed FTC Rule

2022 is shaping up to be a banner year for Ford dealers. Currently, the automaker is hammering out details that will affect how all the stores within its dealer network will conduct business. Ford is splitting itself into two separate production development divisions – Model e – which will focus on EV efforts – and Ford Blue, which will continue ICE operations – and has asked individual dealers to choose which if they would like to represent one or both, a change that will likely take place by 2023. Ford dealers have gone through “stress tests” to see how they would handle a potential shift, but there are potentially some new stressors on the way, courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently proposed a rule that would ban dealers from imposing junk fees on customers along with bait-and-switch tactics throughout the car-buying process. The FTC says that this ruling would “eliminate the tricks and traps that make it hard or impossible to comparison shop” or “leave consumers saddled with thousands of dollars in unwanted junk charges.”

Such a rule would not only help keep Ford dealers honest and protect consumers, it would also allow the FTC to recover money should a consumer have been misled or charged without their consent. The proposal would prohibit dealers from making deceptive claims in advertising to lure buyers in. The FTC would also crack down on dealers that offer products with no inherent value, such as “nitrogen-filled tires” which contain no more nitrogen than normal air and are often sold to customers that believe they provide a concrete benefit.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Even if this proposed rule change is discarded, The Blue Oval has been increasingly scrutinizing Ford dealers for recent practices. As Ford Authority previously reported, the company has issued memos to their franchise holders regarding excessive lease buyout fees, and tactics designed to sidestep the retail ordering process prompted the automaker to institute changes to the system. These tactics have seemingly increased in number during the ongoing vehicle shortage and as markups become commonplace, an issue that has also prompted Hyundai to chastise its dealers over inflated price tags.

We’ll have more on Ford dealers soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. JME80

    Very glad to see changes are being proposed….and I work for a Ford dealer that does not participate in bogus dealer ads…

    1. P.R.Ford

      I’m glad my local dealer doesn’t engage in these practices. I’ve been dealing with them for nearly 30 years and they seem to believe they do better by selling more vehicles, without the ridiculous add-ons and “market adjustment fees”. Apparently, Ford gives better deals to dealers that sell more units and dealers receive bonuses from Ford for high sales. This dealer also seems to care a lot about receiving good reviews from its customers. Maybe that comes with being a fixture in a small community over a period of many, many years. Its refreshing that reputation is still important to some businesses.

  2. NoComment

    Here’s to the FTC for reigning in these B$ dealer ADM forced add-ons. The Toyota Dealer near me (Spring Texas) adds these ADM options to all their inventory including not only Nitrogen Filled Tires but also $300 for Paint Protection Wax and $300 for a Spare Tire Lock and $600 for tinting the front driver and passenger windows (in addition to $10K over MSRP on customer orders)…

  3. Mike

    I don’t think this has anything to do with dealer markups or Marone stickers. It’s more about what the dealers hide until the deal is done or in advertising. If they’re up front about screwing you, then they should be ok😳

    1. acmeopinionfactory

      Monroney dude, Monroney, if you’re trying to use industry jargon to make yourself sound like you know what your talking about, at least get the word right.

  4. finalley99

    SO, will this impose restrictions on “dealer markup” on a popular model?? If not, WHY NOT?? If an MSRP price is made by the Mfg., how is it not a bait and switch if you can’t get that model for the price advertised at the point of sale??


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