Car dealer and marketing firm called out for bogus recall notices


Bureau of Consumer Protection. Business Alerts From the Federal Trade Commission

By Lesley Fair

Here's something likely to make consumers start firing on all cylinders: receiving an "URGENT RECALL NOTICE" in the mail with a "warning" that their vehicle "may be under an important factory/safety recall." But according to an FTC lawsuit against the Passport group of car dealerships in the Washington, D.C., area, the vast majority of people who received those notices didn't have a vehicle subject to an open recall. The complaint offers object lessons about a marketing campaign that took a seriously wrong turn, resulting in settlements with the dealerships, Passport's president and vice president, a marketing firm, and the firm's CEO.

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