The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

Top News

Dateline NBC to Air 'Hidden Camera Investigation' of Car Sales

December 4, 2003

You may want to block out some time Friday evening to watch yet another TV "expose" of automobile dealership selling practices -- if for no other reason than to examine a possibly biased view of our industry.

"Dateline NBC" went undercover with individuals looking to purchase cars "to find out just what dealers will say and do to consumers."

In one example, the show says its hidden cameras caught a dealer lying on a customer's credit application to get her loan approved. While falsifying a credit report may be a felony, the dealer is seen telling her "there's no way you can get into trouble for it... Basically all this is for is to get your loan approved."

Chances of a balanced presentation don't appear to be good with come-ons like "what car dealers don't want you to see. Fast talk, fraud, and outright forgery... in dealerships nationwide. And when it's over, shoppers have paid thousands more than they should."

But in situations like this, it is always better to be in the know about what is being said. That way, when your customers ask you about the allegations made on the show, you can respond from a position of knowledge rather than being blindsided.

"Dateline's hidden cameras caught it all on tape -- from the pitch... to the con. And we uncovered secret documents showing how dealers tack on hidden costs... and pressure shoppers into paying more than they can afford," the show breathlessly promises. "But the fact is, you -can- outsmart the dealers. Dateline will show you that too."

Dateline's chief consumer correspondent Lea Thompson is in charge of the Dateline Hidden Camera Investigation.

Don't forget: that's Dateline this Friday, Dec. 5, at eight, seven Central on NBC.

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email: