Auto dealers carve out exemption in consumer-protection legislation

Consumer advocates had hoped that auto dealers would be included in pending legislation to create a new consumer watchdog agency. But a grassroots effort pushed by dealers and their leading trading group, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), resulted in members of the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday voting 47 to 21 in favor of an amendment to exclude auto dealers.

The successful effort was led Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who argued that auto dealers aren't financial organizations and shouldn't be regulated by a bill that would create a "financial" protection agency for consumers. But the group of some three dozen consumer and civil rights organizations doesn't see it that way, arguing that arranging on-site financing for vehicle purchases are a big source of profits for car dealers.