Ford, Chrysler accused of false advertising by Made in the USA group
Two American automakers are facing allegations of being dishonest about being un-American.
There was a point when American automakers relied virtually exclusively on American labor and suppliers to build their vehicles, and it was at that time that Ford helped fund the start-up of the Made in the USA Foundation in order to promote American-made products of all types.
Ironically, some years later the folks at Ford, as well as Chrysler, are both facing charges of misleading consumers in their advertising by allegedly falsely claiming that some of their non-U.S.-built vehicles were in fact "American" cars, according to Automotive News.
More specifically, the group claims that Chrysler's use of the "Imported from Detroit" tagline in commercials and print for the Canadian-assembled (with an engine assembled in Mexico) 300 sedan is misleading and leads consumers to believe the car was made in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States of America.
"The ads are clever but they are false," said Joel Joseph, general counsel, Made in the USA Foundation. "The Chrysler 300 is made in Canada. Last time I checked, Detroit is not in Canada." Leftlane consulted a globe - turns out Joseph was right.
But despite those undeniable facts, Chrysler is sticking to its guns in claiming that the advertisements are not misleading, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and that the allegations are "flat wrong>"
The organization has asked the Federal Trade Commission to force the automaker to alter or remove its ads, in addition to issuing corrective advertising to notify consumers of the alleged misinformation.
Ford also called out
Chrysler isn't standing alone in the spotlight, as Ford has also drawn attention from the group due to a series of radio advertisements that say the Fusion is an American car - a claim which the foundation disputes.
"The Fusion is made in Mexico and is not an American car," a statement released by the foundation said. "The Ford ad misleads and confuses the public and we have asked the Federal Trade Commission to stop the ads."
While Ford wasn't reached for comment on the matter, the timing of the issue comes - if not coincidentally - as a new labor agreement between the automaker and the United Auto Workers union has established that the Fusion will also be assembled in the U.S. in the near future.
But that's not all
Not stopping there, the foundation has also taken issue with the fact that Chrysler and Ford do not have any decals on their show vehicles at major auto shows proclaiming their country of origin.
Chrysler shot back, explaining, "Chrysler Group fully complies with the American Automobile Labeling Act. Neither the act nor the regulations respecting it contain any provision that requires labeling on vehicles that are on display at auto shows. The statue requires only that a label be affixed to a vehicle distributed for sale."
The FTC has yet to issue any rulings regarding the complaints filed by the Made in the USA Foundation.
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