Dealer Compliance: Key Strategies for Auto Dealerships in 2023

6 min read
June 23 2023

Imagine being able to protect your dealership from legal headaches while still maintaining ethical standards and prioritizing data protection and consumer rights. Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it’s not. That's just dealer compliance working as intended.

In this article, we’ll dive into the complexities of dealership compliance regulations. But don't worry; we've got you covered with insights on how to navigate this ever-changing landscape effectively.

We believe that implementing secure development practices is crucial in this industry. We'll give you some ideas on how to manage your vendors and implement transparent encryption solutions properly. Plus, we'll explore the importance of designating qualified individuals to oversee compliance management within your organization.

We'll also discuss the ECOA and its role in creating a fair lending environment. You'll learn how to stay within legal parameters while fostering a culture that prioritizes fairness and compliance.

Don't let dealer compliance be a source of stress - join us on this journey, and let's put data protection and consumer rights at the top of our priority list. 

Before We Dive In: This article is a suggested guide for all automotive dealers who want to ensure their files and operations are up-to-date with regard to legal requirements. It provides reminders for ongoing and periodic legal needs and offers a straightforward way to audit their legal "health." Moreover, it can help trigger actions that might have been overlooked. 

This article is not meant to constitute legal advice.

Table of Contents:

Understanding Dealer Compliance Regulations

Auto dealerships must navigate a complex landscape of federal and state laws, including 85 different rules and regulations such as the GLBA Safeguards Rule, Used Car Rule, ECOA, Red Flags Rule, Regulation Z disclosure requirements for credit terms, and OSHA standards on workplace safety.

Overview of Key Dealership Regulations

  • The GLBA Safeguards Rule: Protects customer data from unauthorized access or misuse.
  • The Used Car Rule: Mandates that used car dealers display a Buyer's Guide in every vehicle they offer for sale.
  • The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA): Prohibits discrimination when evaluating potential borrowers' applications.
  • The Red Flags Rule: Requires businesses offering credit to implement an identity theft prevention program.
  • Obligations under Regulation Z: Impose various disclosure requirements related to credit terms offered by auto dealerships.

Maintaining Up-to-Date Compliance Knowledge

Staying current with the ever-changing legislation is crucial for auto dealerships.

Dealers can access resources such as the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) for regulatory updates, industry news, and best practices.

For auto dealerships, staying current with ever-changing legislation is crucial. Fortunately, resources like the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) provide regulatory updates, industry news, and best practices for dealers to access.

Leverage Technology Solutions for Your Dealership Training, HR, Payroll & HCM

With isolved Learn & Grow powered by PNI•HCM, automotive dealership compliance professionals can access your customized, up-to-date training content and materials in one central location. It also provides expiration notifications so that you know when certifications or other requirements need to be updated before they expire. This ensures your staff is always compliant and eliminates the chance of costly mistakes due to outdated information. 

This helps create a streamlined process that saves time and money while ensuring your staff is always informed of the latest requirements and regulations. Automotive dealerships can also use isolved Learn & Grow to keep track of state-specific licenses and certifications, as well as other important training information. 

Organizations can minimize risk and promote a culture of compliance by equipping their staff with knowledge and tools. Through empowerment, teams are better equipped to manage challenges and embrace opportunities while consistently adhering to policies and procedures.

Secure Development Practices for Auto Dealerships

Auto dealerships must adopt secure development practices to comply with federal and state dealer laws, including newer amendments to the GLBA Safeguards Rule. Creating written documentation outlining policies to secure all written and digital data streams is essential. Plus, you must consider the following.

Proper Vendor Management

Establish a robust vendor management program that includes regular risk assessments, due diligence checks, and ongoing monitoring of security measures implemented by vendors.

Transparent Encryption Solutions

Adopt encryption technologies like NetLib Security's Encryptionizer to protect sensitive data against unauthorized misuse to ensure compliance.

  • Action Step 1: Review and improve vendor management processes.
  • Action Step 2: Research transparent encryption solutions for an additional layer of protection.
  • Action Step 3: Train employees on best practices for handling confidential information and maintaining compliance.

Designating Qualified Individuals for Compliance Management

Dealerships must comply with new regulatory guidelines by appointing qualified personnel to oversee their compliance programs. These individuals must possess expertise in IT requirements, vulnerability testing, access control measures, and employee training to ensure smooth compliance.

Roles & Responsibilities in Managing Dealership Compliance

Designated individuals must exhibit comprehensive awareness of applicable laws and regulations while keeping policies up to date, monitoring changes, maintaining communication, and conducting regular audits.

Training Employees Across Departments

To achieve effective compliance management, it's crucial to provide ongoing training on a variety of topics. This includes Used Car Rule requirements, ECOA obligations, data security best practices, as well as recognizing red flags for identity theft or fraud. By staying informed and equipped with the right knowledge, businesses can ensure that they are operating ethically and within legal boundaries.

Learn more about ECOA obligations related to fair lending practices.

ECOA: Ensuring Fair Lending Practices

Don't discriminate. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits discrimination based on various factors when evaluating loan applications. Avoid penalties and maintain a trustworthy business environment by adhering to ECOA regulations.

Maintain Compliance with ECOA Regulations

Maintain Compliance with ECOA Regulations

  • Implement Policies: Develop clear guidelines and train staff on proper procedures for handling customer information during the loan application process.
  • Audit Processes: Regularly review internal processes to identify and address unintentional discriminatory practices.
  • Foster Inclusivity: Encourage diversity and promote inclusivity at all levels of your organization.

Leverage Technology Solutions for Fair Lending Compliance

  • Automate Compliance Assessments: Utilize automated tools to assess loan applications for potential discrimination or other violations of ECOA regulations.
  • Utilize Data Analytics: Leverage data analytics and machine learning algorithms to detect trends in borrower behavior that could signal discriminatory practices.
  • Make Risk Mitigation Easy: Implement compliance technology such as income verification and credit scoring to minimize the risk of non-compliance.

FAQs about Dealer Compliance

What is the FTC Safeguard Rule for dealerships?

The Federal Trade Commission FTC Safeguards Rule requires automotive and car dealerships to implement a comprehensive information security program to protect customer data.

What is Red Flag Compliance for auto dealers?

Red Flag Compliance refers to the Red Flags Rule under FACTA that mandates businesses like auto dealerships develop an Identity Theft Prevention Program.

What are the FTC's proposed car dealer rules?

The FTC's proposed car dealer rules aim to provide more transparent consumer protection information about warranty coverage and vehicle history reports during pre-sale inspections.

What is OFAC in dealerships?

OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) enforces economic sanctions programs against targeted foreign countries, terrorists, drug traffickers & other threats.

In Conclusion

Dealer compliance is no laughing matter - it can be the difference between the success and failure of a dealership. Staying up-to-date with regulations is crucial, but it's also necessary to implement secure development practices and assign qualified individuals to manage compliance strategy.

The good news is that Dealer People Cloud can help make things easier. With our top-of-the-line on-demand learning management system that can be customized to your automotive dealership, isolved Learn & Grow powered by PNI•HCM, along with streamlined payroll, HR, and HCM services accessible with a single login, we're well-equipped to meet all of your people operations needs. 

From Human Resource executives to owners and HR managers, everyone plays a vital role in ensuring compliance within your dealership. So, don't risk legal action - take compliance seriously and reap the benefits in the long run. Contact our team today, and let’s discover how we can help you succeed

Table of content