BOSTON - Elizabeth Warren's demagoguing false claim that "auto dealer markups cost consumer $26 billion a year" has earned the worst possible score of misrepresentation by the Washington Post.
Fact Checker: Warren's false claim that 'auto dealer markups cost consumer $26 billion a year'
By Glenn Kessler
...we did become curious about a statistic that Warren has frequently cited — that “auto dealer markups cost consumers $26 billion a year.” She referenced a 2011 report released by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), which describes itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that fights “predatory lending practices.”
How accurate is this $26 billion figure and is Warren describing it correctly?
Warren incorrectly characterizes it. She claimed that the study showed “auto dealer markups cost consumers $26 billion a year.” But Kukla acknowledged that this figure includes compensation for dealers who arranged the loans for car buyers.
As regular readers know, we hold politicians accountable for the accuracy of sources they cite. There are enough warning flags in the CRL report — such as its lack of transparency on how the $26 billion number was calculated — that would have given a close reader pause. The National Automobile Dealers Association in 2012 submitted to the FTC a lengthy rebuttal of the report that also raised serious questions about the research.
But besides citing a faulty number, Warren misleadingly says it represents “auto dealer markups.” The group that produced the report said that figure includes reasonable compensation owed to car dealers. She earns Four Pinocchios.
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