Mishandling the menu-selling process can increase legal risk instead of preventing it.
Last July, the National Auto-mobile Dealers Association educational staff mailed members a bulletin stressing the importance of seeking legal advice before diving into a menu-selling program.
"F&I menus do not automatically assure legal and ethical compliance," the NADA bulletin says.
Slip-ups in the menu can set dealerships up for a legal nightmare.
A published menu can document evidence against a dealership and set it up for multiple violations because the menu is presented to every customer, says Keith Whann, a Dublin, Ohio, dealer attorney and former assistant attorney general for Ohio.
Dealerships also could be subject to deceptive advertising charges. Menu selling could fall under state advertising laws, Whann says, because the menu is a published brochure, which is a form of promotion.