Even in Florida, a hotbed of litigation over alleged wrongdoing in dealership F&I offices, dealer Paul Lokey doesn't worry much about that part of his business.
For two years, he has been videotaping all F&I transactions in the seven Lokey Automotive Group dealerships in the Tampa Bay area.
In that time, there was just one threat of legal action from a lawyer representing two customers who complained that the cost of paint sealant had not been disclosed properly.
But with videotapes to back up the dealership's version of what happened, the matter was resolved quickly, Lokey says.
The lone threat came out of more than 19,000 transactions handled during the period, he says.
Taping "gives you peace of mind," says Lokey, president of the Clearwater, Fla., based group. "It protects the dealer, the customer and the F&I manager."
Scores of other dealers are seeking the same kind of assurance, in part because a hidden-camera report on "Dateline NBC" last month proved graphically that bad things can and do happen in the privacy of F&I offices.
David Jarrett, a partner at the accounting and consulting firm of Crowe, Chizek and Co., says: "In the more litigious states, (recording) may become good business practice."