Still, he says, "It's a very unpredictable situation."
Some lawyers representing auto lenders fear the bureau will turn its scrutiny on aftermarket products. The bureau already is investigating dealer reserve -- the profit dealerships make by marking up the interest rate consumers pay on loans arranged at the dealership.
Being the "worrier" he is, Jackson says, he'll keep watch on any product-related investigation.
"The industry has really cleaned up its act in so many ways," he says. "At this point, it feels like another layer of regulation by some zealots who really don't know what they're talking about. But we'll have to see how it develops."
An investigation into product sales has the potential to hit dealership profitability much harder than scrutiny on the reserve.
Large retailers such as AutoNation make the vast majority of their F&I profits from product sales, not rate markup. Jackson has said any changes coming out of the bureau's investigation on the rate side will be manageable.
About two-thirds of AutoNation's F&I revenue comes from product sales and one-third from dealer reserve. For the first quarter, that worked out to an estimated $882 per vehicle in product sales and an estimated $441 in dealer reserve.
With that much exposure, is any regulatory action on product sales also manageable?
AutoNation will "deal with whatever comes," Jackson says.
"Since I know that whatever issue is out there, in the grand scheme of things, is relatively small and minuscule and that we have a lot of added value for our customers and the companies we represent, it should be manageable," he adds. "Now let's say we had exorbitant profitability with huge fat margins that everybody in America was up in arms screaming about. Well, then I'd be a little more concerned. But I'm looking at it saying, 'What are you talking about?'"
Jim Henry contributed to this report