CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Ford recalls SUVs with rollaway risk, IRS may revoke passports of those with major tax debt, and Consumer Reports urges FTC action over hotel 'resort fees'

ByMichael Finney and Simone Chavoor via KGO logo
Friday, August 9, 2019
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CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Ford recalls SUVs due to a rollaway risk, the IRS may revoke passports of those with major tax debt, and Consumer Reports urges the FTC to act against hotel "resort fees."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Ford recalling SUVs for rollaway risk due to faulty parking lever and deactivated warning system

Ford is recalling almost 14,000 SUVs due to a combination of a faulty parking release lever and a computer setting that turns off the car's warning alerts.

Model year 2020 Ford Explorers and Lincoln Navigators are affected by the recall. Most of these cars are still in the hands of dealers.

The first issue is that the SUVs might be missing the manual park release cover, which can cause the lever to be activated by accident - and possibly setting the car in motion if the electronic parking brake has not also been applied.

The second is that the instrument panel for the SUVs might still be in "factory mode," which disables warning alerts and sounds. This would disable common alerts like "low fuel" or "check engine," but also prevent the car from displaying the automobile's gear selection.

Dealers are required to fix any issues subject to recall before selling the car. Those who already own affected cars should contact Ford; dealers will inspect the cars and make any repairs necessary.

IRS issues warning to those with significant tax dept: passports may be revoked

The IRS is warning those with significant tax debt that their passports are in jeopardy.

Under the "Fixing America's Surface Transportation" (FAST) Act, the State Department is required to deny passport applications, renewals, and may even revoke or limit the current passport of someone with "seriously delinquent tax debt." Those who owe more than $52,000 are considered to be in seriously delinquent tax debt.

Those who fall into this category are sent a "Notice CP508C" to inform them of their status and provide next steps for them to resolve their debts. The IRS recommends that those with travel plans outside of the United States contact them for expedited processing of their tax status in order to get their passports.

Consumer Reports urges FTC to act on hotel "resort fees"

Consumer Reports has sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging the agency to take action against hotels charging "resort fees" not initially revealed in the advertised room rate.

Consumer Reports stated that advertisements that do not include these mandatory fees in the promoted prices are deceptive and unfair. They also note that it makes it difficult for consumers to comparison shop the full cost of a room.

In 2012 and 2013, the FTC sent warning letters to hotels and travel agencies that did not adequately inform customers of these fees. Consumer Reports recently followed up with those who received those warning letters, and found that 31 of the 34 hotels, and all 10 of the travel agencies contacted were still failing to disclose these fees to their customers upfront.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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