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Used Car Sales Rule Enforced by Feds

Staff reports

The federal government is enforcing a new rule pertaining to used car sales.

Under the amended rule, dealers must display a revised window sticker called a “Buyers Guide,” which contains warranty and other important information for consumers, on each used car.

The Federal Trade Commission recently conducted the first compliance sweep of car dealerships since the amended Used Car Rule took effect earlier this year. Mississippi was not included in the sweep.

The sweep was conducted on 94 dealerships in 20 cities nationwide, and inspectors found Buyers Guides on 70 percent of the more than 2,300 vehicles inspected, with almost half of those displaying the revised Buyers Guide.

Of the 94 dealerships inspected, 33 had the revised Buyers Guide on more than half of their vehicles, and 14 had revised Buyers Guides on all of their used cars.

Following the sweep, the FTC provided the dealerships with material to help them come into full compliance with the amended Rule.

Dealerships that were not displaying the revised Buyers Guide can expect follow-up inspections.

Under the FTC Act, dealers who fail to comply face penalties of up to $41,484 per violation. State and local law enforcement agencies also enforce the recently amended Rule.

The Revised Buyers Guide

Under the amended rule, as of Jan. 28, 2018, dealers are required to display a revised Buyers Guide on all used vehicles they offer for sale. The revised Buyers Guide:

  • Changes the description of an “As Is” sale;
  • Places boxes on the face of the Buyers Guide that dealers can check to indicate whether a vehicle is covered by a third-party warranty and whether a service contract may be available;
  • Provides a box that dealers can check to indicate that an unexpired manufacturer’s warranty applies;
  • Adds air bags and catalytic converters to the Buyers Guide’s list of major defects that may occur in used vehicles;
  • Adds a statement that directs consumers to obtain a vehicle history report and to check for open recalls;
  • Adds a statement, in Spanish, to the English-language Buyers Guide, advising Spanish-speaking consumers to ask for the Buyers Guide in Spanish if the dealer is conducting the sale in Spanish; and
  • Provides a Spanish translation of the statement that dealers may use to obtain a consumer’s acknowledgment of receipt of the Buyers Guide.

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