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Sunday 4 December 2016
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FTC Tightens Rules On Used Car “Buyers Guide”      

FTC Tightens Rules On Used Car “Buyers Guide”      

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is revising the used car ‘Buyers Guide’ window sticker, also known as the Used Car Rule, that dealers are required to place on vehicles.

The changes, four years in the making, are designed to give consumers more information. Many of the changes focus on “As-Is” sales, warranty disclosures and instructions for checking open recalls. Also, air bags will be listed as a major defect that could occur in used vehicles, likely the result of the massive, ongoing Takata recall.

The redesigned stickers will include new boxes that explicitly show whether a vehicle is covered by a third-party warranty or an unexpired factory warranty. For new warranties, dealers must indicate the terms and conditions such as duration of coverage, the percentage of total repair costs paid by the dealer, and which vehicle systems are covered.  Frankly, I’m not 100% sure how a Chevy dealer will know the remaining warranty on a used Ford they have for sale, but I digress.

The stickers will also be revised with general instructions directing customers to government websites for information on open safety recalls and how to obtain a vehicle history report.

Used car dealers will be able to use their remaining stock of Buyers Guide stickers for one year after the amended rule goes into effect.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the major changes:

  • Changing the description of an “As Is” sale
  • Adding boxes that dealers can check to indicate whether a vehicle is covered by a third-party warranty and whether a service contract may be available
  • Providing a box dealers can check to indicate that an unexpired manufacturer’s warranty applies
  • Adding air bags and catalytic converters to the Buyers Guide’s list of major defects that may occur in used vehicles
  • Adding a statement that directs consumers to obtain a vehicle history report and to check for open recalls.
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