New Federal Law for Used Cars

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has laws regarding the sale of used cars.  Most people are familiar with these laws, but don’t realize they are federal regulations.  The FTC provides federal regulations for a dealership’s ability to sell a vehicle “As-Is.”  If you have seen the “As-Is” sign on the window of a used car, you have seen the FTC Buyers Guide.  The front side of this window sticker requires a dealerships to place you on notice of whether you are buying a used card with a warranty or “As-Is.”  The back side of the window sticker has a lists of vehicle parts that a dealerships is required to check if the vehicle suffers from any defects.

Recent changes to the Federal “As-Is” law provide more protection to consumers by requiring more disclosures and notices.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • A new description of what it means to buy a vehicle “As-Is,”
  • Requiring disclosures pertaining to third-party warranties and service contracts;
  • Requiring notice that an unexpired manufacturer’s warranty still applies to a used vehicle;
  • Adding air bags and catalytic converters to the Buyers Guide list of major defects;
  • Statements alerting consumers to obtain a vehicle history report and to check for open recalls at visit and; and
  • Adding notices and disclosures in Spanish

We are interested to see what the new Buyers Guide will look like and whether it will actually reduce the number of fraud cases we get involving “As-Is” sales.  The FTC is providing dealerships one year to use up the old Buyer Guides and move to the new one.  In the meantime, remember that just because you bought the vehicle “As-Is” doesn’t mean you have no rights.  “As-Is” only limits certain claims and never takes away your claim for Auto Fraud.  For more information on “As-Is” sales, see our page HERE.

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