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FTC Staff Warns 11 Arkansas Dealers About Used Car Rule Violations

January 29, 2013

JONESBORO, Ark. — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s Southwest Region Office has warned 11 used-car dealerships in Jonesboro, Ark., that their sales practices violate the FTC’s Used Car Rule, which requires used car dealers to display a “Buyers Guide” detailing warranty and other important information on the cars they sell.    

The FTC staff inspections in Jonesboro found that eight dealers failed to display Buyers Guides on almost all used cars offered for sale, and three dealers failed to display the guides on a significant number of used cars. Ten dealers properly displayed the guides on all or nearly all of the used cars offered for sale. 

The FTC sent warning letters urging the 11 dealers to get into compliance by properly displaying the guides in a clear and conspicuous location on all used cars.

“We are glad to see that a significant number of used-car dealers in Jonesboro, Arkansas, are in substantial compliance with the Used Car Rule by properly displaying Buyers Guides on their used cars offered for sale,” said Deanya Kueckelhan, Director of the FTC’s Southwest Region. “We hope the rest of the Jonesboro’s used-car dealerships will be in full compliance shortly.”

The inspections were part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to enforce its rules. The FTC has brought more than 80 actions since the rule took effect in 1985, with civil penalties totaling more than $1 million. Hundreds of state actions also have been brought to enforce the Rule.

The  Used Car Rule requires that Buyers Guides be displayed at all times on each vehicle offered for sale, stating whether the vehicle comes with a warranty and, if so, whether it is a “full” or limited warranty. It also requires that dealers list systems that are covered by the warranty and the duration of the warranty period, among other disclosures.

The rule also provides that the Buyers Guide become a part of the sales contract and overrides any contrary provisions contained in the contract. It also contains important warnings and suggestions for consumers, such as asking the dealer if they can have a mechanic inspect the car they are considering. 

On Dec. 4, 2012, the FTC announced that it is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Buyers Guide. The FTC also is issuing a final rule that makes technical corrections and revises the Spanish translation of the guide. The FTC last reviewed and amended the Used Car Rule in 1995.

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