WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Trade Commission announced final amendments to its Used Car Rule today. The agency has sought public comments on a series of proposed changes to the rule, which requires car dealers to display a window sticker, or “Buyers Guide,” on used cars offered for sales.
The guide discloses whether the dealer is offering to sell a used car “as is” (without a warranty), or with a warranty. If the sale is with a warranty, the Guide discloses the terms and conditions, including the duration of coverage, the percentage of total repair costs the dealer will pay, and the vehicle systems the warranty covers. In states that do not permit “as is” used-car sales, dealers must use an alternative guide that discloses whether the sale is with a warranty or with implied warranties only.
In December 2012, the FTC sought public comments on proposed changes to the Buyers Guide as part of its systematic review of all of the agency’s rules and guides. In response to comments received, the agency sought comments on additional proposed changes to the Used Car Rule and invited comments on alternative approaches that public commenters proposed for the vehicle history disclosure and the “As Is” statement.
As announced today, the commission is revising the Buyers Guide by changing the description of an “As Is” sales, and placing boxes on the face of the Buyers Guide dealers can check to indicate whether a vehicle is covered by a third-party warranty and whether a service contract may be available. The FTC is also providing a box dealers can check to indicate that an unexpired manufacturer’s warranty applies.
Additionally, the agency is adding air bags and catalytic converters to the Buyers Guide’s list of major defects that may occur in used vehicles. It’s also adding a statement that directs consumers to obtain a vehicle history report and to check for open recalls, as well as a statement in Spanish that advises Spanish-speaking consumers to ask for the Buyers Guide in Spanish if the dealer is conducting the sale in Spanish.
The FTC will also provide a Spanish translation of the statement that dealers may use to obtain a consumer’s acknowledgement of receipt of the Buyers Guide.
The amended rule permits dealers to use their remaining stock of Buyers Guides for one year after the effective date of the amended Rule.