In November 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revised the Used Car Rule to provide more information to consumers and to simplify the disclosure process for dealers. The revisions became effective in January 2017, but dealers were given a one-year grace period to transition to the new rule and the new Buyers Guides.
As the end of 2017 draws near, dealers only have a few weeks before the grace period ends, and the FTC begins fully enforcing the Rule. What does this mean for used car dealers? It means that if dealers haven’t done so already, now is the time to become familiar with the updates to the new Rule and the new Buyers Guide, and to make sure that the new Rule and the new Buyers Guide is being used in all used car transactions.
A rundown of some of the key changes to the Buyers Guide are outlined below:
- Consumers are recommended to obtain a vehicle history report and to look into safety recalls before purchasing a used car. The new guide includes resources and information for how to help consumers do this.
- “As is” sales are re-defined to mean only that the used car is offered without a warranty from the dealer.
- Boxes are added for dealers to indicate whether the used car has any third-party warranty coverage and whether a service contract is available.
- A box is added for dealers to indicate whether the used car comes with an unexpired manufacturer’s warranty.
- The list of potential major defects is extended to include air bags and catalytic converters.
- The English-language guide contains a direction for Spanish-speaking consumers to ask for the Spanish-language guide if the sale is also being done in the Spanish language.
Dealers who do not follow the new guidelines of the Used Care Rule can face penalties of more than $40,000.00. To avoid these hefty consequences, dealers need to take the extra steps and ensure that the new Buyer’s Guide is being properly displayed in all used vehicles and that the information in each guide is accurate.
The FTC has chimed in to provide clarification on the new Rule since it became effective. For a summary Q&A from the FTC, see https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/answering-dealers-questions-about-revised-used-car-rule.
If you have questions or concerns, we are here to help.
Call Geoff Grodner or Dustin Plummer at 812-332-5000.
Download this notice as PDF: 20171103 Revised Used Car Rule.pdf