FTC asked to strengthen notices in Buyer's Guides

Nick Rees Nov. 26, 2008, 10:32am

Bill McCollum (R)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) -- Florida's attorney general has joined with the attorneys general of 41 other states in asking the Federal Trade Commission to strengthen notices about used vehicle damage in "Buyer's Guides."

Notices must be posted on used vehicles for sale under the FTC's Used Car Rule, telling potential buyers if the car being sold is offered with a warranty or sold without one as-is.

"While the warranty information is valuable for used car buyers, the rule's value is limited by the fact that it does not require notice about a vehicle's damage history and prior use," Attorney General Bill McCollum said. "Nothing diminishes the market value of a used vehicle more than detrimental history."

The attorneys general are calling for the Buyer's Guide to require damage and title information as well as Lemon Law History, which will reduce fraud and omissions of material facts. This is currently only required in Wisconsin. The states also believe that vehicles sold without this information can pose safety hazards to consumers.

"There simply is no excuse for the national Buyer's Guide to fail to include vehicle history and title brand information" comments filed with the FTC said. That information is readily available to dealers through private data sources and through title records accompanying vehicles they purchase at auction or take in trade. If Wisconsin dealers are required and can determine facts sufficient to make that disclosure, so too should dealers in the rest of the nation."

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