C. Steven Moskos, PA
16 CFR Part 455 Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule; Project No. P087604
I want to register my comments about the used car buyers guide. Dealers are not using the guide for it intended purposes. Recently, used car dealers have started using the buyers guide as a defense to fraud cases. The salesmen tell customers that a vehicle has not been wrecked or they fail to disclose prior wreck damage. When the customer discovers the truth and complains, the dealer hides behind the buyers guide saying, see on the back. It says the car may have frame damage so we told you about possible prior wreck damage. So take your car and go away. The buyers guide is supposed to deal with warranty issues not fraudulent representations. The guide needs to be very clear that it only covers warranty issues. Please keep in mind that defense lawyers are constantly looking to the Federal government to preempt the rights of consumers. This is another attempt to change the landscape to help dealers say and do what they want without any repercussions. Additionally, any items that needed to be checked or signed should be on the front of the document. A customer looking at the window sticker can only see the front page as the back is glued to the window. In some cases I have handled, the buyers guides were not in the window at the time of the sale. They were presented to the customer in the finance office. Putting items on the back does not give the customer fair warning about a problem. Furthermore, once the customer is in the finance office it is psychologically harder to walk away from the deal. Those items are the back are going to be seen as less important but, in fact, the information on the back may be more important than the information on the front. Thus, the customer gets taken advantage of and the dealer says you could have just walked away. This is not a fair way to conduct business.