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A judge upheld Federal Trade Commission charges against Charles W. Middleton, doing business as Crossroads Auto Mart of Chicago Heights, Illinois, for failing to display the required "Buyers Guide" on the window of used cars offered for sale, in violation of the Used Car Rule. The defendant must pay a $4,500 civil penalty and is prohibited from any future violations of the rule.

The charges were filed in August 1993, after a statewide sweep of used-car dealers involving the FTC's Chicago Regional Office and the Office of the Illinois Attorney General. The Commission asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to assess civil penalties for each violation of the rule during the past five years. The judge, Charles R. Norgle, Sr., found that there were no factual disputes and assessed a $4,500 penalty on June 27, 1995 in a judgment that was entered June 30.

The FTC's Used Car Rule requires that a Buyers Guide be posted at all times on the side window of each used car offered for sale. Dealers must disclose on the Buyers Guide whether the vehicle is covered by a warranty and, if so, the type and duration of the warranty coverage. The information in the Buyers Guide also becomes part of the sales contract, and supersedes anything to the contrary in the contract.

Copies of the original news release and of the complaint are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261.

To find out the latest FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at:

(FTC File No. 932 3131)

(Civil Action No. 1:93-cv-04633)