FTC Extends Public Comment Period on "Lemon Buyback" Practices

Deadline Now July 29, 1996; Public Forum October 3, 1996

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The Federal Trade Commission has extended the public comment period on issues related to the resale of "lemon buybacks" -- cars previously repurchased from consumers by manufacturers under state "lemon" laws. The request for public comment was made in response to a petition from the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety and other consumer groups (collectively "Consumer Coalition") requesting that the FTC either initiate a rulemaking proceeding or enforcement actions concerning the alleged auto industry practice of reselling "lemon buybacks" without disclosing the car's prior history to the subsequent purchaser. In seeking comment, the Commission did not endorse the views expressed in the petition, but merely sought additional information about industry practices and consumers' experiences. The deadline for submission of comments was June 28, 1996, but the Commission has extended the comment period for an additional 30 days, until July 29, 1996, to ensure that all interested parties have an opportunity to submit responsive information.

The Commission issued its initial request for public comment on the lemon-buyback issues on April 30, 1996. At that time, the Commission announced its intention to hold a public forum on July 15, 1996, in Washington, D.C., to further discuss these issues.

Given that the deadline for the submission of comments has been extended, the Commission has changed the date of the public forum to October 3, 1996, to provide participants with sufficient time to review the comments submitted.

A notice announcing the extension of the public comment period until July 29 and postponing the public forum until October 3 will be published in today's Federal Register.

Requests to participate in the public forum must be sent by July 29, 1996 to Carole I. Danielson, Division of Marketing Practices, Federal Trade Commission, Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

Comments on the various issues raised by the petition will be accepted until July 29, 1996. Comments should be identified as "Vehicle Buybacks -- Comment. FTC File No. P96 4402," and addressed to the Office of the Secretary, Room 159, FTC, Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

The Commission vote to issue the Federal Register notice extending the public comment period and postponing the public forum was 5-0.

Copies of Federal Register Notice, as well as other documents pertaining to this matter, 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: http://www.ftc.gov

(FTC Matter No. P964402)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Brenda A. Mack,
Office of Public Affairs,
Staff Contact:
Bureau of Consumer Protection,
Allen Hile or Carole I. Danielson,
202-326-3122 or 202-326-3115