FTC Extends Comment Period on Additional Proposed Changes to Used Car Rule

One Proposed Change Would Require Dealers to Disclose if They Have Vehicle History Reports

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission is extending the public comment period on proposed changes to its Used Car Rule from January 30, 2015, to March 17, 2015. 

In November 2014, the FTC sought public comments on the proposed changes. The Commission is extending the time for submitting public comments in response to a request from the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule, in effect since 1985, requires car dealers to display a window sticker, called a Buyers Guide, on used cars they offer for sale. The Buyers Guide discloses whether the dealer is offering to sell a used car “as is” (without a warranty), or with a warranty. If the sale is with a warranty, the Buyers Guide discloses the warranty’s terms and conditions, including the duration of coverage, the percentage of total repair costs the dealer will pay, and the vehicle systems the warranty covers. In states that do not permit “as is” used car sales, dealers must use an alternative Buyers Guide that discloses whether the sale is with a warranty or with implied warranties only.

In December 2012, the FTC sought public comments on proposed changes to the Buyers Guide as part of its systematic review of all of the agency’s rules and guides. In response to comments the Commission received, the agency now seeks comments on additional proposed changes to the Used Car Rule, including:

  • requiring dealers to indicate on the Buyers Guide whether they have obtained a vehicle history report and, if so, to provide a copy to consumers who request one;
  • revising the Buyers Guide statement describing an “As Is” sale;
  • moving boxes to the face of the Buyers Guide where dealers can indicate whether “non-dealer” warranties apply to a vehicle; and
  • placing a statement, in Spanish, on the face of the English-language Buyers Guide, advising Spanish-speaking consumers to ask for the Buyers Guide in Spanish if they cannot read it in English.

The Commission also invites comments on alternative approaches that public commenters proposed for the vehicle history disclosure and the “As Is” statement. 

For more information about the Used Car Rule, read Buying a Used Car.  For used car dealers, the FTC offers A Dealer’s Guide to the Used Car Rule.  “Fillable” versions of the Buyers Guide in English and Spanish are available at FTC.gov.

The Commission vote to extend the public comment period on the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register was 5-0. To comment by mail, write “Used Car Rule Regulatory Review, 16 CFR Part 455, Project No. P087604” on comments and send them to Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex A), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580, or file them online. Comments must be received on or before March 17, 2015. All comments received will be posted online.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Frank Dorman
Office of Public Affairs

STAFF CONTACT:
John C. Hallerud
FTC’s Midwest Region
312-960-5634