In the Matter of General Motors LLC, File Number 152-3101
It is my understanding, to date, that California has the only rule in the nation regarding "certified" cars and what they cannot be. Among other things a certified car in CA may not have an open safety recall. I am an attorney and my practice focuses on lemon law and auto-fraud matters. My office protects consumers from the myriad of scams that are perpetrated upon them daily. Of course a "certified" car is marketed as something "better" than just a regular used car and sometimes better than new. Yet, I am hearing that you are planning to allow dealers to call cars certified if they disclose the existence of the recalls in close proximity to the inspection claims." There are a number of instances throughout 100s of years of jurisprudence that notes disclosure can and often is used to commit fraud and I'm confident this is exactly what dealers have in mind. The only reasonable standard is that a "certified" used car MUST MEAN that all extant safety recalls have been completed, or it CAN NOT be sold as a "certified" used car. Any other result opens the door wide for more and more fraud. As a consumer attorney, I can tell you from daily experience that the average consumer already labors under the gross mis-impression that the there is a federal watchdog that is standing guard over car dealers and keeping them in line. 99 out of 100 consumers, if polled, would be astonished to learn that you could legally even sell a CPO car (in 49 states) with undone safety recalls, frame damage and more. It's open season on consumers. It is inherently deceptive for an auto dealer to represent that its vehicles have passed a rigorous inspection, without ensuring that the safety recall repairs have been performed. For the FTC to put a stamp of approval on that practice would just make it easier to accomplish and and allow dealers to avoid laws currently on the books to protect consumers, the exact opposite result of what the FTC should be shooting for.