16 CFR Part 455 Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule; Project No. P087604
Gentlepersons: Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I am a consumer protection attorney with 33 years' experience practicing law. The majority of my practice involves the sale of new and used motor vehicles, and in litigating hundeds of sales over the years, I have learned how consumers are frequently confused or misled by auto dealer practices. Of primary concern, to me, is that buyers of used vehicles be aware of their rights as consumers regardless of any statements dealer personnel may make. The concept of "Buyer beware" is so ingrained in our culture it tends to override many statutory warnings, public policies, and other attempted protections for consumers. Therefore, it is vital that the Buyers Guide, intended to provide critical information about who will pay for repairs when a used car is sold, not only provide accurate information for the consumer, but also avoid opening the misrepresentation door to unscrupulous dealers, who are well-versed in misinterpreting regulatory language to their advantage when speaking with buyers. Oral statements of a vehicle's features and condition ARE enforceable warranties under the Uniform Commerical Code, albeit difficult to prove in litigation. Please do not further obfuscate consumers' rights and their already-difficult task of making informed decisions when buying used vehicles by making the Buyers Guide just another tool in the already-full drawer of sharp business practitioners. Thank you for your kind consideration of this viewpoint.