Submission Number: 563688-00092
Received: 3/2/2013 12:44:18 PM
Commenter: Patty Anderson
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: 16 CFR Part 455 Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule; Project No. P087604
Attachments: No Attachments
I am a consumer attorney and agree with Don Seth's comments that the Buyers Guide is used by dealerships after the sale, after it has misrepresented the vehicle and its warrranties to the consumer, to point to and say "You signed this-- see, it tells you what systems may fail; it tells you that you don't have any warranties from us even though we sold the car as 'certified.'" The consumer does not read past the large print "As Is" or "Warranty" on the Buyers Guide. If there are additions to the listed systems, air bags should be included, but a more general "You have a right to have the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic before you purchase it, or if the dealership refuses to permit an independent inspection, you have a right to refuse to purchase the vehicle and go to another dealership or private seller," if prominent enough, and in Spanish as well, may be more helpful.
As to internet sales, I have seen these used especially deceptively, by selling "certified" cars that end up not qualifying as certified, so the warranty is not honored by dealerships in the buyer's state. It starts with deceptive advertising, to lure out-of-state purchasers, then no matter what the Buyers Guide or other documents say, the dealership includes a MANDATORY BINDING ARBITRATION clause, which makes pursuing a claim much more expensive and less likely to succeed. So the better fix to deceptive practices by auto dealerships is to forbid mandatory binding arbitration.