FTC's lemon law gets an update

The Federal Trade Commission established its Used Car Rule in 1985. It places certain requirements on used car dealers operating in Pennsylvania and the rest of the U.S. Dealers are required to put a Buyers Guide on all of the vehicles they offer for sale. The Buyers Guide includes warranty information and other details that customers can use to make buying decisions. Following a solicitation of public comments, the FTC has amended the Used Car Rule to include new required disclosures.

The Buyers Guide now must include a statement telling customers where they can check for open recalls and where they can get a vehicle history report. Catalytic converters and airbags have been included to the list of possible major vehicle defects that must be included in the Buyers Guide.

The Guide also now includes check boxes for warranty disclosures. The dealer can indicate by checking the appropriate box whether the vehicle is sold as is, with a dealer warranty or with a warranty from a third party. The availability of a service contract is also indicated in the Buyers Guide. If a manufacturer's warranty still applies to the vehicle, there's a box to check for that as well. Beyond providing potential customers with a Buyers Guide, used car dealers have other disclosure obligations and must deal fairly with the buying public.

People in Pennsylvania who believe they've been dealt with unfairly while purchasing a car might want to speak with a lawyer. A lawyer with experience in consumer protection law might be able to help by examining the facts of the situation and gathering evidence to support a lemon law claim. Legal counsel might attempt to negotiate a settlement with the car dealer or draft and file a complaint for damages in civil court.

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