For Immediate Release
November 21, 2008
Senior Assistant Attorney General Lauren J. Noether
Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte announced today that she and the Attorneys General of forty-one other states and territories are asking the Federal Trade Commission to strengthen "Buyer's Guide" notices to indicate if used cars, trucks or SUVs that are for sale have been assigned titles indicating past flood or collision damage.
Under the FTC's "Used Car Rule," Buyer's Guide notices must be posted on used vehicles offered for sale. The current rule requires Buyer's Guide notices on used vehicles to tell prospective buyers whether the car is offered with a warranty, or is being sold "as-is," without a warranty. The States said the rule should be modified to require more information.
The States said the warranty information is valuable for used-car buyers, but said the rule's value is limited by the fact that it does not require notice about a vehicle's damage history and prior use. Damaged vehicles may pose safety hazards to consumers. Manufacturers often void warranties on vehicles with damage histories.
"Nothing diminishes the market value of a used vehicle more than a detrimental history," Attorney General Ayotte noted. "Amending the Buyer's Guide to require this information would help prevent fraud. Everyone should be able to easily learn about a used vehicle's history of damage or Lemon Law complaints." she said.
"The national Buyer's Guide requirements should include vehicle history and title information," said Attorney General Ayotte. "That information is readily available to dealers through private data sources and through title records accompanying vehicles they purchase at auction or take in trade."
The States' "Comment" was filed by the Attorneys General of 40 states and two territories: AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OH, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
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