Consumer groups, state lemon law administrators and the attorney general’s
from 40 states are urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to make some
drastic changes to the FTC Buyer’s Guide, which dealers must include
in every used vehicle. The changes involve adding information on whether
a vehicle was badly damaged in a crash or flood or bought back by the
automaker as a lemon.
The changes are being considered by the FTC, who last year asked for suggestions
for changes to the Buyer’s Guide. They are now reviewing all the
Currently, such information is available from various sources—and
consumers are not always aware enough to seek it out. A vehicle’s
history can be researched through the web (for example, from the National
Motor Vehicle Title Information System at www.nmvtis.gov), and the fact
of a vehicle being a “lemon buyback” is required to be included
in the title of a vehicle by many states, including California.
When purchasing a used car, a consumer should always pay careful attention
to all information about the vehicle.
“Consumers need to know when a vehicle has a history of defects and
may be unsafe, unreliable or very costly to operate and repair,”
said leading California lemon law attorney Norman Taylor. “This
information helps consumers make informed decisions, and also prevents
Taylor understands such issues extremely well. He has been a California
lemon law specialist since 1987, and he and his firm, Norman Taylor and
Associates, have handled over 8,000 cases for consumers with a 98 percent
Buyer information should also include the type of warranty being issued.
“Sometimes a motor vehicle, most commonly a used vehicle, is sold
‘as is’ or ‘with all faults,’ Taylor added. “Be
absolutely certain that you check the Buyer’s Guide where the type
of warranty for the car you want is shown.”
The current FTC Buyer’s Guide—which is a separate document
included with every used vehicle—provides additional information
on different types of warranties and what they mean. If the FTC Buyer’s
Guide meets the changes being requested, it will also then include information
on whether the vehicle is a lemon law buyback.
It is vital that a consumer be fully informed before purchasing a used
car. And if you think you are driving a lemon, contact a qualified lemon
law attorney right away.