Used Car Requirements

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 submitted suggestions.

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 fraud.”

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 success rate.

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.

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