FTC Alerts BBB Regarding Jonesboro Used Car Dealers

January 25, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission’s Southwest Region Office haswarned 11 used car dealerships in Jonesboro, Arkansas, that their salespractices violate the FTC’s Used Car Rule, which requires used car dealers todisplay a “Buyers Guide” detailing warranty and other important information onthe cars they sell.    

FTC staff inspections in Jonesboro found that eight dealersfailed to display Buyers Guides on almost all used cars offered for sale, andthree dealers failed to display the guides on a significant number of usedcars.  Ten dealers properly displayed the guides on all or nearly all ofthe used cars offered for sale.  The FTC sent warning letters urging the11 dealers to come into compliance by properly displaying the guides in a clearand conspicuous location on all used cars.

“We are glad to see that a significant number of used cardealers in Jonesboro, Arkansas, are in substantial compliance with the Used CarRule by properly displaying Buyers Guides on their used cars offered forsale.  We believe these Rule requirements are important to consumers indetermining to purchase a used car,” said Deanya Kueckelhan, Director of theFTC’s Southwest Region.  “We hope the rest of the Jonesboro’s used cardealerships will be in full compliance shortly.”

The inspections were part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts toenforce the Rule, in conjunction with state and local officials.  The FTChas brought more than 80 actions since the Rule took effect in 1985, with civilpenalties totaling more than $1 million.  Hundreds of state actions alsohave been brought to enforce the Rule.

The  Used Car Rule requires that Buyers Guides bedisplayed at all times on each vehicle offered for sale, stating:

  • Whether the vehicle comes with a warranty and, if so, whether it is a “full” or limited warranty;
  • Which systems are covered by the warranty and the duration of the warranty period;
  • If it is a limited warranty, what percentage of the cost for covered parts and labor the dealer will pay for;
  • Whether the car is sold with no written or implied warranty or, in other words, the car is sold “As Is;” or
  • Whether the car is sold with no written warranty, but with implied warranties. (Some states and Washington, D.C. do not allow dealers to sell cars without implied warranties.)

The Rule also provides that the Buyers Guide becomes a partof the sales contract and overrides any contrary provisions contained in thecontract.  It also contains important warnings and suggestions forconsumers, such as asking the dealer if they can have a mechanic inspectthe car they are considering.  The Guide warns consumers not to rely onspoken promises, which may be impossible to enforce.  Instead, consumersshould ask the dealer to put any promises in writing on the Guide and in thesales contract.

Formore information, contact the FTC Office of Public Affairs at 202-326-2180

or visit:www.bbb.org