Proposed FTC Buyer’s Guide Changes Not Pro-Consumer

The FTC’s proposed Buyer’s Guide rule is not pro-consumer.

A move by the Federal Trade Commission to modify its buyers’ guide for used cars is being panned by consumer groups, who say the current guide is ineffective and proposed changes are even worse.

The FTC guide gives consumers critical information about who will pay for repairs if something goes wrong with a purchased car, the FTC says. But consumer groups say the guide actually gives misleading information, for example telling buyers that dealers aren’t responsible for repairs to vehicles sold “as is.”

That’s not completely accurate, according to Rosemary Shahan of the California-based Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, one of the groups opposing current and proposed FTC wording.

More accurately, a vehicle sold “as is” may still have an implied warranty on it under federal law, she said. But the agency’s blunt language can mislead buyers and give dealers a shield when denying future repair work.

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