New Protection Coming For Used Car Buyers

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

Buying a car can be scary, and buying a used car can also be a little tricky.

Kevin Theisen made sure he was there for his son's first solo car purchase Tuesday night at Sundance Chevrolet in Grand Ledge.

"Just to make sure that he gets a good deal," Theisen said. "When you go, 'Oh, I gotta go look for a car,' you just dread it. It could be a good experience, but it could be just terrifying."

The Federal Trade Commission wants to change that. In an effort to make the process a little more transparent, the FTC is proposing changes to the Buyers Guide sticker. It's the window display that's required to be in every used car that mostly provides warranty information.

The changes include a statement encouraging people to visit the FTC website for vehicle histories, an addition of catalytic converters and airbags to the list of systems on the back, and a portion in Spanish.

"Anything they can do to clarify," Theisen said. "The more they put on that sticker, that's in your side to help you with your purchase. You've got something there to relate back to. If it's in writing, that's important."

The Attorney General's office said they support the updates, because it will help car buyers make better-informed decisions. Car dealers agree, it will make people feel a little more comfortable getting into the driver's seat.

"Sometimes as things go by so quickly, they're excited to buy the car, and the salesmen are excited to sell the car, and possibly things don't get covered, and I think this will actually help," Joe Hanks, New Car Sales Manager at Sundance Chevrolet said. "They can take it and be more prone to look at it and read it before they jump in the saddle of a new car."

The new Buyers Guides would also include more boxes on the back for warranty information, and maybe minor cosmetic changes, like bigger font, to improve readability.

Even though many people like the service at Sundance, you can't be too careful.

"There's still no fool-proof plan, you still could get zapped, and no body meant to do it, but it still could happen," Theisen said.

The FTC voted unanimously to approve the changes. They are encouraging public comment before anything is finalized.


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