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Additions to the FTC Buyer's Guide for used cars

Used car buyers in California might want to know that the FTC has made changes to the Used Car Rule, which has been law since 1985. The rule requires that sellers of used cars post a Buyer's Guide for the vehicles they sell. The guide gives warranty information and other information to help used car buyers make informed purchasing decisions. The FTC, after getting input from the general public, added some things to the guide.

The additions include a statement that tells consumers to check for open recalls and get vehicle history information. Links to two government websites that explain how to get this information are included. The list of major defects in the guide has been amended to add airbags and catalytic converters. The guide now includes checkboxes to check off if service contract, third-party warrant or unexpired manufacturer's warranty are available.

The Buyer's Guide can be downloaded from the FTC's Automobiles webpage, which is a page designed for car dealers. The new guide became available in 2016. Dealers were allowed to use the old guide until January, 2018.

In addition to federal laws, most states have their own laws about car sales. These laws are generally known as lemon laws, and they are designed to protect consumers. California has one of the country's strongest lemon laws. If someone in California buys a car that has a defect that is not repaired after two attempts by the dealer, the dealer may be required to either buy back the car or offer a replacement vehicle. The lemon law applies to all vehicles, used or new, and a car owner can file at any time up to four years after the vehicle's warranty has expired.

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