Auto News Digest

New York gets a better buyer's guide

NEW YORK - The Federal Trade Commission's Northeast Region and the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association have published an improved Spanish-language version of the buyer's guide required by the FTC's Used Car Rule. The version was created specifically for the New York market.

The guide includes the FTC translation plus information about specific systems covered by each used car's warranty and each warranty's duration under New York's Used Car Lemon Law.

Previously, specific warranty information covered by that state's lemon law was left blank in the guide, and dealers had to complete the information for each transaction.

The FTC's Used Car Rule is a federal law covering all used-car dealers and is tailored to meet the needs of each state. It requires that dealers post a buyer's guide in each car and incorporate that information into each sales contract. This information must be provided in Spanish if the sale is transacted in Spanish.

Violations are punishable by civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.

Average car age rises

WYCKOFF, N.J. - Domestic cars in the United States reached an average age of 10.2 years on Jan. 1, 2001, compared with 8.1 years in 1990, according to Lang Marketing Resources, a research and consulting firm specializing in the vehicle products industry.

Lang research showed the average age of domestic cars began to steadily increase in the 1990s as light trucks and import vehicles expanded their share of new-vehicle volume. The average age of a domestic car was 9.2 years in 1995 and 10 years in 2000, Lang reported.

MotorPlace opens service

SEATTLE - MotorPlace Auto Exchange, a division of Cobalt Group, opened a version of its wholesale online used-vehicle service July 28.

MotorPlace enables auto companies, financial institutions and fleet, lease and rental companies to offer off-lease and retired rental vehicles for sale via the Internet immediately after they take possession of the vehicle.

Vehicles that do not sell in the time frame determined by the seller are sent to a physical auction.

The exchange is open to all dealers and costs nothing to join. There is a $100 buyer's fee for each vehicle purchased.

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