MADISON, Wis. - As of Sept. 1, Wisconsin dealers must put an expanded consumer information label on used cars. The label, called the Wisconsin Buyer's Guide, will be the most detailed in the country, said Mary Kay Dodge, Wisconsin Department of Transportation dealer licensing section customer service specialist.
The label was developed with help from dealers. It will contain information about dealer and manufacturer warranties, title branding, the state where the title was held last and whether safety recall repairs have been done.
It will disclose such things as abnormal exhaust discharge, excessive oil consumption, and electronic systems technology that did not exist when Wisconsin's current label took effect in 1985.
Dodge said only Wisconsin and Maine are exempt from Federal Trade Commission used-car disclosure requirements to tell consumers the odometer reading and that a vehicle is being sold 'as is' because their disclosures reveal much more information.
Roger Cross, Division of Motor Vehicles administrator, said, 'This information may help reduce the number of complaints because it outlines consumer rights and how to avoid problem situations.'
Of the 1,699 consumer complaints resolved by the state Department of Transportation in 1996, most were about quality of used vehicles, inadequate disclosure and used-vehicle representation by licensed dealers - the same complaints that topped the four previous years.