[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 98 (Monday, May 21, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 29922-29924]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12132]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

16 CFR Part 20


Guides for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned and Other Used Automobile 
Parts Industry, Request for Comments

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission).

ACTION: Request for public comments.

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SUMMARY: As part of the Commission's systematic review of all current 
FTC rules and guides, the Commission requests public comment on the 
costs, benefits, necessity for, and regulatory and economic impact of 
the FTC's ``Guides for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned and Other Used 
Automobile Parts Industry.''

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 3, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``Used Auto Parts Guides 
Review, 16 CFR Part 20, Project No. P127702'' on your comment, and file 
your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/usedautopartsguide, by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail or deliver your 
comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of 
the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex B), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20580.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jonathan L. Kessler, Attorney, East 
Central Region, Federal Trade Commission, 1111 Superior Avenue, Suite 
200, Cleveland, Ohio 44114, 216-263-3436.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Used Auto Parts Guides seek to prevent unfair or deceptive acts 
or practices in the advertisement and sale (including installation) of 
previously used motor vehicle parts and assemblies of parts containing 
previously used parts (e.g., engines and transmissions). The Commission 
first addressed the used automobile parts market in 1962, when it 
issued its Trade Practice Rules for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned and 
Other Used Automotive Parts Industry. In 1979 these rules were 
rescinded and replaced with the ``Guides for the Rebuilt, Reconditioned 
and Other Used Automobile Parts Industry'' (Used Auto Parts Guides or 
Guides). The Guides have been in place since that time, but were 
revised in 2002 to make minor language changes and to update the list 
of commonly rebuilt or reused parts and assemblies.
    In their current form, the Guides apply to ``used parts and 
assemblies containing used parts designed for use in automobiles, 
trucks, motorcycles, tractors, or similar self-propelled vehicles 
whether or not such parts or assemblies have been reconstructed in any 
way'' (Industry Product or Products). 16 CFR part 20. The Guides 
prohibit both misrepresentations that an Industry Product is new and 
misrepresentations of ``the current condition, or extent of previous 
use, reconstruction, or repair of'' an Industry Product. 16 CFR 
20.1(a). Industry Products must be clearly and conspicuously identified 
as such in advertisements, on packaging, and, if

[[Page 29923]]

the product appears new, on the product itself. Further, the Guides 
prohibit misrepresenting the identity of an Industry Product rebuilder. 
16 CFR 20.2. The Guides describe the treatment an Industry Product must 
receive before it can be described as ``rebuilt'' or 
``remanufactured,'' and limit use of the term ``factory rebuilt'' to 
Industry Products rebuilt ``at a factory generally engaged in the 
rebuilding of such products.'' 16 CFR 20.3.
    The Used Auto Parts Guides, like other industry guides issued by 
the Commission, are ``administrative interpretations of laws 
administered by the Commission for the guidance of the public in 
conducting its affairs in conformity with legal requirements.'' 16 CFR 
1.5. Conduct inconsistent with the Guides ``may result in corrective 
action by the Commission under applicable statutory provisions.'' 16 
CFR 1.5.

II. Regulatory Review Program

    The Commission reviews all of its rules and guides periodically. 
These reviews seek information about the costs, benefits, and 
regulatory and economic impact of each rule and guide. The information 
obtained assists the Commission in identifying rules and guides that 
should be changed or eliminated. Accordingly, this Notice requests 
comments addressing whether the Used Auto Parts Guides are still 
needed, their costs and benefits to consumers and businesses, and 
whether any changes are needed.

III. Request for Comments

    Please provide any comments you have related to the Used Auto Parts 
Guides. Particularly helpful would be comments that respond to all or 
some of the following questions:
    1. Are the Guides still needed? Why or why not?
    2. What benefits do the Guides provide to consumers? What evidence 
do you have or know of that shows these benefits?
    3. What changes, if any, should the Commission make to the Guides 
to increase their benefits to consumers?
    a. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for consumers?
    b. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for businesses, particularly small businesses?
    c. What evidence do you have or know of that supports these 
changes?
    4. What costs have the Guides imposed on consumers? What evidence 
do you have or know of that shows these costs?
    5. What changes, if any, would reduce the costs the Guides impose 
on consumers?
    a. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for consumers?
    b. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for businesses, particularly small businesses?
    c. What evidence do you have or know of that supports these 
changes?
    6. What benefits, if any, have the Guides provided to businesses, 
and in particular to small businesses? What evidence do you have or 
know of that supports these benefits?
    7. What changes, if any, should be made to the Guides to increase 
their benefits to businesses, particularly small businesses?
    a. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for consumers?
    b. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for businesses, particularly small businesses?
    c. What evidence do you have or know of that supports these 
changes?
    8. What costs, including costs of compliance, have the Guides 
imposed on businesses, especially small businesses? What evidence do 
you have or know of that supports these costs?
    9. What changes, if any, should be made to the Guides to reduce the 
costs imposed on businesses, particularly small businesses?
    a. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for consumers?
    b. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for businesses, particularly small businesses?
    c. What evidence do you have or know of that supports these 
changes?
    10. What evidence, if any, has become available since 2002 
concerning consumer perceptions of Industry Products (used vehicle 
parts and assemblies of parts, such as engines and transmissions, 
containing used parts)? Does this new information indicate that the 
Guides should be modified? If so, why does the information indicate the 
Guides should be modified, and how should they be modified?
    11. The Guides now require that certain disclosures be clear and 
conspicuous. Should the Guides define ``clear and conspicuous''? Why or 
why not? What information should be in a definition of ``clear and 
conspicuous''? (For example, other Commission rules define ``clear and 
conspicuous'' as ``reasonably understandable and designed to call 
attention to the nature and significance of the information.'' 16 CFR 
313.3 (Privacy of Consumer Financial Information), 16 CFR 680.3 
(Affiliate Marketing)).
    12. Should the Guides be changed to specify when an installer of an 
Industry Product (e.g., mechanic or technician) must disclose the use 
of the Product to a consumer? If so:
    a. What evidence, if any, do you have that shows that disclosure of 
the installation of an Industry Product is not being made to consumers 
at an appropriate time?
    b. When should the installer disclose the use of an Industry 
Product? (E.g., when the vehicle is left for servicing; when the 
consumer is told that a replacement part is needed; when the consumer 
retrieves the vehicle after the Industry Product has been installed.)
    13. How have the Guides affected the flow of truthful information 
to consumers? How have the Guides affected the flow of deceptive 
information to consumers? What evidence do you have or know of that 
shows the effect of the Guides on the flow of either truthful or 
deceptive information to consumers?
    14. What evidence is available concerning the degree of compliance 
with the Guides? What does this evidence indicate about whether the 
Guides should be kept, changed, or eliminated?
    15. Are any parts of the Guides no longer needed? If so, which 
parts? What evidence do you have or know of that supports your views?
    16. What changes, if any, should be made to the Guides to account 
for changes in technology or economic conditions?
    a. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for consumers?
    b. How would the changes affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for businesses, particularly small businesses?
    c. What evidence do you have or know of that supports these 
changes?
    17. What acts or practices related to Industry Products do the 
Guides currently not address, but which they should address? What 
evidence do you have or know of that supports your views?
    18. Is there a need for efforts to educate consumers or businesses 
about the Used Auto Parts Guides? If so, what types of educational 
activities should the Commission undertake?
    19. The current Guides expressly exclude tires because when the 
Guides were last amended the Commission had separate guides relating to 
the advertising and selling of tires. These

[[Page 29924]]

tire guides have since been eliminated. Should the Used Auto Parts 
Guides be changed to include tires? Why or why not? What evidence do 
you have or know of that supports your views?
    20. The current Guides state that they apply to Industry Products 
``designed for use in automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, or 
similar self-propelled vehicles.'' 16 CFR 20.0. Is this list adequate 
to describe the vehicles to which the Guides should apply, or should 
other vehicles be expressly mentioned? (E.g., all-terrain vehicles, 
off-road construction vehicles, dune buggies or other off-road 
recreation vehicles.) If so, which other vehicles should be mentioned, 
and why? What evidence do you have or know of that supports your views?
    21. Do the Used Auto Parts Guides overlap or conflict with other 
laws or regulations, whether federal, state, or local? If so, how?
    a. What evidence do you have or know of concerning the conflicts?
    b. Should the Guides be changed because of these conflicts? If so, 
how?
    c. Have the Guides helped make the advertising and selling of 
Industry Products more consistent across the country? If so, how?
    22. Are there foreign or international laws, regulations, or 
standards concerning the advertising and sale of Industry Products that 
the Commission should consider as it reviews the Guides? If so, what 
are they?
    a. Should the Guides be changed to harmonize with these foreign or 
international laws, regulations, or standards? Why or why not?
    b. How would harmonization affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for consumers?
    c. How would harmonization affect the costs and benefits of the 
Guides for businesses, particularly small businesses?

IV. Instructions for Comment Submissions

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before August 3, 2012. 
Write ``Used Auto Parts Guides Review, 16 CFR Part 20, Matter No. P12-
7702'' on your comment. Your comment B including your name and your 
state B will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, 
including, to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web 
site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of 
discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact 
information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web 
site.
    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive personal information, such as a Social Security number, date 
of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number 
or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account 
number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible 
for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health 
information, like medical records or other individually identifiable 
health information. In addition, do not include any ``[t]rade secret or 
any commercial or financial information which is obtained from any 
person and which is privileged or confidential,'' as provided in 
Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 
16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively 
sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, 
formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer 
names.
    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential 
treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for 
confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained 
in FTC Rule 4.9(c). 16 CFR 4.9(c).\1\ Your comment will be kept 
confidential only if the FTC General Counsel, in his or her sole 
discretion, grants your request in accordance with the law and the 
public interest.
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    \1\ In particular, the written request for confidential 
treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and 
legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions 
of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 
4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).
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    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/usedautopartsguide, by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. If this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you 
also may file a comment through that Web site.
    If you file your comment on paper, write ``Used Auto Parts Guides 
Review, 16 CFR Part 20, Matter No. P127702'' on your comment and on the 
envelope, and mail or deliver it to the following address: Federal 
Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113 (Annex B), 600 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. If possible, submit your 
paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this 
Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws 
that the Commission administers permit the collection of public 
comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The 
Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that 
it receives on or before August 3, 2012. You can find more information, 
including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the 
Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 20

    Advertising, Motor vehicles, Trade Practices.

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 41-58.

    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2012-12132 Filed 5-18-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6750-01-P