[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 239 (Wednesday, December 12, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 73912-73916]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29901]



16 CFR Part 455

Used Motor Vehicle Trade Regulation Rule

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'') has 
completed its regulatory review of its Used Motor Vehicle Trade 
Regulation Rule (``Used Car Rule'' or ``Rule'') as part of the FTC's 
systematic review of all current Commission regulations and guides. The 
Commission has decided to retain the Rule and to issue this final rule 
making nonsubstantive revisions to the Spanish translation of the Used 
Car Buyers Guide and nonsubstantive technical changes to the Rule. The 
revisions to the Spanish translation were published for public comment 
when the Commission announced its regulatory review of the Rule.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective on February 11, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of this document should be sent to: 
Public Records Branch, Room 130, Federal Trade Commission, 600 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20580. This document, and 
public records related to the FTC's regulatory review, are also 
available at that address and at www.ftc.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John C. Hallerud, Attorney, Midwest 
Region, Federal Trade Commission, 55 West Monroe, Suite 1825, Chicago, 
Illinois 60603, (312) 960-5634.


I. Background

    The Commission promulgated the Used Car Rule in 1984 and the Rule 
became effective in 1985.\1\ The Used Car Rule is intended primarily to 
prevent oral misrepresentations and unfair omissions of material facts 
by used car dealers concerning warranty coverage. To accomplish that 
goal, the Rule provides a uniform method for disclosing warranty 
information on a window sticker called the ``Buyers Guide'' that 
dealers are required to display on used cars. The Rule requires used 
car dealers to disclose on the Buyers Guide whether they are offering a 
used car for sale with a dealer's warranty and, if so, the basic terms, 
including the duration of coverage, the percentage of total repair 
costs to be paid by the dealer, and the exact systems covered by the 
warranty. The Rule additionally provides that the Buyers Guide 
disclosures are to be incorporated by reference into the sales 
contract, and are to govern in the event of an inconsistency between 
the Buyers Guide and the sales contract.

    \1\ 49 FR 45692 (Nov. 19, 1984).

    Among other information, the Buyers Guide includes: (1) A 
suggestion that consumers ask the dealer if a pre-purchase inspection 
is permitted; (2) a warning against reliance on spoken promises that 
are not confirmed in writing; and (3) a list of fourteen major systems 
of a used motor vehicle and the major defects that may occur in these 
    The Rule prescribes Spanish language versions of the Buyers Guide 
when dealers conduct sales in Spanish.\2\ In 1995, as part of its 
periodic review, the Commission amended the Used Car Rule by,\3\ among 
other things, adopting several minor grammatical changes to the Spanish 
language version of the Buyers Guide.

    \2\ 16 CFR 455.5.
    \3\ 60 FR 62195 (Dec. 5, 1995).

II. Analysis

    On July 21, 2008, the Commission announced in the Federal Register 
its regulatory review of the Rule as part of the FTC's systematic 
review of its rules and guides.\4\ The Commission has decided to retain 
the Rule, to revise the Spanish translation of the Buyers Guide as 
proposed in that Federal Register document, and to make three 
nonsubstantive technical changes to the text of the Rule.

    \4\ 73 FR 42285 (July 21, 2008). In a separate Federal Register 
document, the Commission is publishing a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (``NPR'') addressing the comments received during its 
review and inviting public comment on whether to amend the Rule and 
to revise the Buyers Guide. The NPR seeks comments on, among other 
things, adding a statement, in Spanish, to the English Buyers Guide 
suggesting that Spanish-speaking consumers who cannot read the 
English Buyers Guide ask for a copy of it in Spanish.

A. Changes to Spanish Translation of Buyers Guide

    During the regulatory review, the Commission received one comment 
favoring the translation changes,\5\ and none opposing them. The 
Commission received two comments recommending that the Rule require 
translations of the Buyers Guide into the language used to conduct the 
sale.\6\ Two comments state that the Buyers Guide should not be 
translated into Spanish.\7\

    \5\ Joint letter from the Consumer Action, Consumers for Auto 
Reliability and Safety, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer 
Federation of California, National Consumer Law Center, U.S. Public 
Interest Group, Watsonville Law Center (collectively referred to as 
``CARS,'' which signed the joint letter) at 31-35 (page numbers 
added for convenience). The comment from CARS and other comments 
that were received by the Commission in response to the regulatory 
review are available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/usedcarrule/index.shtm. Additional comments on the regulatory review, submitted 
during a second comment period, are available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/comments/usedcarrulereopen/index.shtm.
    The comment from CARS also proposes numerous corrections to the 
Spanish translation, such as correcting missing accents and 
typographical errors. These errors appeared in the Spanish Buyers 
Guide available on the FTC's Web site, but were not part of the 
amended Spanish Buyers Guide that was adopted by the Commission and 
published in the Federal Register in 1995. After receiving the CARS 
comment, the FTC Web site version of the Buyers Guide was corrected. 
The current Federal Register notice document incorporates those 
changes and makes the additional translation revisions described in 
this document.
    \6\ CARS at 24-25; Broward County, Florida, Permitting, 
Licensing and Consumer Protection Division at 7 (Sept. 19, 2008).
    \7\ Sachau, Barbara (consumer) (July 21, 2008); King, Monty 
(Oregon Vehicle Dealer Association) (Aug. 27, 2008).

    During the original 1984 rulemaking, the Commission chose to 
translate the Buyers Guide only into Spanish. At that time, the 
Commission considered whether to require a translation of the Buyers 
Guide into the language used to conduct a used car sale.\8\ The 
Commission concluded that such a requirement could result in 
translations of the Buyers Guides of varying linguistic quality and 
accuracy unless the Commission published official translations of the 
Buyers Guide into the various languages used in the United States.\9\ 
The Commission decided to limit the translation of the Buyers Guide to 
Spanish because, besides English, Spanish is the language most 
frequently used in the United States during used car transactions.\10\ 
The Commission sees no reason to revisit its earlier decision and 
declines to propose requiring translations of the Buyers Guide into 
languages other than English and Spanish.

    \8\ Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Used Motor Vehicles, 
Statement of Basis and Purpose and Regulatory Analysis (``SBP''), 49 
FR 45692, at 45711 (1984).
    \9\ Id.
    \10\ Id.

B. Technical Revisions to the Rule

    The Commission is also making three minor nonsubstantive changes to 
the Rule. First, the Commission is correcting a typographical error by 
changing ``diffential'' to ``differential'' in 16 CFR 455.2(b)(2)(ii). 
Second, the Commission is correcting the terminology used in 16 CFR 
455.2(d) by changing the term ``name'' to ``make.'' Finally, the 
Commission is changing the example of an automobile make in 16 CFR 
455.2(d) from ``Vega'' to ``Corvette'' because the Vega has not been 
manufactured since 1977.

III. Procedural Requirements

A. Administrative Procedure Act

    Section 1029(d) of Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and 
Consumer Protection Act \11\ authorizes the Commission to use 
Administrative Procedure Act \12\ procedures to issue or amend rules 
with respect to motor vehicle dealers predominantly engaged in the sale 
and servicing, or leasing and servicing, of motor vehicles. Pursuant to 
this authority, the Commission is implementing several technical 
amendments to the Used Car Rule.

    \11\ Public Law 111-203, Title X, Sec.  1029(d); 12 U.S.C. 
    \12\ 5 U.S.C. 553.

    The Commission finds good cause to adopt these changes without 
further public comment. Under the APA, notice and comment are not 
required ``when the agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the 
finding and a brief statement of reasons therefore in the rules issued) 
that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, 
unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' \13\

    \13\ 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).

    In this case, the Commission finds that additional public comment 
on the rule is unnecessary because the Commission has already provided 
an opportunity for public comment on these revisions to the Spanish

[[Page 73914]]

translation of the Buyers Guide. Specifically, the Commission requested 
public comment on these revisions to the Spanish translation of the 
Buyers Guide as part of its regulatory review of the Buyers Guide. See 
73 FR 42285. In response to the Commission's request for comment on 
these proposed changes, the Commission received one comment favoring 
the translation changes,\14\ and no comments opposing the changes. 
Accordingly, the Commission has determined that the public has had 
sufficient opportunity to comment on the proposed changes. As a result, 
additional opportunity for public comment is unnecessary.

    \14\ Joint letter from CARS, at 31-35.

    Moreover, additional public comment is unnecessary because the 
changes are merely nonsubstantive revisions to ensure the clarity and 
accuracy of the translation of the Buyers Guide. The Commission finds 
that these technical, nonsubstantive changes are minor, routine 
clarifications of the text of the Spanish translation that will not 
have a significant effect on industry or the public, and therefore 
additional public comment is unnecessary.
    Accordingly, the Commission finds that there is good cause for 
adopting this final rule as effective on February 11, 2013.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (``RFA'') requires an agency to 
provide a Final Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis (``FRFA'') when 
promulgating a final rule that cannot be promulgated without publishing 
a proposed rulemaking.\15\ An FRFA is not necessary if a general notice 
of proposed rulemaking is not required for promulgation or if the 
agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.\16\

    \15\ 5 U.S.C. 604(a).
    \16\ Id.

    The Commission anticipates that the final Rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The amended Rule, like the current Used Car Rule, does not contain 
reporting or recordkeeping requirements, but does require that dealers 
disclose certain information. The amended Rule requires only that 
dealers use a revised Spanish Buyers Guide when conducting sales in 
Spanish. The amended Rule does not impose additional recordkeeping 
requirements or change the information that dealers themselves must 
disclose on the Buyers Guide. Dealers will experience only an initial 
cost in obtaining revised Spanish Buyers Guides and will be permitted 
to use existing stocks of Spanish Buyers Guides. As such, the economic 
impact of the Rule will be minimal.
    This document serves as notice to the Small Business Administration 
(``SBA'') of the agency's certification of no significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The final Rule revises the Spanish translation of the Buyers Guide 
that the Used Car Rule requires used car dealers to display. The final 
Rule does not require dealers to disclose additional information that 
they are not already required to provide under the current Rule. Thus, 
the final Rule does not give rise to changes in the FTC's previously 
submitted and approved ``collection of information'' requirements and 
related Paperwork Reduction Act burden analysis for public comment \17\ 
and cleared by the Office of Management and Budget.\18\

    \17\ 76 FR 144 (Jan. 3, 2011); 75 FR 62538 (Oct. 12, 2010).
    \18\ OMB Control No. 3084-0108 (exp. Feb. 28, 2014).

D. Regulatory Analysis

    Section 22 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 57b, requires the Commission 
to issue a preliminary regulatory analysis when promulgating a final 
rule amending a rule if the Commission: (1) Estimates that the 
amendment will have an annual effect on the national economy of 
$100,000,000 or more; (2) estimates that the amendment will cause a 
substantial change in the cost or price of certain categories of goods 
or services; or (3) otherwise determines that the amendment will have a 
significant effect upon covered entities or consumers.
    A final regulatory analysis is not necessary because the Commission 
has determined that these amendments to the Used Car Rule will not have 
such an annual effect on the national economy, on the cost or prices of 
goods or services sold by used car dealers, or on covered businesses or 
consumers. Commission staff estimates that each business affected by 
the final Rule will likely incur only minimal initial added compliance 
costs as dealers obtain revised Spanish Buyers Guides.

IV. Conclusion

    Accordingly, after review of the public comments, the Commission 
has determined to amend 16 CFR 455.5 by translating the term ``dealer'' 
into Spanish as ``concesionario'' in footnote 4 of the rule and in the 
accompanying illustration of the Spanish Buyers Guide. The Commission 
is also revising the translation of certain other terms in the Guide as 
follows: ``regardless of'' shall be translated as ``independientemente 
de''; ``Frame-cracks'' shall be translated as ``Grietas en el chasis''; 
``Cooling System'' shall be translated as ``Sistema de enfriamiento''; 
``Air conditioner'' shall be translated as ``Aire acondicionado''; 
``Defroster'' shall be translated as ``Desempa[ntilde]ador''; and ``Not 
enough pedal reserve'' shall be translated as ``Distancia insuficiente 
del pedal.'' \19\ Finally, the Commission is amending the Rule by 
making the three nonsubstantive textual revisions described in Section 
II.B. above.

    \19\ Dealers may use remaining stocks of existing Spanish Buyers 

List of Subjects in 16 CFR Part 455

    Motor vehicles, Trade practices.

    Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, the Federal Trade 
Commission amends part 455 of title 16 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations as follows:


1. Revise the authority citation for part 455 to read as follows:

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 2309; 15 U.S.C. 41-58.

Sec.  455.2  [Amended]

2. Revise Sec.  455.2 as follows:
a. In paragraph (b)(2)(ii), by removing the word ``diffential'' and 
adding, in its place, the word ``differential;''
b. In paragraph (d), by removing the word ``name'' and adding, in its 
place, the word ``make'' and by removing the word ``Vega'' and adding, 
in its place, the word ``Corvette;''

3. Amend Sec.  455.5 as follows:
a. In footnote 4, by removing the word ``vendedor'' and adding, in its 
place, the word ``concesionario;'' and
b. By removing the current illustration accompanying Sec.  455.5 and 
adding, in its place, the following illustration:

Sec.  455.5  Spanish language sales.

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    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
[FR Doc. 2012-29901 Filed 12-11-12; 8:45 am]