At What Point Does a USED Car Become NEW?

SB 730 is a proposal to make used cars up to 1,000 miles qualify as new

At What Point Does a USED Car Become NEW?
Image: NCCC
May 6, 2005

You buy a new car, or so you think. There are 830 miles on the odometer. It smells new, and drives well. What you don't know is someone else has already taken that vehicle home as new.

the problem

So, what's the problem? Any time a consumer drives a vehicle from a dealer lot thinking a transaction has occurred or will occur, the dealer should already be filing title information. However, some dealers do not. Instead, they wait a week, sometimes longer, until confirmation of a loan comes in. If the loan is never approved, the dealer gets the car back and… wow… it has a clean title.

As the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) starts to crack down on dealers, dealers are looking for a way to resell a vehicle that is titled and then returned due to insufficient financing. That is where SB 730 comes in.

the bill

SB 730 is a proposal to make used cars up to 1,000 miles qualify as new. We don't want to be driving someone else's used car.

SB 730 creates many problems.

Consumers who want to purchase a new car expect a brand new car. They don't want to purchased a new, previously driven car. There needs to be, at minimum, disclosure.

lemons

What, then, for those consumers who request the vehicle be classified as a 'lemon?' Our current 'lemon law' states only NEW vehicles for which title has never been issued qualify. The consumer expects a new vehicle has never been titled.

Also, this bill limits statutory remedies to one remedy. If a consumer does not pick the best remedy available, he or she may have a case dismissed when their clearly was an injury or violation of law. So, why are remedies being limited? Instead of limiting remedies, remedies should be expanded.