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Other Laws that Cover Used Cars

There are a number of other protections and laws that give Texas consumers opportunities to get justice. These include:

Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act — The federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act states that the manufacturer of any product — from your toaster to your lemon RV — must abide by the warranty. For Texas vehicles, this includes written or implied warranties, or service contracts.

FTC Used Car Rule — The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a Buyers Guide in every Texas used car they sell, including light-duty vans, light-duty trucks, demonstrators, and program cars. The Buyers Guide becomes part of your sales contract and overrides any conflicting provisions in your contract.

Implied Warranties — Texas laws say that a dealer has implied obligations, such as the soundness of the vehicle. In some states, however, dealers can get around implied warranties by selling the vehicle "as is."

Warrant of Merchantability — A warrant of merchantability is an implied warranty and says that a vehicle will run like it's supposed to. While it doesn't cover every component of a vehicle, it does apply to its basic functions. In this instance, the buyer has to prove that the defect was present at the time of sale.

Express Warranties — Express warranties are those that are stated. If, for example, the manufacturer of your vehicle has a five-year warranty on a drive train, your vehicle would still be covered for a year if you purchased it when it was four years old. Express warranties also include verbal representations made by a salesperson at the dealership, as well as advertisements.

New Car Lemon Laws in Texas — If the used car you purchased is a recent model that meets the mileage and time requirements of new car Lemon Laws, many states will allow you to use those laws in order to get recourse.

Uniform Commercial Code — When a dealer disclaims a warrant of merchantability, that disclaimer can be challenged using the federal Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The UCC can also be used to cancel the sale of a used car.

Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices — Every state has an Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) law. These laws can often be used even if the used car is sold "as is," as long as the dealer is guilty of a verbal deception or a failure to disclose information about the vehicle.

Truth in Mileage Act — The federal Truth in Mileage Act (TIMA) seeks to combat odometer fraud, such as rolling back the odometers on used cars. The government estimates that about 3.5 percent of vehicles have their odometers rolled back. If your vehicle was sold with a false odometer statement, this 1986 law can help.

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