QOTD: Should 'Buyback' Cars Carry a Branded Title?

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

In 37 pages of Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s consent order with the government, the unprecedented action mentions little about what life will be like for the cars re-sold by the automaker after being repaired.

At issue are thousands of trucks and SUVs — Ram 1500s, 2500s, 3500s, Dodge Durangos and Dakotas, and Chrysler Aspens — that could be eligible for buyback from the automaker. FCA spokesman Eric Mayne told us in July that FCA has the ability to buy, repair and resell those cars under the order.

The recall order doesn’t address whether those cars would need to be identified as “buyback” cars, which the manufacturer isn’t obligated to disclose. But already, the consent order asks FCA to go above and beyond what the law requires for a while.

Unlike Lemon Law cars, which receive “manufacturer branded” titles, buyers may be relying on the dealer to tell you if the car was purchased and repaired by the manufacturer as part of the large-scale recall. And in the U.S., used car dealers are required to disclose only what they know about the vehicle’s history, including recalls, which may not be much.

FCA has (rightfully) said that the cars it buys back, repairs and re-sells would comply with all applicable safety standards outlined for the cars, and in theory wouldn’t be much different than any other successfully recalled and repaired vehicle.

However, it would be incumbent upon buyers (and even more so, dealers) to uncover their vehicle’s history — if they’re curious — and we all know CarFax is hit or miss.

So the question I have for the B&B is: Should titles reflect whether cars were purchased from manufacturers as part of a non-lemon “buyback?” Would buyers want to know recall history? Should the automaker or dealer be compelled to disclose its history?

Aaron Cole
Aaron Cole

More by Aaron Cole

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 36 comments
  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Sep 03, 2015

    No. Most cars are bought back under lemon laws because of dealer incompetance in fixing them. Many times they returned to the manufacturer and promptly fixed by a competant person, or moved to another dealer where they are promptly fixed. The net effect is no different than any other car that had a repair done under warranty.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Sep 03, 2015

    Yes there should be a "Lemon" title branding, but its not gonna happen. Too many state have their own rules and some states don't even issue titles. I'm honestly not sure what happened to Lemon buybacks in the past, I assume they were resold elsewhere at auctions (but maybe they were destroyed?).

  • Lou_BC Blows me away that the cars pictured are just 2 door vehicles. How much space do you need to fully open them?
  • Daniel J Isn't this sort of a bait and switch? I mean, many of these auto plants went to the south due to the lack of unions. I'd also be curious as how, at least in my own state, unions would work since the state is a right to work state, meaning employees can still work without being apart of the union.
  • EBFlex No they shouldn’t. It would be signing their death warrant. The UAW is steadfast in moving as much production out of this country as possible
  • Groza George The South is one of the few places in the U.S. where we still build cars. Unionizing Southern factories will speed up the move to Mexico.
  • FreedMike I'd say that question is up to the southern auto workers. If I were in their shoes, I probably wouldn't if the wages/benefits were at at some kind of parity with unionized shops. But let's be clear here: the only thing keeping those wages/benefits at par IS the threat of unionization.
Next