Dealers react to new lemon law

By Jack King

Area used-car dealers had varying reactions to the state’s new lemon law, which went into effect on Jan. 1.
“We’re going to have to be very careful about disclosures, telling where (the vehicle) came from and what we did to it. We’re also going to have to be careful about trade-in’s, because if there’s a problem the dealer will have to give the customer back the price of the car and the value of the trade in on paper. We’re going to have to be careful about what we sell, whereas before we didn’t,” said Benny Pacheco, owner of Grand Traders in Clovis.
Alva Carter, co-owner of Big Valley Ford in Portales, said the warranty will not be problem, because Big Valley puts all of its cars through a 28-point-certification system before it puts them on the lot. But the bill’s disclosure provisions could create problems for consumers, he said.
“If the dealer has to declare that a car has been repaired, we can’t give the customer as much for it on a trade in, if we have to declare it’s been wrecked,” he said.
Bryant Faircloth, general manager of Auto World in Clovis, said he thinks the law will weed out “problem cars and problem dealers.”
“Our policy has always been to make sure our vehicles are at 100 percent before we put them on the line. And, for example, if a transmission were to go out within a 30-day window, we’d fix it,” he said.
Guy Appelman, executive director of the New Mexico Independent Automobile Dealers Association, said he plans to conduct a seminar on the new law in eastern New Mexico within the next 15 days.