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DRIVE Monroney label must be furnished to car buyer

By Jim Mateja

Chicago Tribune

Q: I just bought a new '01 Ford Explorer XLT that didn't have the window sticker in the glove box, which is where I like to keep it whenever buying new. Can you help? -- T.B., Tinley Park, Ill.

A:. Just bought a new '01? Contact your dealer and tell him you need a copy of the window sticker, which is called the Monroney label. Most dealers keep a copy on file. If they don't have one, they can contact the manufacturer to get one. We'd suggest you keep a copy of the label in the car and another at home.

Q:I purchased a car, and the dealer refused to give me the window sticker. The sticker on a car nearby stated that it was a violation of federal law to remove or alter the window sticker before delivery. To whom do I complain? -- J.B., Chicago

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A: Forgetting to get the Monroney label is one thing, being refused the label is another and violates federal law.

"Dealers are required to display the sticker on all new cars and provide the sticker to the customer at delivery," said Steve Bernas, director of operations for the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Chicago.

As a service to their customers, many dealers remove the Monroney label, which lists standard and optional equipment, prices, fuel-economy rating, freight charge and where the car was built, and give it to the customer at delivery.

In doing so, they are violating the law because, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which is empowered to enforce Monroney label violations, federal law requires that the window sticker "may be removed only by the purchaser."

Bernas said you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

Q: I saw a magazine that said Chevy is coming back with a 2004 Camaro that has the front end of a 2000 model Camaro and the back end of a 1969 Camaro. True? -- J.K., McHenry, Ill.

A: Though a high-performance car to compete against the Ford Mustang is expected, Chevrolet spokesman Tom Wilkinson said: "There's no next-generation Camaro in the foreseeable future."

Jim Mateja writes about cars for the Chicago Tribune

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