Terms and Policies will be updated July 1, 2019.
Vehicle Condition Arbitration Policy
Effective Date: August 10, 2020
Purpose of the Arbitration Policy
Transparent and Fair Resolution Process.
ACV Auctions strives to create an arbitration experience that is transparent and fair for both the buyer and seller of vehicles through the ACV platform. In the event a concern arises with regard to the vehicle condition, the buyer and seller agree to resolve such concern through ACV’s arbitration process, and ACV agrees that it will strive to find a fair resolution to all legitimately brought concerns that are covered by this policy. In the event of any conflict between this policy and Federal, State, and Local laws, such laws shall supersede these policies where applicable.
ACV Auctions’ Role in Sale of Vehicles:
Notwithstanding ACV Auctions’ inspection of any vehicle, ACV Auctions makes no representations or guarantees regarding any vehicle sold or offered for sale.
ACV Auctions is not a party to the sale. The sales contract, the bill of sale, and notwithstanding ACV Auctions facilitation thereof, the title transfer is between the seller and buyer only. ACV Auctions title policy may be viewed at
How and When to Use the Arbitration Process at ACV Auctions
If a buyer has received a vehicle that has an undisclosed issue that is covered for arbitration under this policy, the buyer may notify ACV by contacting ACV’s arbitration team through the ACV Auctions application. Buyers are only eligible to have the issue reviewed by ACV’s arbitration team if such buyer has paid for the vehicle and submitted a request for arbitration prior to the expiration of the arbitration window set forth below. For all eligible buyers, ACV will investigate the claim made by the buyer and determine the appropriate resolution, if any.
Buyer will have 10 calendar days from the date of purchase (i.e. the date buyer’s bid is accepted by the seller) (the “Standard Arbitration Window”) to raise any and all concerns to be reviewed through the arbitration process. The date of purchase counts as day 1 for the purpose of calculating this timeframe. However, if the buyer uses the transportation services available through ACV Auctions or its subsidiaries, and purchases such transportation services at the time of purchase of the vehicle, buyer will have the greater of 10 calendar days from the date of purchase or two calendar days after the date the vehicle is delivered to buyer to raise concerns through the arbitration process. Such additional grace period for using transportation services through ACV or its affiliates is not considered part of the Standard Arbitration Window for purposes of this Agreement. If transportation services through ACV or its subsidiaries is chosen subsequent to the time of purchase, the opportunity to arbitrate concerns about vehicle condition will be limited to ten (10) calendar days from the date of purchase.
Extended Arbitration Windows.
Buyer may, at the time of purchase, choose to purchase an extended arbitration option for any given vehicle which would give the buyer either an additional 10 or 20 calendar days from the end of the Standard Arbitration Window, depending on the option purchased, during which to request arbitration with regard to the applicable vehicle. Buyers purchasing an extended arbitration option are still obligated to promptly remove the vehicle from the seller’s lot after purchase.
In order to fully investigate the arbitration claim, ACV Auctions may require the buyer to provide evidence of the claim and assist in diagnosis of any undisclosed condition issues within a specified timeframe, in order to determine the best resolution. This may include the buyer:
submitting photos or other evidence of the vehicle condition to ACV Auctions within two (2) calendar days of the request,
taking the vehicle to a third party diagnosing facility designated or approved by ACV Auctions and providing evidence of such facility’s receipt of the vehicle,
permitting an ACV Auctions vehicle inspector or third party inspector to inspect the vehicle on the buyer’s lot, or the buyer taking the vehicle to a third party at ACV Auction’s option, or
other potential evidence as requested.
If the buyer is unable or unwilling to provide the requested evidence of the vehicle condition within the timeframe requested, ACV Auctions will close the arbitration related to such vehicle and the buyer will not be permitted to reopen the arbitration.
Buyer and seller agree that ACV Auctions makes the final binding decision upon both the buyer and seller on all arbitration matters.
Possible Resolutions to Arbitration.
Resolutions to an arbitration may include payments or credits to the buyer to cover, at ACV Auctions’ determined wholesale rates, parts and labor to repair covered vehicle condition issues as set forth in this policy, the cancellation of the sale, potential resolution without further action, or other resolutions in the discretion of ACV Auctions. Generally, ACV Auctions is likely to determine that payment for parts and labor expenses, at wholesale rates, associated with any arbitration claim is appropriate instead of a transaction being cancelled. However, ACV Auctions may choose to cancel a sale rather than determining that payment should be made for parts and labor expenses. In no event will a buyer be entitled to a remedy through arbitration for more than the price such buyer paid for the vehicle.
One Arbitration Only.
The buyer should inspect the vehicle upon delivery and determine all issues or concerns with the vehicle and notify ACV Auctions of all vehicle condition issues at the same time. Once an arbitration for a given vehicle has been completed and closed by ACV Auctions, no new concerns may be raised by the buyer for arbitration related to that vehicle.
If Reparation is made to the Buyer.
If a price adjustment is made, or a credit or repair payment is made to the buyer, the vehicle becomes “As-Is, No Arbitration” property of the Buyer, and is not subject to any further arbitration.
If a Sale is Cancelled.
In the event ACV Auctions, in its sole discretion, determines that cancellation of the sale is the appropriate resolution after the vehicle has been delivered to the buyer, the vehicle will be transported to another location by ACV, the seller, or another third party, at ACV Auctions’ discretion. The buyer will be responsible, at its own cost, for the safety and security of the vehicle, and any damage that occurs to, or theft of, the vehicle until it can be transported from the buyer’s lot. ACV will not be responsible to pay the buyer any fees associated with buyer’s or its third party’s storage or security of the vehicle until it is transported from buyer’s lot. Buyer and seller agree that, in the event the transaction is cancelled as the result of a vehicle condition arbitration claim, either may be required by ACV Auctions to transfer ownership to the next buyer either through ACV Auctions’ platform or otherwise, and buyer and seller agree to cooperate with such transfer and promptly provide and facilitate the processing of any title paperwork related thereto. In the event of a cancellation, buyer will recoup the purchase price and buyer fee paid to ACV Auctions for the original purchase of the vehicle once ACV receives the required negotiable title paperwork from the buyer.
What Can Be Arbitrated (Vehicle Condition).
In order for the buyer to request arbitration and to be eligible for any remedy based on the vehicle condition, each of the following criteria must be met:
The defect or concerning condition was not disclosed in the condition report, in a CARFAX report, or otherwise by the seller or ACV Auctions;
A single mechanical defect with a repair cost in excess of $500. The cost of the repair is determined by ACV Auctions based on wholesale dealer cost, which means used, remanufactured, and/or aftermarket parts as well as a wholesale labor rate of $85 for gas vehicles and $100 for non-gas vehicles. This minimum does not apply for cosmetic damage that was not disclosed to the buyer; and,
The defect is not included in the list of items in this policy that are not eligible for arbitration.
What Cannot Be Arbitrated (Vehicle Condition).
The vehicle should not be brought for arbitration and will not be eligible for any remedy related to any of the following:
Kit vehicles, homemade vehicles, non-factory add on parts, and modified vehicles are sold “As-Is” and cannot be arbitrated
The vehicle makes noises or demonstrates conditions that are inherent or typical to a particular model or manufacturer, unless deemed “excessive” by the diagnosing dealership on non-warranty items. OEM dealer warranty guidelines will be used to determine whether the condition is excessive.
The issue with the vehicle is related to wearable items, regardless of repair cost. For purposes of this policy wearable items would include, but are not limited to: tires, wipers, brake pads, shoes, rotors, belts, lines & hoses, seals & gaskets, lubricants/fluids, spark plugs & wires, ignition coils, timing belts, bulbs, filters, shocks & struts, suspension, exhaust and standard transmission clutches.
Head-gasket leaks unless they are causing an internal engine leak in which oil and/or coolant are leaking into the combustion chamber, resulting in consumption of oil and/or coolant that is burned and realized by smoke exiting the exhaust tailpipe, or intermix of oil and coolant. External head gasket leaks resulting in visible seepage on the outside of the engine block and head are not eligible for arbitration.
Vehicles may not be arbitrated solely on Electronic Vehicle History Data (EVHD). Examples of EDVH include CARFAX, AutoCheck, NMVTIS, etc. ACV Auctions only verifies CARFAX reporting. However, ACV Auctions may investigate EVHD based on information found in CARFAX for information that may impact arbitration.
The odometer reading has increased by 300 miles or more over the miles indicated on the ACV platform at the time of purchase. In the event of a live appraisal, a vehicle will not be eligible for arbitration in the event the odometer reading has increased by 300 miles or more over the miles indicated on the title.
If a disclosure is made about any component or part of a vehicle, such component or part is not able to be arbitrated.
Aftermarket parts or equipment including but not limited to installed plows, 5th wheel hitches or towing packages, or any damage caused by the installation of such aftermarket parts or equipment.
Mileage cannot be arbitrated for vehicles that are 10 years or older and/or deemed exempt from odometer and title disclosure laws. Note that a buyer may arbitrate mileage discrepancies for these vehicles where the seller disclosure of mileage differs from the actual odometer reading.
Vehicle accessory electrical defects on vehicles four (4) model years old or greater.
Leaks of any kind on vehicles that are twenty five (25) years old or older.
Rear main seal oil leaks on vehicles ten (10) years old or older, or vehicles that with 100,000 miles or more.
Damage of any kind that occurred after the vehicle is picked up from the seller.
Seller must ensure that all vehicles listed for sale must have a public Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate attached to the vehicle.
Disclosures are required for any matters that are required to be disclosed under local, state or federal statutes or regulations. Disclosures must be made by the seller to ACV Auction’s vehicle condition inspector to be included in the vehicle condition report
Even if the vehicle is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, the seller is still responsible to disclose any known defects.
In the event of a successful arbitration by the buyer, the seller is responsible for reimbursement of the amounts determined by ACV Auctions to cover expenses for parts and labor associated with repair of vehicles arbitrated for undisclosed conditions. In the event the transaction is cancelled based on the arbitration, the seller will be responsible at its cost to transport the vehicle from the buyer’s lot.
For arbitrations occurring after the seller has been paid, seller is required to promptly return the payment to ACV Auctions if the transaction is cancelled as a result of arbitration.
Seller is responsible to disclose and allow ACV Auctions to disclose the complete and accurate condition of the vehicle and title. In the event seller (including any of its employees and agents) has not disclosed the complete and accurate condition of the vehicle or title, inaccurately represented the features or condition of the vehicle, or otherwise tampered or interfered with full disclosure of the vehicle condition or title, there is damage or theft of the vehicle or the vehicle is tampered with before or after the condition report is written, or the seller otherwise acted with gross negligence or willful misconduct resulting in incomplete or inaccurate disclosure, and whether or not seller participates in ACV Auctions’ GO GREEN program described below, seller will be responsible for all costs associated therewith, including arbitration costs, relisting costs, and all costs, liabilities, and losses sustained by ACV Auctions, the buyer, and any affected retail customer. Further, if the transaction is cancelled for any of the foregoing reasons, the seller (i) shall promptly return the proceeds from the original sale to ACV Auctions, (ii) shall be responsible, at the seller’s cost, to remove the vehicle from the buyer’s lot or the applicable storage facility within ten (10) calendar days after cancellation of the transaction, and (iii) will be responsible to refund transportation expenses incurred by the buyer for the applicable vehicles.
Without limiting the foregoing, sellers must disclose the following information. Failure to disclose the following may result in an arbitration related to these issues and reparations being made by the seller to the buyer, possible cancellation of the transaction, and possible other liabilities to seller.
Title discrepancies including, but not limited to: not actual miles, salvage, theft recovery, stolen vehicle, flood damage, gray market, replica, Lemon Law, manufacturer and/or dealership buy backs and trade assist. No vehicles are allowed to be sold through the ACV Auctions platform related to which there is any title washing that would cause a title discrepancy to be undisclosed. The seller will be solely and fully liable for any damages associated with title washing.
Permanent structural damage, any structural alterations, structural repairs or replacements (certified or non- certified).
After-market accessories installed to or removed from the structure.
Towing packages installed (or removed) where new holes are drilled, manufacturer’s holes are enlarged, or if the towing package is welded or brazed to the structure.
Multiple access holes (regardless of size) or singular access holes greater than 5/8". Access holes between 1/4" and 5/8" are subject to disclosure based upon location and condition of structural component.
Corrosion of structural components that result in a perforation in the frame.
Structural tear damage (i.e. transport tie down) if more than 1" in length (measured from tear start/stop points).
Any defects or damage that are “visible” or “cosmetic” in nature.
Any vehicles having a reassigned VIN plate by the State in place of the original VIN plate.
The Seller must disclose accurate odometer reading, non-functioning or defective Odometer, and TMU.
Mechanical defects in excess of $500 per item.
Vehicle accessory electrical defects in excess of $500 per item on vehicles 4 model years old or less.
Vehicles not equipped with A/C.
Paintwork (bumpers and brush touches not included).
Voided factory warranties.
Salvage vehicle, (including current title or history REPORTED BY CARFAX ONLY), previous Taxi, Livery and Emergency vehicles.
Flood Damage current or history (including documented by DMV or Insurance Company).
Missing Catalytic Converters.
Inaccurate model or trim badging, decals or identification.
Inoperable, missing, or defective airbags.
Buyer will inspect the vehicle immediately upon arrival at Buyer’s location. The Buyer must verify the Seller’s representations and promptly notify ACV Auctions of any discrepancies within the time frame as stated in this policy. Buyer will verify odometer reading upon arrival at Buyer’s location. The mileage on the odometer must be the same as when the vehicle was purchased, as set forth in the bill of sale, if the buyer wants to arbitrate related to an inoperable odometer.
Prior to making an offer to buy the vehicle through ACV Auctions, the buyer is responsible to review all condition reports, pictures, and disclosures made available by the Seller and ACV Auctions.
Buyers are also responsible for observing and understanding the sale lights (Green, Green/Yellow, Red, Red/Yellow and/or Blue), which are a non-binding, subjective indicator of the various sale conditions for the vehicle.
If the buyer makes any changes to the vehicle pending completion of arbitration, or before receiving title to the vehicle, the buyer shall be liable for any and all work done to the vehicle and any result thereof. Buyer shall not sell the vehicle before it receives title to the vehicle. Neither seller nor ACV Auctions shall be liable for any vehicle sale or repairs made by the Buyer before the title is received by the Buyer. Additionally, buyer will not be eligible for any remedy through arbitration for a vehicle that has been sold by buyer after purchase (either wholesale or retail, and whether valid or voided) and before an arbitration claim is resolved.
The buyer is financially responsible and assumes all risk of damage and loss on the vehicle beginning at the point of pick up (by the buyer or its agent) or delivery (by third party transporter).
The Buyer or Buyer’s agent (transporter or driver) must document any damage at the time of pick-up prior to removing the vehicle from its location. ACV Auctions and the seller will not be responsible for any damage not identified in writing as of the time of pick-up of the vehicle once the vehicle is removed from the location.
The buyer will not have any repairs performed prior to ACV Auctions validating the claim. Cost for any repairs performed prior to validation of the claim will not be covered by arbitration.
ACV vehicle condition inspectors drive the vehicle around the seller’s lot, but the vehicles are not tested at road speeds. ACV provides an on-site visual inspection of the vehicles listed through ACV’s platform, including exterior, interior, undercarriage and frame (without lifting the vehicle).
Additionally, a mechanical inspection includes checking the engine oil and coolant, starting and running the engine, and driving the vehicle in the lot to test the functionality of the transmission by getting the transmission into first gear and reverse.
Although ACV may disclose the same issue on different vehicles in different ways, if an issue is disclosed in any manner, it will not be eligible for any reparations through arbitration.
As a professional used car buyer, you can expect that the cars you buy on ACV may have some of the imperfections listed below and may need any or all of the following services performed to get them into retail-ready condition. Although we may not disclose all of these items in the condition report, it should be considered normal and reasonable for any wholesale auction purchase, and therefore, these issues are not eligible for arbitration claims.
Interior and exterior cleaning and detailing to remove dirt, dust, grime, stains, smells, pet hair, gum and food residue.
Wet-sanding and buffing to remove surface level scratches and blemishes on the exterior body and paint.
Seepage that is not considered an active dripping leak.
Reconditioning or replacement of fogged or hazed headlights, fog lights, or tail lamps.
Non-functioning proximity sensors and lane detection sensors.
Repair of any and all aftermarket accessories.
Removal of decals, bumper stickers, vehicle wraps, and window tint, and any subsequent paint damage that could occur from this process.
Power seat functions including lumbar, heated & ventilated, memory, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel and steering wheel controls, power mirrors including defrost, and extending functions.
Keys that are a combination key/fob, it may need a battery or dealer programming. Only one key that starts and unlocks the vehicle manually may be provided. Any duplicates will need to be made by the buyer.
Issues that can be remedied by utilizing existing manufacturer warranty need to be resolved through that process.
Wear and tear on headlights, window glass, and paint including minor scratches, moisture behind the headlight lens, and paint chips.
Light Indicator System for ACV Auctions.
ACV Auctions’ light indicators for vehicles sold through its platform are described below. This light indicator system is used as a high-level indication of the basic condition of the car, but the buyer is responsible for reviewing the condition reports, pictures, disclosures, and other information provided by the seller and ACV Auctions to accurately determine the condition of the vehicle before making a purchase decision. Please note that ACV Auctions’ light indicator system is different from those used by other companies, and buyers will not be permitted to arbitrate a vehicle solely based on the light indicator used with any given vehicle. The light indicators are not a guarantee of vehicle condition.
Green Light –
A green light indicates that the vehicle’s basic mechanical system and frame are all in proper functioning condition unless otherwise disclosed. Please note that the use of a green light indicator does not mean that the vehicle is without any defects or issues. If a defect or other issue is not disclosed to the buyer, the buyer may request arbitration from ACV Auctions to seek reparations related to such defect or issue pursuant to this policy.
Yellow Light –
A yellow light acts as a caution indicator, and indicates that the vehicle has one or more major defects. The defect may be disclosed as part of the disclosures made to the buyer in the condition report, pictures, or other disclosure available through ACV Auctions’ platform. When a yellow light is present, it will be coupled with either a green light or a red light, and is intended to call the buyer’s attention to one or more defects. Any parts or components associated with the yellow light are not eligible for arbitration.
Red Light –
A red light indicates that the vehicle is being sold AS-IS and may not be arbitrated for any reason unless it has undisclosed salvage title, or TMU (True Mileage Unknown). Title may be arbitrated on a red-light vehicle only if it has non-transferable or branded title, or if it has undisclosed repossession papers.
Blue Light –
A blue light indicates that a vehicle is being sold with the title absent.
A transferable title does NOT accompany the vehicle, and the Seller has 30 calendar days
(or such number of days as otherwise specified in the Titles Policy) to provide a transferable title to ACV Auctions.
GO GREENTM Policy and Practices
ACV Auctions offers to certain sellers a GO GREEN program which, if the seller chooses to participate in such program and ACV Auctions conducts the vehicle inspection, puts together the vehicle condition report, and the vehicle is a green light vehicle, would revise the seller’s obligations and responsibilities under ACV Auctions’ vehicle condition arbitration policy as follows. This is being offered as an assurance service to our sellers to show ACV's commitment to stand behind ACV's inspection report. Any seller that chooses to participate in the GO GREEN Program, must pay the associated fee for every green light vehicle the seller sells on the ACV Auctions platform.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the arbitration policy, the GO GREEN program provides the seller with protection against defects in the vehicle that are not disclosed in ACV’s condition report (“Undisclosed Vehicle Defects”) that are unknown to the seller and otherwise might result in either the cancellation of the transaction or liability for costs for repair. Specifically, in return for payment of the fee to participate in the GO GREEN program, ACV Auctions will release the seller from its obligations under Sections 5(f) and (g) of this arbitration policy and (i) pay to the selling party the full sale price paid by the original buyer even if the transaction is later cancelled, and (ii) cover any costs due to the buyer pursuant to the arbitration policy.
If the seller participates in the GO GREEN program, and a transaction is later cancelled, the seller will permit ACV Auctions to relist the vehicle under the seller’s name on ACV Auctions’ platform in order to sell the vehicle to another buyer. ACV Auctions, having already paid seller for the vehicle based on the original sale, will retain the proceeds from such subsequent sale. Under the GO GREEN program, if the vehicle does not sell on ACV Auctions’ platform after a cancellation of an original transaction, ACV Auctions may sell the car in the seller’s name to a wholesale dealer outside of the platform, a recycling center, or other service to remarket or resell the vehicle.
While as part of the GO GREEN program ACV Auctions assumes the risk of gain or loss on the disposition of a vehicle for which the original transaction was cancelled, ACV Auctions does not assume ownership of the vehicle or any other risks from defects, such as personal injury or property damages resulting from a defect in a vehicle. A GO GREEN participating seller agrees to cooperate fully and promptly as directed by ACV Auctions, at seller’s expense, with transfer and, if applicable, the resale of the vehicle, including without limitation providing any updated resale/reassignment documentation necessary to resell the vehicle if the original transaction is cancelled.
Without limiting sellers’ other obligations under the arbitration policy, sellers who participate in the GO GREEN program will remain fully responsible for the following:
Any issues with vehicle titles, including but not limited to accurate disclosure of odometer readings.
Undisclosed Vehicle Defects that seller knew about (either through their inspection or otherwise).
Seller’s fraudulent or deceptive acts or omissions including but not limited to:
Tampering with a vehicle (before or after ACV Auctions’ inspection)
Clearing diagnostic codes
Selling or attempting to sell a vehicle with missing or inoperative airbags
Disabling or unsetting monitors prior to ACV Auctions’ inspection
Resetting check engine lights or codes without successfully completing related repairs
Tampering with, influencing, or attempting to influence the revision of ACV Auctions’ condition reports or disclosures.
If an arbitration is based on any of the foregoing, then, notwithstanding the seller’s participation in the GO GREEN program, the seller (i) shall remain liable for the costs of parts and repair of the vehicle (ii) shall be liable for any harm caused thereby, and (iii) will be disqualified from the GO GREEN program. ACV Auctions may also seek other remedies in law and in equity.
Further, if a transaction is cancelled due to any of the issues set forth in this Section 9(e), notwithstanding the seller’s participation in the GO GREEN program (i) the seller shall promptly return the proceeds from the original sale to ACV Auctions, (ii) ACV Auctions will not permit the vehicle to be relisted on ACV Auctions’ platform unless and until the issue has been properly resolved or disclosed, (iii) the seller shall be responsible, at the seller’s cost, to remove the vehicle from the buyer’s lot or the applicable storage facility within ten (10) calendar days after cancellation of the transaction, and (iv) seller will be responsible to refund transportation expenses incurred by the buyer for the applicable vehicles.
If arbitration claims related to seller’s vehicles are more frequent than other dealers, or if ACV Auctions believes, in its sole discretion, that seller is taking advantage of the GO GREEN program in any way, ACV Auctions may terminate seller’s participation in the program. ACV Auctions reserves the right to refuse or terminate participation in the GO GREEN program for any seller.
Amendment of the Policy.
ACV may amend this Arbitration policy (including the GO GREEN Policy) at any time and any such amendments will be effective as of the date the amended policy is posted on the ACV Auctions website unless otherwise specified in therein.