Whenever you purchase an automobile, you have the expectation that you will be buying a quality vehicle that will serve all of your needs. Unfortunately, all too often, vehicles are sold that are misrepresented and are actually not as good of quality as they are expected to have been. When a car dealer or manufacturer creates, markets, or sells a vehicle that they know is actually damaged or not of high quality, this is considered automobile consumer fraud.
At the Law Office of Howard D. Silver, our attorney specializes in helping those that have fallen victim to any type of consumer fraud. He has decades of experience especially helping those that are victims of any type of automotive dealer or sales fraud. He and our team can help you recover financially if you’ve purchased a vehicle that you believed was of good quality but was misrepresented. For help with your case, please contact our firm by calling (855) 341-2611.
Types of Auto Dealer Fraud
An automobile dealer has a responsibility to sell you a vehicle honestly; giving you an accurate explanation of everything about the car. When a dealer chooses not to truthfully reveal the details of a car they’re selling, they may be using any of the following types of auto dealer fraud to try to make a sale:
- Bait and switch – a dealer promotes an alluring vehicle, but then doesn’t actually have that vehicle on the lot. The car will usually be a flashy vehicle that is being advertised at an amazing price. However, the dealer never actually intended upon selling that vehicle and will talk you into purchasing an entirely different car once you’re on the lot.
- Price inflations – a dealer may dishonestly inflate the price of a vehicle by adding additional charges that don’t get explained to you until you’re finalizing the sale. These may include dealer fees, warranties, maintenance plans, and other costs that jack up the sale price of your car.
- Leading you to believe a used vehicle is new – some dealers will even claim that a used vehicle is new and try to sell it for much more than it is truly worth.
- Odometer fraud – a dealer may roll back the odometer of a vehicle in order to sell it for more than it’s worth. This leads buyers to believe that a car that may require maintenance doesn’t actually need any and can lead to more repairs and even dangerous situations while driving.
- Not offering a fair amount for a trade-in vehicle – dealers may offer exorbitantly low amounts for a trade-in vehicle, then turn around and sell it for far more than they got for it.
Used Vehicle Dealer Fraud
When you’re purchasing a used vehicle, the dealer may still try to sell it to you in a fraudulent manner. There are multiple tactics that a used-car dealer may use in order to convince you to purchase a vehicle. These can include any of the following:
- Not disclosing that a vehicle was a “lemon buy-back” – if a vehicle was sold and then proved to be a lemon, a used car salesman must inform you that it was a lemon. If they do not, they’re leading you to believe that the car is a well-maintained, used car when it actually is not.
- Not informing you that a vehicle was used as a dealer loaner or a demonstration vehicle.
- Rolling back the odometer to make you believe that the car isn’t as old as it may actually be.
- Attempting to charge for items or add-ons that you initially were told were free.
How to Avoid Auto Dealer Fraud
Whenever you’re preparing to purchase a vehicle, whether used or new, it is imperative to do your due diligence. You must research the vehicle you desire and determine if the dealer you choose to purchase from is selling it for a fair amount. Once you’ve decided that a dealer is selling the vehicle for a fair amount, you can do the following to protect yourself from purchasing a car that is being sold in a fraudulent manner:
- Make sure you negotiate your price
- Always ask for a detailed explanation of any extra charges that are associated with your vehicle
- Get a report of anything that has occurred to your vehicle – flooding, fires, or accidents
- Get a report of any maintenance or repairs that were done to your vehicle. Research these repairs and ensure that the replaced parts were the proper parts for your vehicle.
- Find out all the details of your warranty if there is one
Seek Help From our Attorney
At the Law Office of Howard Silver, we have been helping members of our community seek help after purchasing a vehicle that was sold fraudulently for decades. If you believe you were a victim of consumer fraud, contact us today for help. Our lawyer can help you seek compensation to replace the cost of the vehicle, any maintenance you’ve had to pay for, and any other lost income due to your vehicle. We can help you get your life back in order after suffering because of vehicle fraud. Contact us today by filling out the form on the page or call us at (855) 341-2611. We proudly serve clients in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura.