Selling a Car with Structural Damage without Disclosure
Buying a car can be a gamble. Not sure if it has been in a prior accident, or had structural damage can be tricky. One thing to know is that by law a seller has to notify a buyer if the car had prior structural or frame damage. Dealers must admit in writing damage and repair that surpasses five percent of the MSRP prior to entering into any contract. This does not include glass bumpers or tire damage. If the damage falls less than five percent then no disclosure must be made, unless the buyer asks. Any disclosure made should be on the company letterhead and a copy must be furnished to the DMV along with the title.
When buying a used car that is less than five years old, the seller must give notice in writing prior to the sale of the vehicle if the damage is more than 25 percent of the fair market value of the car. Likewise, if the car has a salvage title, been declared a total loss by the insurance company, or if it has been damaged in a flood.
Structural damage non-disclosure is illegal, and if a consumer encounters this scam it’s recommended to contact The Margarian Law Firm at 818.553.1000.
There are many dealerships that practice the sting of frame damage non-disclosure when they sell cars and place the customers’ lives at risk. However, not disclosing structural frame damage is an illegal act that is punishable by law. There are many ways a frame may have been damaged. It could have been damaged in an accident; rust may have damaged it or severe weather.
No matter how the damage occurred, dealers must not lie or deceive consumers when asked about the car’s accident or repair history. Dealers are required to give consumers frank answers to their questions and not deceive them in any way.