Used Car Fraud

used car fraudPursuant to California law, still have rights even if you bought a used vehicle. If you purchased a fairly new vehicle and it still has the original manufacturer’s warranty, then you may bring a lemon law claim. You may also bring a warranty violation claim if you bought a vehicle with a dealer’s warranty. Even if the vehicle you have purchased was sold “as is” and comes with no warranty, you are still allowed to bring a claim for used car fraud.

California Consumer Legal Remedies Act prohibits the used car fraud in the state. Pursuant to this act used-vehicle dealers and most other retailers in California are not allowed to use unfair and deceptive business practices to sell their goods. The law prohibits car to mislead customers or to lie to them. In other words, dealers are obligated to inform the consumer if the car was previously wrecked or used as rental, and to disclose any other defect in the car. If the dealer tells you that the vehicle is fully serviced and inspected, then he is obligated to inspect it, report defects and fix them. Remember, that you have the right to inspect the vehicle you intend to buy. Also the dealer is obligated to answer to all your questions and disclose the truth about the problems of the car.
Some of the most common types of used car fraud are:

  • Hiding the fact that the car is a “lemon buyback” and was returned for refund;
  • Odometer rollback;
  • Failure to disclose that the vehicle has a “salvage title”;
  • Charging the consumer for features that were told to be free;
  • Backdating the contract;
  • Failure to disclose that the vehicle was a previous rental.

First of all, victims of used car fraud should go to the dealer and ask for a refund or exchange. If the dealer fails to do what you want you are allowed to file a lawsuit and get refund. In dealer fraud cases the dealer may refund the car and its repairs, for alternative transportation, attorneys’ fees and other damages. Dealer fraud claims should be filed within three years starting from the day you purchased the vehicle.

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