A quick look at an ongoing problem: auto dealer fraud

Just about everyone is excited over the purchase of an automobile. Whether the purchase is of a new car or a used vehicle, it means you have new wheels with which to drive around Philadelphia and beyond.

That elation can sour when a car buyer finds out that they have been a victim of auto dealer fraud, however. The deceptions by unscrupulous dealers can involve new and used cars both, but in all cases it means that the buyer is on the hook -- unless they take legal action.

Auto dealer fraud can occur at any step of the purchase process. It can involve deceptive advertising or negotiations of the vehicle's price or terms of the vehicle's financing.

  • Bait and switch: this type of dealer fraud refers to ads that offer a great deal on a particular vehicle, but when a customer shows up to inquire about that car they are quickly switched to an inferior vehicle, inferior deal or both.
  • Mileage rollback: this type of deception involves a dealer manipulates the odometer so that it shows significantly fewer miles. Obviously, the price for a car with 150,000 miles on it is typically lower than the price of the identical vehicle with only 80,000 miles on it.
  • Accident disclosure: this is when a dealer hides or omits a vehicle's accident history so that a buyer is unaware that the vehicle has been damaged in an accident or has sustained flood damage.
  • Financing fraud: a dealer claims to offer the best financing deals available, but in reality gouges the car buyer with above-market interest rates.

A Philadelphia consumer protection attorney holds car dealers accountable while protecting your rights.

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