This blog is probably long overdue. I talk to numerous consumers everyday about their misadventures with car dealers. There is one very important thing that too many consumers fail to grasp – actually a couple of things.
First, if the claim or complaint involves anything related to the condition of the vehicle, then the vehicle is a major piece of evidence. Evidence must be preserved. It must not be altered.
If the condition of the vehicle is at issue, you should document its condition before permitting any changes or repairs, or permitting giving even temporary possession to the dealer.
Bring it to another shop and get an inspection. Take photographs of the entire vehicle, including, in particular, any specific parts or areas at issue.
You cannot trust the dealer.
If for instance the dealer had misrepresented that the vehicle had not been in any accidents, and you later discover masking tape or other indication of collision repairs, then you should document it before you give the dealer the opportunity to remove the masking tape.
Second, if you do dispose of the vehicle, for instance, by trading it, all is not lost. Usually, claims can still be pursued. There is usually adequate evidence available to prevent the dealer from claiming falsely that it has been prejudiced by the loss of the vehicle or evidence.
But it’s always better to err on the side of caution. It part of an attorney’s job to imaging the bear in the woods or the worst case scenario and to try to avoid it.
If you think you have been the victim of dealer fraud or any other kind of consumer fraud then you should contact a qualified attorney right away.