This will be the first in a series touching on the widespread misuse by dealers of bogus AS IS disclaimers to get away with fraud. This form of Dealer Fraud is getting way out of hand.
Dirty dealers, especially dirty franchise dealers, more and more often try to escape liability for selling damaged and defective vehicles, and for misrepresenting such vehicles, by slipping into the paperwork something they claim to be an AS IS disclaimer. It’s one of the surest signs of dirty dealer that I have come across.
What makes matters worse is that AS IS disclaimers are often misunderstood – not only by consumers, but by uninformed Judges and juries as well.
Let’s first talk about what AS IS disclaimers are NOT and what they don’t mean. An AS IS disclaimer is not a license for dealers to misrepresent their vehicles. AS IS disclaimers do not permit dealers to misrepresent vehicles, and then escape liability.
There are several things you must know.
For an AS IS disclaimer to be valid and effective, several things must be true, including:
1) It must be disclosed on a sticker on the vehicle in 20-point bold type;
2) It must be disclosed in specific language dictated under the law;
3) It must appear on the face of the contract;
4) It must NOT contradict any advertisement or written or oral description or promise.
In the next installment, I will begin explain the very limited scope and effect of even a valid and effective AS IS disclaimer.
If you think you have been the victim of dealer fraud, or a fraudulent AS IS disclaimer, then you should contact a qualified attorney right away.