Consumer & Personal Injury Litigators

Auto fraud and the law

Pennsylvania residents who purchase a vehicle from a car dealer may have legal recourse if they believe that the dealer was not truthful about the condition of the vehicle. If the dealer withheld information regarding previous accidents that the vehicle had been in or if certain parts of the vehicle do not work as they should, the car dealer may be held financially liable.

Federal and state governments have laws that make misrepresentation and fraud by car dealers illegal, including lemon laws, which pertain to the selling of defective vehicles. Laws that pertain to car dealer fraud are a form of protection for consumers who want to purchase motorcycles, cars, vans or trucks. Some of the legislation was established by the Federal Trade Commission, general state fraud statutes and state consumer protection agencies.

Blatant misrepresentations and omissions of fact are the two main types of auto dealer misrepresentations identified by the law. The majority of lawsuits that are filed will be based on bait-and-switch advertising, the failure to reveal vehicle information and the misleading inflation of vehicle pricing. An attorney who is skilled in the area of torts may also be able to file a lawsuit based on the common law tort of fraud.

In some states, individuals who want to file a lawsuit against an auto dealer to collect damages will have to first contact the dealer to allow them the chance to rectify the issue or contact a state consumer protection agency. Individuals may have their court costs and attorney fees returned to them or have any loan amounts canceled.

An attorney who practices consumer protection law may advise clients who have been victims of auto fraud about their legal options. Financial compensation may be pursued against car dealers for vehicles sold with non-disclosed damages.

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