When you buy a brand-new car from a dealership, you never assume that something is wrong with it. Shockingly, around 20 to 30 percent of new cars are damaged before being purchased.
So, how do dealerships get away with it? How do customers fail to notice? Is it even legal to sell a damaged car?
Shockingly, Pennsylvania law does not require car dealerships to disclose damage on a new car, unless it totals more than 3 percent of the list price or $500 in repairs. This means that if a new car selling for $17 thousand only has $493 in repairs, which is 2.9 percent of the total list price, a dealer does not have to disclose the damage to the customers.
Additionally, a dealership only has to disclose the damage that has not been fixed. Therefore, a car dealership could have already spent thousands of dollars in repairs on a "new car" that you purchase. While it might not seem like a big issue now, imagine what could happen a few years down the road when your car starts having problems from something that was not fixed properly.
There are several ways new cars can become damaged. Some of the most common reasons can include:
- Loading and removal from a transport truck
- Test drives with other potential customers
- Door dings and scratches from other cars in the lot
When you are purchasing a car, it is important to inspect it thoroughly and ask the dealer if there has been any damage that has been repaired. If you don’t notice any dents or scratches, look for uneven spacing between any openings and excess paint around the headlights and taillights. Both might be signs that your car has been fixed.
Finding out your new car has damage can be devastating. It can be beneficial to talk with an experienced legal professional to discuss your options and receive the compensation you deserve.