Consumer & Personal Injury Litigators

Where did your car dealer get that used vehicle you bought?

Have you ever listened to a used car commercial on the radio or watched one on the television where a salesperson declares that they will take a trade-in regardless of its condition? Have you ever wondered what happens to all of those vehicles in bad condition?

The truth is that many of them wind up resold either by that car dealer or someone who purchased the vehicle from them. A vehicle in bad shape could end up in the hands of a consumer who might expect that the vehicle is in good condition because they purchase it from a dealership instead of just an individual advertising on the internet.

Unfortunately, many dealerships will only do the bare minimum necessary to make a vehicle run or appear in good enough condition to convince someone to purchase it. Learning about the history of a vehicle can help you make more informed decisions and avoid dealership fraud.

Dealerships often buy vehicles in bulk at an auction

Vehicle auctions are often not accessible to the public. Dealerships go to great lengths in order to protect their income stream. Being able to make auction purchases and then charge a premium for the vehicles they buy there is often a cornerstone of a dealer’s business model.

You might think that a dealership will carefully inspect every vehicle they intend to purchase, but they often make multiple purchases simultaneously. Simply put, they won’t have the time or resources to carefully inspect each vehicle. In some cases, may they may do minor mechanical or cosmetic work. Many times, dealerships sell used vehicles as-is to unsuspecting customers who expect a higher caliber of used vehicle.

Does reselling an auction vehicle constitute dealership fraud?

While a dealership is under no obligation to make expensive repairs to a vehicle that has had a history of issues, they should not intentionally misrepresent the vehicle, its condition or its ownership history.

If a dealership tells you that a vehicle has only had one owner, but you then learn after buying it that it has a history of multiple sales with many drivers, the dealer defrauded you by intentionally misrepresenting the condition of the vehicle or its history.

While it can be difficult to prove dealer fraud when it comes to used vehicles, standing up for yourself when you purchase a used vehicle that is not in the condition promised is necessary. It protects you financially and curtails unethical behavior on the part of salespeople and dealerships.

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