There is something special about a new car. Like a clean slate after trading in the old model, a new car can put a fresh outlook on everyday tasks. Driving to work, getting groceries and hauling the kids around all seem a little nicer in a brand-new vehicle. However, what many do not realize is that new cars may not be as pristine as their purchasers believe them to be. In fact, it is common for a dealer to sell a vehicle as new after repairing thousands of dollars’ worth of damages first.
A consumer should assume the new vehicle on the lot has been damaged. Perhaps it is only a few scratches, but it may be significantly more serious. How do new cars get damaged?
- Manufacturers transport new vehicles across busy highways on car carrier trucks.
- Workers drive the vehicles on and off the carriers.
- Car salespeople frequently rotate the inventory, parking new vehicles close together.
- New cars undergo frequent test drives.
- Dealers may borrow a new vehicle as a form of marketing.
Pennsylvania law requires a dealer to disclose to a buyer any known damage to a new car that is more than 6% of the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. Of course, the dealer may base this percentage amount on the cost to make the repairs in his or her own facility rather than the price a consumer would pay at an independent garage. This means many dealers may sell vehicles that have suffered thousands of dollars in damages, which can easily affect the safe operation and lifespan of the vehicle.