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How much can a dealership be penalized for hiding damage?

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2021 | Dealer Fraud

Pennsylvania state law carefully regulates auto dealerships and vehicle sale transactions. By requiring transparency and honesty, as well as records of vehicle sales, the state government helps protect consumers from dealership fraud.

One of the most common forms of used vehicle fraud involves a salesperson not disclosing known issues with a vehicle before someone buys it. If you discover serious issues with your vehicle that the dealership hid before your purchase, you may want to take legal action against them.

What kind of damages can you seek if the dealership misrepresented the condition of the vehicle?

You can ask for actual damages

When you purchase a used vehicle, its age, model and condition all influence the price you pay. A vehicle that will need a new transmission in the next hundred thousand miles will obviously command a much lower price than a vehicle that is in like-new condition.

Discovering major issues after a purchase might mean that you need to make expensive repairs to your vehicle or even rent alternative transportation while your car is in the shop. If you can show that the damage existed at the time that you purchased the vehicle, something your mechanic may be able to help you prove, you can potentially bring a claim against the salesperson or dealership for their fraudulent misrepresentation of the vehicle.

You could seek economic damages, which might include repair costs, rental vehicle expenses, wages you didn’t earn because your vehicle wouldn’t run, losses suffered in a crash caused by an undisclosed defect or even the difference between what you paid and the lower eventual resale value of the vehicle.

Those buying vehicles should be able to trust the seller

A seller’s obligation to honestly disclose the condition of a used vehicle is crucial to the secondhand vehicle market. People would not willingly spend thousands of dollars on a piece of machinery if they can’t trust the individual selling the vehicle.

Understanding the consequences that can apply to a fraudulent misrepresentation of a vehicle will make it easier for you to take action when you didn’t get what you paid for when buying a used car.

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