In a perfect world, auto dealerships would inform consumers about anything wrong with the vehicles in their showrooms or on their lots. Unfortunately, the world is far from perfect and many auto dealers are not above hiding damage to ensure a lucrative sale.
You might think vehicles that just rolled out of the factory are pristine. Typically, new cars are in fine working order but they may incur damage during travel to dealerships. Shady dealers often violate Pennsylvania law by disguising flaws or repair attempts so consumers won’t notice.
Signs of possible damage
Try not to be so dazzled by a shiny new car that you overlook any flagrant problems. For example, some scratches are hard to see in some lighting conditions but can cost thousands to correct. Look for obvious damage like dings, scratches and dents when you arrive at the dealership.
If you are still interested in buying the car after a first look, examine it more closely to uncover hidden damage.
- Buffing or rubbing marks on the finish
- Discoloration or mismatched paint colors
- Undercarriage rust from exposure to the elements
- Imperfect weather stripping on doors, hood and trunk
Signs like these may indicate that the dealership found damage and then covered it up or repaired it in-house.
Although most damage occurs from travel (even just across the dealership lot), new vehicles can leave the factory with flaws or defects. For example, one source says that some just-built autos have computer and electrical issues.
After spending tens of thousands on a new vehicle with issues you may need a legal remedy to make yourself whole again. Seek guidance from a professional to discover your options.