Bensley Law Offices, LLC | Representing Consumers In the Philadelphia Area Since 1997

Rated By Super Lawyers William C. Bensley

National Association of Distinguished Counsel - Nation's TOP ONE Percent 2023

Rated By Super Lawyers William C. Bensley

Free Consultation

Consumer & Personal Injury Litigators

The increased risk of fraud when buying hybrid or electric cars

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Dealer Fraud

Purchasing used vehicles can be a nerve-wracking experience. The average person doesn’t have enough knowledge about vehicles to identify latent defects or thoroughly analyze a used vehicle. They require that the seller honestly disclose information about the vehicle to make an informed decision.

Many people intentionally acquire used vehicles from licensed dealerships specifically to protect against the possibility of fraud. There are laws regulating the conduct of vehicle sales professionals. Vehicle misrepresentation, including lying about the state of key systems in the vehicle, can lead to people overpaying for the used vehicle they purchase.

Misrepresentations and omissions of key details can both constitute auto dealer fraud in certain scenarios. Those looking to purchase used electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles may have an additional type of fraud to consider when they’re looking at used vehicles.

Battery misrepresentations can be costly

Many people held off on purchasing early generations of hybrid and electric vehicles out of concern for the performance of the battery systems. There was a fear that their replacement costs could consume any fuel savings the vehicles offered.

Even those years of use have established that batteries can power hybrid and electric vehicles for extended periods, they can be a massive investment when they require replacement. Depending on the type of vehicle someone has and whether they purchase new batteries or refurbished ones, the cost of replacing the batteries in a vehicle can range from $1,000 to $8,000 or more.

Buyers therefore need to know that the batteries of a used hybrid or electric vehicle are in good condition and that the vehicle has appropriate warranty coverage if the batteries fail. Salespeople at dealerships sometimes make glib promises about battery warranties or replacements that don’t actually reflect what the dealership offers.

In some cases, salespeople might claim that the batteries are new when the dealership replaces defective batteries with refurbished or used batteries instead of new batteries. A thorough vehicle inspection, potentially conducted by a trusted mechanic, may be the only way to effectively evaluate the condition of the batteries prior to purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle.

Those who have purchased vehicles due to misrepresentations about the batteries or exaggerations regarding warranties may have grounds to pursue an autodealer fraud lawsuit. Holding dealerships accountable for misrepresenting vehicles can compensate those who pay more for vehicles than they are actually worth due to manipulative sales tactics.

FindLaw Network
Photo of William Charles Bensley
Philadelphia Bar Association
American Association for Justice
Public Justice | America's Public Interest Law Firm
Pennsylvania Bar Association
National Consumer Law Center

Witnesses Needed

Searching for persons with information or complaints about a number of banks, dealerships, repossession agents and debt collectors

Click Here For More Information

Email The Firm

Contact The Firm

Office Location

1500 Walnut Street
Suite 900
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Philadelphia Office
Toll Free: 800-254-3497

Phone: 267-838-9654

Fax: 267-299-8079