Consumer Protection Archives

Consumer laws target deception, defects and errors

Buyer beware is a common piece of advice for people in Pennsylvania, but every business transaction depends on some level of trust among parties. To enforce this necessity, consumer laws create a framework for holding people and companies accountable for their actions in the marketplace. These laws seek to maintain standards of truthfulness, product quality and qualifications among professionals and tradespeople.

Lemon laws make car sellers keep their promises

Pennsylvania drivers have probably heard the term "lemon law". These are statutes that protect consumers from costly repairs to cars that don't live up to the promises made about them by car dealers or manufacturers. Though the phrase 'let the buyer beware" always applies, especially when buying used cars, lemon laws make dealers responsible for paying for repairs on certain vehicles for a period of time after the customer has made the purchase.

Auto fraud and the law

Pennsylvania residents who purchase a vehicle from a car dealer may have legal recourse if they believe that the dealer was not truthful about the condition of the vehicle. If the dealer withheld information regarding previous accidents that the vehicle had been in or if certain parts of the vehicle do not work as they should, the car dealer may be held financially liable.

Pennsylvania has 20,000 flood-damaged cars on its roads

There are about 20,000 cars on Pennsylvania roads that were once listed as totaled due to flood damage. Unscrupulous dealers skirt the law by purchasing salvage vehicles in areas ravaged by natural disasters and then registering them in states with less restrictive title laws. Only Texas and Louisiana, which have both been struck by hurricanes and tropical storms in recent years, have more flood-damaged vehicles on their roads than Pennsylvania, according to Carfax.

Fine print can hinder consumers' use of lemon law

Pennsylvania car buyers may worry about their worst nightmare - bringing home a "lemon", a model plagued with a number of defects from the time of purchase. It can be important to review the purchase agreement, as it may affect their rights as consumers.

Fighting auto repossession

If you are a Pennsylvania resident who has fallen behind on your car payments, there may be ways you can avoid repossession. A person who has come to repossess a vehicle must follow legal guidelines. If the repossessor fails to do so, you may have a case for wrongful repossession.

Why odometers may be tampered with

Hollywood may have people believe that rolling back an odometer is a good way to prevent others from knowing that the car was out for a joyride. However, rolling back or otherwise tampering with an odometer is considered a crime. It can also have an economic impact on consumers of up to $10 billion per year. To help prevent such fraud from occurring, California law requires a Vehicle/Vessel Transfer Form be filled out.

Americans struggling, worrying about debt

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) said a new poll that it commissioned shows that 73 percent of Americans live with debt. The AICPA says that outstanding household debt in the U.S. has hit a new high of $12.84 trillion, even as consumer spending is increasing at a faster clip than any since 2009.

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