Pennsylvanias Used Car Fraud Law
Customers who find themselves defrauded by used car dealers are often surprised to learn that Pennsylvanias lemon law doesnt actually cover defective vehicles if those vehicles qualify as used. Fortunately, there are other laws in Pennsylvania that protect consumers who purchase used vehicles in the state. To learn more about these laws and how they could apply in your own case, please contact a Philadelphia used car fraud lawyer who can explain your legal rights and obligations.
Pennsylvanias Lemon Law
Although many states have lemon laws on the books that apply to all defective vehicles purchased from a dealership, this is not true of Pennsylvania. Instead, Pennsylvanias lemon law only covers new vehicles that were purchased and registered in the state for personal, household, or family use. When a vehicle meets these requirements and is defective, state law mandates that the manufacturer repair or correct any defect that:
- Substantially impairs the use, safety, or value of the vehicle and
- Occurs within one year of delivery, the term of the manufacturers express warranty, or 12,000 miles of use, whichever comes first.
These types of defects must be repaired or corrected at no cost to the purchaser within a reasonable time. In the event that a defect is too severe to be repaired quickly, a customer could be eligible for a replacement vehicle or a refund of the purchase price.
Protections for Used Car Buyers in Pennsylvania
Suing A Car Dealership By Starting A Conversation
If you were scammed into buying a bad car by a dealership, we want to hear from you. Call our auto fraud attorneys to discuss your situation now. We will review the documents from your recent used car purchase to determine what options are available for your case, and provide clear next steps for you to get the satisfaction you deserve.
Can I Return A Car If I Changed My Mind
In general, there are no federal laws that outline a return period following a vehicles purchase.
Unlike many retail markets, cars significantly lose their value simply by leaving the lot. But the immediate car depreciation plays a vital role in consumer protection laws surrounding auto sales.
The valuation of a car depends on whether it is considered new or used. The MSRP of a new vehicle at a dealership depends on manufacturer and dealer markups and other factors that influence a new cars price. Once a contract is signed and the new vehicle is registered to the buyer, it is no longer new. If dealers resell returned cars, they would have to sell them as used and most likely at a loss over a new model.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, federal law does not require dealers to provide car buyers the right to cancel a transaction. State laws may vary, but in general, they mirror federal requirements.
Where it exists, it may be the policy of individual dealerships to allow returns within a certain period after purchase, but it is not a legal obligation.
Car companies and dealers generally dont have this policy, which means drivers will almost always find themselves out of luck if they want to return a car like they might return a lamp or a sweater.
The bottom line: You cant return a car just because you changed your mind about it or because the salesman was pushy unless its written into the sales contract that you can.
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How To Sue Your Car Dealer For Fraudulent Misrepresentation
Fraudulent misrepresentation includes six elements. In order for a plaintiff, or an individual who files a lawsuit, to recover for fraudulent misrepresentation claims, they must prove all 6 elements. The elements a plaintiff must prove to sue a car dealership include:
- That the car dealer made a false representation
- It is important to note that representations typically involve a direct statement but any speech that is intended to communicate a fact or create an impression, illusion, or belief, may be considered a representation
Proving all of these elements in court may be complicated and requires the aid of a skilled lawyer. A lawyer is best equipped to gather evidence of the car dealerâs deceptive trade practices, obtain witnesses to testify regarding the deception, and advocate for the plaintiff in court.
Contact Your Finance Or Credit Company
If you bought the car on hire purchase or your credit card, you have the right to bring the dispute to your finance company or credit-card company.
If you have a car finance agreement or a lease , technically your car belongs to the finance company and any good finance company should be able to help you through this process.
- If you bought the car on hire purchase, you have the common-law right to reject a faulty car throughout the duration of the agreement, as long as you stop using the car once youve discovered the fault. Write to the hire-purchase company and tell it you are rejecting the car as it is unsatisfactory.
- If you paid for the second-hand car on your credit card , your credit provider is jointly liable for any breach of contract under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act .
If the car dealership wont help, contact the credit company to either say you’re rejecting the second-hand car, or that you want to claim for repairs.
If the card company or credit provider wont help, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
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Dont Feel You Have To Buy Right Now
For many people, purchasing a new car is a stressful experience, so they try to get it over with as quickly as humanly possible, and that can lead to negative results. In their eagerness to get through it, they dont consider their options carefully or negotiate skillfully. While dealer personnel will often put pressure on you to buy now, using gambits like, I can only give you this price today, you are very well advised to take your time. Todays new-car market is hotly competitive. There is absolutely no reason to feel rushed by a limited-time offer odds are that an offer just as good, or better, will be available tomorrow.
Heed these warnings, and your path to a car purchase should be far less strenuous. And youll be in better shapefinancially, and maybe even emotionallyonce the deal is done.
Should I Consult An Attorney
Yes, it is essential to have the assistance of a defective products lawyer to help with any misrepresentation issues you may have if you purchased a vehicle based on your reliance upon misrepresentations of the car dealer or seller.
Your attorney can review your case and determine if you have a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation or negligent misrepresentation. In addition, if you have sold a vehicle and you are now being accused of making misrepresentations regarding that vehicle, your attorney can advise you regarding any defenses that may be available and how to avoid liability.
- No fee to present your case
- Choose from lawyers in your area
- A 100% confidential service
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My Recommendation For Car Shoppers
Each week, I’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes…
- Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
- Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
- The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
- Which Cars You Should Avoid
What Does My Car Warranty Or Guarantee Cover
If your new or used car came with a warranty or guarantee, or you paid extra for one, you can use it to get problems fixed.
But, its important you check the terms and conditions it came with so that youre clear on what is covered and what isn’t.
You also need to be clear whether you need to speak to the dealer or manufacturer to get the problems resolved.
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How To Sue Your Car Dealer For Negligent Misrepresentation
If an individual is unable to establish the required elements for fraud, they may still have a claim against the car dealer for making negligent misrepresentations. The advantage of a negligent misrepresentation claim is that the plaintiff is not required to show that the seller was actually aware that the representation was false at the time it was made.
Instead, the plaintiff must only show that the car dealer made a representation or representations under circumstances which indicate a reckless disregard for the truth or that they ought to have known that the representations they made were not true. In order to prove a car dealer made negligent misrepresentations, the plaintiff must show:
- A representation was made by the car dealer
- That representation was false
- The car dealer knew or should have known that the representation was false
- The plaintiff relied on the representation made by the car dealer
- It was reasonable for the plaintiff to rely on the representation made by the car dealer and
- The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of relying on that representation.
It is much easier to prove that the car dealer should have known that the representation was false than to prove that the car dealer actually knew that the representation was false. If an individual is a victim of negligent misrepresentation in a contract, they may sue for the recovery of damages caused by that misrepresentation.
Dealership Sold Me A Bad New Car
Since 2013, attorney Jimmy Hanaie has been fighting for individuals and their legal rights. We know how tough it can be to get a new car just to find out it is bad and then be out for the money. Money is hard to come by, and when you spend it as a consumer you expect to get a good car and customer service to match.
Unfortunately, many times the dealerships and auto manufacturers fail at their duties and obligations of providing safe and reliable cars to their consumers and customers. It is important to know that you have legal rights and might be entitled to a large financial settlement.
Expect excellence. Call us and see what all the hype is about. Find out why you find our website instead of all the other ones on the internet. Call us for a completely free consultation 400-5050
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If The Problem Is Minor
The dealer must get any repairs done within a reasonable time. Be sure to tell them when you need the car back by. Ask for a ‘courtesy car’ while they repair the vehicle, although a dealer is not legally responsible for providing one.
If you agree to repairs and they don’t fix the problem properly, or the vehicle develops further faults, your rights continue. You can choose your remedy options again until your problem is sorted. But if you misuse a vehicle, the CGA doesnt apply.
If the dealer refuses, fails to do the repairs or doesnt do them in a reasonable time, you can choose to:
- have the vehicle repaired elsewhere and claim the cost back from the dealer
- reject the vehicle and claim a refund or a replacement of the same type and similar value if it is available in stock.
Is It Illegal To Sell A Lemon
If you are driving around thinking mycar dealer sold me a bad used car then you may have a case against your dealership. Many people believe that a used lemon is a crappy car that they are stuck with, but that is not true. In most states, there are good laws that protect consumers and make it possible to return a defective car.
If you are asking, my dealer sold me a lemon what can I do? the simple answer is: call a lawyer! In California, lemon laws give the dealer 3 opportunities to fix the same problem when a car is still covered under the warranty.
For example, if your cars air conditioning is not working and you take it to the dealer 3 times but they cant fix it during the warranty period, its like baseball, after the 3rd strike the dealer is out. The same is true if the dealer has the car in the shop for more than 30 days trying to fix the problem, after a total of 30 days, if the dealer hasnt been able to fix the problem, the car is officially a lemon.
If you believe that your dealership sold you a lemon car, call our lemon law attorneys for a free case evaluation!
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Motor Vehicle Traders Register
Run by Trading Standards, this holds information about registered traders and their business.
Complain about motor vehicle traders who may be:
- unregistered and trading illegally
- tampering with a vehicles odometer
- banned motor vehicle traders still operating illegally.
The MVTR is a register, not a dispute resolution organisation. Complaining to MVTR may help protect other consumers. It cannot help you get your money back, but Trading Standards may ban a seller from the register.
How To Prepare For Battle
In order to determine if you truly have a lemon and to build a solid argument, make sure you’ve taken the following steps.
First, run vehicle history reports from AutoCheck. Van Alst also recommends a check of the federal government’s National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, which can be obtained through various vehicle-history vendors at a low cost. These reports expose many of the hidden problems associated with used cars, such as prior accidents and branded titles. Edmunds recommends that buyers run all three reports if possible. They can sometimes uncover different information. An important fact to consider: U.S. states do not require insurance companies to report when they fix a vehicle, although Canada does.
Do not rely on reports alone. Take the car to a qualified mechanic and a body shop that can spot signs of structural damage. Make sure they put it up on a lift. As with vehicle history reports, this is best done before the vehicle purchase, but if you’re trying to press your rights under state or federal lemon laws, it’s critical to determine the source of the vehicle’s problem.
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Filing A Complaint Or Claim
If you wish to file a complaint or claim because you think your rights as a consumer were violated, OMVIC advises to first contact the dealership and see if the issue can be sorted out. A lot of the time there was just a basic human error or miscommunication and the dealership is more than happy to resolve the issue for you. Therefore, OMVIC asks that consumers send a to the dealership so there is a paper trail of communication between you and the dealer about the complaint.
If the dealership fails to address the issue, you should then contact OMVIC. They will contact the dealership and most of the time they can resolve the complaint without going through any formal procedure. If they cannot work out the issue with the dealership you will have to file a civil lawsuit against the dealership.
A Used Car Dealership Sold Me A Bad Car What Are My Rights
- Posted on Mar 11, 2013
This may depend on many factors including whether you had a warranty or service contract and what was promised. It may include what was said from dealer to buyer and what the paperwork says and your state’s law. C. Steven Moskos does a fine job on these matters in your state. I highly recommend you get in touch with him for a low or no fee consultation, found here: http://www.calemons.com/national-locator/
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Can I Reject A Faulty New Car Bought On Finance
If you have a car finance agreement or a lease , then it can be a bit more complicated because technically your car belongs to the finance company.
You can use our handy tool to find out what your legal rights are.
You will need to speak to your finance company to begin with. Tell them why you are rejecting the car, but bear in mind that the vehicle may need to go back to the dealer for assessment or repair.
Any good finance company should be able to help you through this process.
It can be slightly drawn-out process because the dealer will have to refund the finance company rather than you directly. The finance company will then have to terminate your agreement and pay you back your deposit plus any payments youve already made, minus any deductions made for fair usage.
You Just Realized You Signed A Bad Deal On Your Car Now What
Associate Business Editor, The Huffington Post
Everybody knows buying a car can be a nightmare.
Thankfully, there are ways to avoid being overcharged at the dealership. But even if you arm yourself with as much information as possible before you go car shopping, it’s still possible to fall prey to unscrupulous dealers. What happens if you find you’ve been charged hundreds or thousands of dollars more than you expected?
Ericka Honore of Lake Ronkonkoma, New York, said her fears of car shopping as a single woman were confirmed four years ago when she was looking for a used SUV. She had compared prices on Kelley Blue Book and other websites beforehand. But dealers refused to accept her financing from an outside credit union and tried to get her to sign a contract that had a different price from the one she’d negotiated, she said.
Every dealership I walked into, for some reason they thought I was stupid and didnt do my homework, said Honore, who eventually found a good price at an Enterprise dealer. It felt like everybody wanted to rip me off.
Timothy Miller, who lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said that two years ago, one dealer kept delaying his paperwork and asked him to double the down payment on his truck in order to reduce his monthly payments. The changes ended up saving him next to nothing, he said. Fed up, he finally went to another dealership.
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