Bradley Law represents consumers that are victims of car dealership fraud and deceptive practices. Car dealership fraud and deceptive practices refers to the many fraudulent, deceptive and unlawful practices that are sadly used when dealerships try to sell or buy vehicles. These poor practices can be used during advertising, negotiations, selling, and financing of a vehicle. Some types of deceptive or fraudulent practices by car dealerships include:
- Bait and Switch—Bait and switch is false or deceptive advertising of a dealership’s products. Basically, when a car dealer advertises a vehicle at a tremendous value, but when you arrive at the dealership, the deal is no longer available. And, to make matters worse, the car salesman pressures you into a purchase that is more expensive, or a more expensive vehicle altogether.
- Undervaluation of your Trade-In—This is self-explanatory. Basically, the car dealership purposefully offers a trade-in value for your vehicle that is grossly under the value of what your vehicle is worth. This type of deceptive behavior helps the dealership profit tremendously.
- Misrepresentation of the Vehicle— This fraudulent activity may take many forms. A common one is when a car dealership sells a vehicle as “new,” but in reality, it was actually a vehicle that was sold and returned to the dealership due to issues with the vehicle. Another common form of misrepresentation of a vehicle is when a vehicle is sold, without the disclosure of a prior accident to that vehicle. In other words, the vehicle was in an accident, never disclosed to you the buyer, and the car dealership sold the vehicle for top dollar.
- Odometer Fraud— This is simply when a used vehicle has had its odometer altered or tampered with to conceal the vehicle’s true mileage, basically in an attempt to make the vehicle more appealing to a buyer.
Car dealership fraud and deceptive practices takes many forms and occurs more than you would think. It doesn’t matter if you purchased your vehicle from a Large, big-name dealership or a small ma-and-pa type lot—any type of dealership can partake in these horrible business practices. Anyone can be a victim of car dealership fraud. That is why it is important to minimize your risk when buying a vehicle. Here are some helpful tips for purchasing a vehicle.
- Knowledge is truly power! Know what you want and then do your research on it prior to going to the car dealership. Two wonderful and informative websites to research vehicles are Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book. Use these resources so you have independent knowledge prior to going to a dealership. The last thing you want is for all your knowledge to come from a commission-based car salesman.
- Read everything thoroughly. Read any document that you are handed. If you do not understand the form, ask the car dealership to explain it. If you do not like the explanation or still have questions, ask someone outside the dealership to explain it—possibly an attorney.
- Get the vehicle independently inspected. Most of the time, for under a $100.00, you can go to a mechanic and they will provide you with a thorough inspection of the prospective vehicle. While $100.00 sounds like a lot, it is certainly a lot less than the headache of not getting an inspection and the car is junk.
- Take a thorough look at the vehicle. Look under the hood. And, do not be afraid to look under the vehicle. Take a close look at the paint around the vehicle. And, if you see something that raises questions, do not be afraid to ask. A car purchase is a big deal; so, do not take it lightly.
- If you have a bad feeling, just walk away. You can always go back if you later change your mind. But, a gut feeling goes a long way. Trust it!
If you have been a victim of car dealership fraud or deceptive practices, please contact us today. It is important to hold these dealerships accountable, and let them know that this type of behavior is not acceptable. We will hold the car dealership accountable for unfair and deceptive practices and help get you the compensation you deserve. Call Bradley Law today for a free consultation. 505-585-4-LAW (505-585-4529)