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Major Car Dealer Settles Auto Fraud Lawsuit

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Our client was an elderly lady who does not have a driver’s license because she is legally blind. She owned a vehicle that was used by relatives to drive her around; that vehicle was being repaired at a local body shop due to damage from a storm. When the repairs were complete, a representative of a major franchised car dealer unexpectedly showed up at her home, telling our client she was helping a relative buy a car. That representative drove her to the dealership, where she was kept for many hours. Finally, our client was told to sign certain papers that she believed were for her relative’s purchase of a car. When she told the dealer that she could not read those papers because she was legally blind, she was told that nobody reads them anyway, and they insisted she sign them.

In reality, the car dealer actually sold her a used 4-year-old Hyundai for a total sale price of more than $40,000, and took her just-repaired car as a trade-in!

When the dealer refused to do the right thing in response to a letter from us, we filed a lawsuit against them based on their unconscionable conduct.  We used our knowledge of state and federal consumer protection laws to pursue justice on behalf of our client.  The car dealer settled the lawsuit only a few weeks after it had been filed.  We not only required the dealer to rescind and pay off our client’s contract for the Hyundai, but also to reimburse our client for the value of her trade-in vehicle and to pay her additional money due to their misconduct.

Remember that dealerships are out to make a profit and do not have your best interests at heart.  We have heard from numerous consumers that they had to spend many hours at a dealership.  Often, they feel rushed to sign the papers without having a chance to read them or take them home.  If you feel pressured or rushed, or if you have a gut feeling that something just doesn’t feel right, you should leave.  You can ask to take the paperwork home so that you can take your time and review it in detail.  If they won’t let you take it home, are pressuring you, or if something just doesn’t feel right, you can always leave.