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Examples of Auto Fraud Cases

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Auto Fraud refers to a whole series of cases in which a car dealer (franchised dealer or buy-here-pay-here dealer) or other automotive facility perpetrates a fraud on a consumer.  Examples of such auto fraud cases include:

  • Odometer rollback – this is when a dealer or other person intentionally rolls back the odometer mileage, usually to inflate the price of the car or to claim that it is still subject to a manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Rebuilt wrecks – these are cars that have been involved in a serious crash that may have caused the insurance company to “total” them, but are then rebuilt and sold without any disclosure of the pre-existing damage.  These cars can be a significant hazard not only to the consumer buying the car, but also to other motorist who can be affected when the rebuilt wreck loses control on the road.  Please note that CarFax will not always disclose all prior wrecks, and some dealers use this to their advantage.
  • Faulty repairs – this covers repairs that were not performed properly, as well as repairs that were never performed at all.
  • Deceptive sales techniques – this type of deception can cause a buyer to believe he or she is purchasing a car when in reality they are leasing it, or misrepresents the condition or price of the car, or other aspects of the sales or financing process.
  • Failure to comply with title laws – some dealers try to hide prior ownership history or mileage disclosures by obtaining new titles that no longer show the history they are trying to hide.  Other dealers take salvage cars to states having lax titling laws, rebuild them, and get a new title that no longer lists the car as being a salvage car.
  • Service contracts – some service contracts are virtually useless, because the company frequently denies coverage, often blaming the consumer.  Of course, both the dealership and the service contract provider make a handsome profit from selling this service contract.  The consumer thought they were buying peace-of-mind, when they were really buying a headache.
  • Warranty – some manufacturers or dealers fail to honor their warranties, often claiming the vehicle was not properly maintained, or was abused.  In many cases, there is no evidence to support such a claim, but it doesn’t stop unscrupulous dealers from rejecting warranty claims for those reasons.
  • Yo-yo sales – this is when the dealer tells you the sale is final and lets you take the car home.  Then, after you have taken the car home and showed it to your family and friends, the dealer tells you the financing fell through, and demands additional money.  Of course, if you try asking for the return of your trade-in, they tell you it’s gone.

My background as a former automotive engineer and expert witness allows me to help consumers in these and other types of auto fraud cases.