Lawsuit Against Local Car Dealer Results in Justice for Consumers» Print This Page
Type of Case: Auto Fraud
Case Outcome: Clients received a full refund of all money paid to the dealer
Our clients purchased a used car from a car dealership. Shortly after the sale, they experienced multiple problems with the car that had not been disclosed. After trying to handle their situation on their own with no success, they retained our firm. We filed a lawsuit against the dealership and its owner, suing for Fraud and Misrepresentation, Violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Breach of Express Warranty, Breach of Implied Warranties, and other counts.
We were able to file this auto fraud lawsuit against the dealership even though it claimed that the car had been sold “as is” and without a warranty. Our knowledge of state and federal consumer protection laws, and our experience in representing consumers ripped off by car dealers paid off: we were able to settle this case before the first court hearing, with our clients receiving a full refund of all the money they had paid to the dealer, as well as full reimbursement of all their attorney fees. While each case is different, one thing stays the same: Taras will personally work on your case from beginning to end.
Here are some tips on things you can do to help protect yourself when you buy a used car:
- Have it inspected by an independent mechanic – this can save you large amounts of money down the road. If the dealership won’t let you take it to your own mechanic, walk – no, run – away from that dealer. An honest dealer shouldn’t object to this.
- If you are financing the car, try to find a lender before you go to the car dealership – this can result in significant savings in the financing. It can also reduce the risk of the dealer taking advantage of you.
- Take the car on a thorough test drive, including on city streets and on the highway. Some problems only surface at highway speeds, and if you don’t test it at those speeds, you may not discover the problem until it’s too late.
- Review the documents, CAREFULLY. If you see charges you did not agree to, ask about them. If you are not satisfied with the explanation, don’t agree to them, and don’t sign the documents. Make sure you review the front and back of each document. It never ceases to amaze me how the dealers try to deprive you of your rights, often using the fine print on the back of the documents.
- Always try to insist on some written warranty, even if it’s a short one. This means don’t buy the car “as is”. Not only does a written warranty provide you with some protection, it also provides with you very important legal rights in other important areas that most people don’t even realize exist.
- If the dealer promises to repair something, or do something, get it in writing. Otherwise, if it’s never done, it will be just your word against their word.
- Get copies of EVERY document you review and sign, including the front and back of each form. Sometimes the outcome of a case can depend on having copies of documents the dealership later claims don’t exist.
- And, last but definitely not least: don’t agree to arbitration. Dealers like to throw this in their forms, since most people don’t understand it. An arbitration provision can effectively deprive you of your most important legal rights, and can prevent you from going to court, even if the dealer admits they cheated you.
Even if you signed an “as is” clause you may still have a case. The dealer in the case describe above had an “as is” clause in its documents, but we were still able to achieve justice for our clients.