At Artim Law, we help our clients with new vehicle defects through the Pennsylvania Lemon Law. We also help our clients with issues pertaining to used cars. If you are reading this webpage, chances are something similar to the following scenario has happened to you: You need a car. You can’t afford a brand new car, so you go to a used car dealership. You are approached by a salesman who wants to know what you are looking for and your price range. He shows you a series of vehicles, maybe you test drive one, and he says, “That’s a great vehicle. It will last you a long time.” Assured that you are getting a good deal, you agree to buy the car, maybe an extended warranty, and you go on your way. A few days after the sale, the car starts making a weird noise, or the check engine light comes one, or you notice that the vehicle pulls to the right. You take the car back to the used car dealership and he tells you there is nothing he can do.
This is a VERY common scenario. The goal of a used car dealership is to move as many vehicles as they can as quickly as they can, and they will do just about anything to convince you to buy the car. Most used car dealerships think that because the car is used, there is nothing you can do once you buy it. Fortunately for you, they are wrong. Your next course of action should be to call our office immediately for an assessment of your case. Don’t call the dealership and threaten to call an attorney. Don’t call the dealership and “give them once more chance.” Call us before you do anything.
Pennsylvania Auto Fraud
Under Pennsylvania law, there are a lot of rules covering everything from advertisements, to the sales pitch, to the actual sale, and repairs made after the sale. All of these laws apply to used vehicles. Some only apply if the car is less than 10 years old. One of the most common laws that used car dealerships violate is failing to disclose prior usage of the vehicle. In other words, if your vehicle was previously used as a rental car, the car dealership has to tell you that BEFORE you buy the car. Another commonly violated law is prior damage. A lot of used cars are sold after being in an accident. If the prior accident bent, cracked, or twisted the frame, then the dealership has to disclose that damage BEFORE selling you the car. Pennsylvania Auto Fraud law also applies to the contents of the dealership’s contracts, “As-Is” disclaimers, odometer disclosures, and title branding. There is a lot that a dealership has to tell you BEFORE you buy the car, and the dealerships rarely follow the law. Most dealerships will try to weasel their way out of liability by saying there was no way they could have known about the car’s true nature prior to sale. That is where we step in. We have access to vehicle history reports and experts that help us prove that even with a minimal review of the vehicle, the Auto Fraud could have been avoided.
More often than not, we see most violations coming from independent dealerships. Common independent auto sellers include J.D. Byrider, Target Auto Sales, CarMax, and Car Sense. Independent dealerships also include smaller dealerships like “Mike’s Auto Sales,” North Hills Auto Sales, or any other small dealership. These dealerships target people who are desperate to find a good deal. The opposite of the independent dealerships are the franchise dealerships. These are your big car dealerships that often have the name of a major manufacturer in the name like Meegan Ford, Tom Clark Chevrolet, Kenny Ross Chevrolet, Rohrich Nissan, #1 Cochran, etc. The larger dealerships have more money to invest in better used cars that often don’t have the same negative history. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a case just because you bought a certified used car from a franchise dealership.
What You Need To Do Next
If you believe that you have been victim of Auto Fraud, we need to start our investigation immediately. Again, do not contact the dealership and try to work with them to fix the issue. You will not come out on top. You may lose your vehicle, but still have to pay your loan. You may lose more money paying for a repair that really won’t fix the problem. If you already called that dealership, that’s ok. Just don’t talk with them anymore. We will give you a free phone consultation, listen to your issue, and tell you whether you have a case. If we think you have a case, we will tell you what to do next so that you aren’t a victim in the end.