When purchasing a used car, consumers often feel they have to take special precautions to avoid getting ripped off. There are countless ways in which an unscrupulous car dealer can take advantage of someone who has little knowledge about potential defects in a previously owned vehicle. Perhaps no one is more vulnerable to dealer fraud than a first-time car buyer. California consumers may be able to sympathize with the dilemma of one new owner.
The young man purchased his car from a dealer in another state and made his regular payments each month. To his dismay, when he received a Carfax report some months later, he discovered that the odometer reading on his car was 40,000 miles less than the Carfax report indicated. In fact, the details regarding the exact mileage were vague and confusing.
Suspecting the dealer had rolled back the odometer, he contacted the dealership and asked for the title for the car since he had already made many payments. The dealership refused and instead, paid off the loan and obtained the title of the man's car. The man won a civil lawsuit claiming dealership fraud because the dealer did not appear for the hearing, but a few days later, the dealership repossessed the man's car, claiming he breached the terms of the sales agreement. The dealer indicated plans to resell the vehicle.
While this young man is still fighting to get his car back, his experience may be a cautionary tale for many in California. Dealer fraud is often subtle and difficult to detect, but with experienced legal assistance, those who suspect they have been duped will have solid advocacy. An attorney will work hard to defend the rights of consumers against dishonest car dealers.
Source: star-telegram.com, "Young Fort Worth man trying to get his first car back", Domingo Ramirez, Jr., Dec. 4, 2017