Fancy words may not disguise hidden auto defect

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Consumers may be learning the hard way that words used to describe products may not always be accurate or even truthful. For example, using words like organic, natural and healthy may manipulate consumers into purchasing products they think are better for their bodies. The auto industry apparently has its own set of deceptive words and phrases, and car buyers in California who think they are purchasing a vehicle of higher quality may end up with auto defects.

Purchasing a used car has always had its issues. It is often difficult to tell if a vehicle has hidden problems or undisclosed damage that can mean expensive repairs in the future. In recent years, the used car industry developed a term for vehicles that have an accident-free history, receive careful inspection and are repaired to a high standard. These vehicles are called "certified pre-owned," and the addition of the word certified is meant to instill confidence in the buyer.

Buyers of CPOs may also purchase an extended warranty, and they typically pay more for a CPO than for a regular used car. However, consumer experts recommend those looking for a bargain may want to bypass the more expensive CPOs and just buy a regular used car. Noncertified cars may still carry a manufacturer's warranty, and consumers can pocket the extra money for future repairs. Additionally, a clean history does not necessarily mean the car has not been in an accident.

California consumers may take every precaution when purchasing a car, such as researching the VIN, checking for recalls and having the vehicle independently inspected. Nevertheless, an auto defect may be difficult to find and even more difficult to repair. When faced with a defect, especially a safety defect, for which they can find no remedy, many car purchasers turn to an experienced attorney who can guide them in the appropriate methods of seeking satisfaction.

Source: Consumer Reports, "The Truth About Certified Pre-Owned Cars", Mike Monticello, Feb. 22, 2018

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