Woman says dealer fraud left her with flood-damaged car

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Purchasing a used vehicle is often a milestone, especially for those who have been struggling to get their lives back on track. Having a vehicle means no longer having to rely on public transportation or friends for rides to work and for running errands. Taking on the burden of gas, insurance and maintenance can be a challenge, but if the car is in good condition, a California consumer may find he or she is able to manage the monthly payments. However, problems arise when an unsuspecting car buyer is the victim of dealer fraud.

One single mother in another state was hoping the purchase of a vehicle would be a turning point for her. After losing her job, she went to a local used car dealership and test drove a car that she intended to use for a job search. The dealer assured her the vehicle was in good condition, so she made the purchase. However, three days later, the car would not start.

The dealer referred the woman to a mechanic who told her that, despite no such report being on the CarFax, the vehicle had been in a flood. The engine was eaten by rust and could not be repaired. The woman contacted a consumer advocate for the local news who visited the car dealership, but the dealer apparently refused to admit he was the one who had sold the car and would not answer the reporter's questions.

While the dealership claims the sale was legal because the car was advertised "as is," consumer advocates say this may be a case of dealer fraud. There are few people in California or elsewhere who have thousands of dollars to throw away on a vehicle that is not capable of being a reliable form of transportation. When they feel they have been duped by a dishonest car salesman, they can turn to an experienced attorney for assistance.

Source: actionnewsjax.com, "Customer says she was duped by Everybody Rides Used Automall", Courtney Cole, April 18, 2018

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