Buying a car is a complicated process, even for the most savvy and experienced purchasers. There are lots of details, lots of paperwork, and lots of opportunities for dealers to take advantage of you. If you think that there was something wrong with your last purchase, please contact us. We are always glad to give you a listening ear.
The most basic of problems is when the dealer lies, as Mike T. experienced:
Mike T. says:
I was buying a fifth wheel from [Dealer] and was not happy with being deceived by the sales person in this transaction when I called Kevin. [Dealer] acted as if I had no say in this matter because the loan company had already paid. But Kevin, within a few phone calls and two or three emails, got me a full refund, my trade-in back, and the satisfaction that, just because I am the little guy, [Dealer] could not cheat me. Thanks, Kevin, I hope to never have need for a lawyer again in my life but if I do you will get my first call.
In Mike T.’s case, he saw an ad posted by the dealership that gave a price and features of the fifth wheel he was buying. After he bought it, he found out that it didn’t have those features and they had raised the price.
Another problem that you might run into is a dealer who tries to force you to renegotiate the deal after purchase. A few days (or even a few weeks) after the sale, you might get a call telling you that they couldn’t finance you. Then, the dealer will try to leverage you into signing a new contract; maybe the dealer will try to get a bigger down payment or force you to buy a service or GAP (Guaranteed Auto Protection) contract. You don’t have to agree to these new contracts or additional terms. You can fight to stick with your original terms or to step away from the deal altogether.
Other forms of dealer auto fraud include:
- They will intentionally undervalue trade-ins.
- They will mis-state government charges on your contract.
- They will sell you products or services which you didn’t intend to purchase.
- They will change the contract terms between verbal negotiation and the written contract.
- They will often try to charge you the highest interest rate they can.
California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), one of the most important state statutes designed to protect consumers purchasing vehicles and other products, lists and prohibits a large number of dishonest sales practices.
If you suspect that you’ve experienced a dealer scam, or if you’re not sure whether the lies told to you are covered by the CLRA, send us a message or call (408) 599-3277 to talk to us about it for free.
Read more about Auto Fraud on our blog. Highlights:
- Beware of subprime auto loans.
- Always check for recalls on cars — and don’t forget the smog test.
- Watch out for binding, forced arbitration clauses in contracts.
- Are car dealership chains more trustworthy?
- Your used car could be spying on you with GPS.
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