California Car dealership Fraud Law: What You Should KnowSelling a car without honestly stating the mileage on the odometer is a felony actionable under the Vehicle Information & Cost Savings Act otherwise known as the Truth in Mileage Act. When the car dealer fails to disclose accurate odometer information to the purchaser of the vehicle, then the dealership will be liable. It is required that the dealers have more than just constructive knowledge, but must act with a certain degree of intent to be found liable. In such instances the dealer’s employee acting as an agent of the dealership can be found to act with intent when he fails to disclose material information regarding the odometer reading or status of the car. When a salesman aggressively pursues a sale they often fail to take into account ethical considerations, such as honesty in disclosing odometer readings and title. While not all acts are intentional and some are a result of negligence recovery is still possible for the diminished value of the vehicle as well as recovery under other theories such as breach of warranty or misrepresentation.
Car dealership liability: How Much Can I recover for auto sale fraud?Recovery depends on a number of factors including whether the dealership actively concealed the status of the odometer or whether they acted recklessly. When the vehicles mileage does not accurately reflect the mechanical limits of the car, then recovery is permitted for both the diminished value of the vehicle and or punitive damages. Additional liability can be applied when the car dealer engaged in what is known as “deceptive advertising”, where they improperly define the status of the vehicle. Deceptive advertising practices are illegal and dealerships can be found liable for engaging in such acts. If you have been a victim of dealership fraud or auto sale fraud contact our auto fraud attorneys at Downtown LA Law for a free case evaluation.
Common Types of Auto Sales FraudAuto fraud can include the following types:
- Odometer Rollback Fraud;
- Failure to disclose past accidents;
- Hidden fees and failure to disclose prices
- Odometer tampering; Rolling back the odometer
- Sale of demonstration vehicle without disclosure;
- Re-painting of vehicle without disclosure;
- New and used vehicle disclosures.
- Failure to disclose vehicle as salvaged
- Alteration in Vehicle Sticker Price
- Trade-in Vehicle Fraud: purposely undervaluing the price of a trade in car
- Selling a Used Car as a New Car
- Alterations in the Vehicle Sales Price
- Auto Lease Fraud : Overpricing lease agreements
- Undisclosed Damage