Manassas Car Dealer Fraud Attorney
Northern Virginia Lemon Law Lawyer
A motor vehicle is a major investment. When you make that investment, you put a great deal of trust in the dealer you choose to purchase from. Unfortunately, there are many auto dealers who will not hesitate to take advantage of that trust. If you have been a victim of dealer fraud or any other form of mistreatment when buying a car, truck, motorcycle, mobile home or another vehicle, we are here for you.
Since 1991, the law firm of Thomas R. Breeden, P.C., has stood up for the rights of consumers. In Manassas and throughout northern Virginia, people turn to us. When it comes to consumer protection in car dealer fraud cases, we are aggressive in standing up for the rights of our clients. We will work hard to see that the wrong is corrected and you are compensated for any financial damage you have suffered.
Car Dealer Fraud
At a car dealership, fraud can take many forms. One of the most common types of fraud is selling a vehicle without disclosing that it has a history of damage, such as a salvage title due to extensive body and frame destruction or other title blemishes. Other common forms include bait and switch financing. The dealer provides you with a car and promises a certain financing deal. You make your down payment and accept. Later, they call and tell you they could only get a much higher rate. They threaten to take the car back and keep your down payment if you do not agree to the new deal.
We are available to defend you against these and other forms of car dealer fraud, as well as violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Truth in Lending Act.
Lemon Law And Motor Vehicle Warranty Issues
When you purchase a new vehicle or a vehicle with a warranty, you expect that to mean something. We are here for you when that expectation is not met. If you have purchased a defective vehicle and are faced with resistance when trying to get it fixed or replaced, our team can stand by your side. If you have purchased a car with a warranty that has not been upheld, we can help. Notably, lemon law issues differ significantly from auto fraud issues.
Lemon laws are not per se aimed at deceptive practices related to the sale of a motor vehicle. They involve defects in the manufacturing process that result in a so-called, “lemon.” The dealer may then seek to avoid repairing the defect, claiming the issue is outside the scope of the warranty, or simply fail to meet the requirements of state lemon laws in attempts to repair the design or manufacturing problem. Auto warranty disputes, however, may include evidence of fraud. Misrepresentations concerning the scope of coverage and protections involved with the warranty should be reviewed by an experienced car dealer fraud lawyer when dealers refuse to honor any repairs under the warranty.
FAQs About Dealer Fraud
What is the difference between bait and switch sales tactics and bait and switch financing?
As the phrases imply, these types of bait and switch schemes happen at different points of the auto buying process. In a bait and switch sale, the dealer advertises or promises that a certain vehicle is available, often at a great price. But when you arrive at the dealership, the salesperson tells you they just sold the last one. Instead, they pressure you to buy another vehicle that is more expensive or inferior in some way.
Bait and switch financing occurs when you agree to buy a vehicle and the salesperson promises you favorable financing terms. You make the down payment and drive the vehicle home, believing you have made a deal. Later, the salesperson calls and claims you only qualified for a much higher interest rate. They threaten to repossess the vehicle and keep your down payment if you do not accept the new loan terms.
What types of misinformation about used cars could be auto dealer fraud?
Auto dealer fraud involves deceptive, misleading or outright false representations, as well as the intentional omission of information and other tactics that are intended to unfairly induce a sale or increase dealer profits without the informed knowledge of the consumer. These deceptive trade practices may manifest themselves in a variety of ways. However, one of the more common deceptive trade practices involves pre-sale auto safety inspections.
Car dealers often pump up the sales price on a used vehicle on the claim that the vehicle has passed a multi-point safety inspection that may involve nothing more than routine “detailing” to make the used vehicle cosmetically more attractive. The checklist in the inspection is often glossed over in the service department to move the vehicle toward a final sale. Moreover, passing the standard checklist that is limited in scope does not warrant that the vehicle is indeed safe. Car history reports and so-called, “certified used car” programs are often used as inducements to obtain a sale at higher costs to the consumer that rely on empty promises that the car is safe. Similarly, the dealer may sell the programs with a warranty that includes exclusions that may render worthless any purported protections for the consumer.
How is auto dealer fraud different than a lemon law case?
Auto fraud is the use of dishonest or illegal tactics to sell someone a vehicle. A lemon law case involves a vehicle that is defective or has unreasonable mechanical problems when sold and is not covered under warranty.
Initial Consultations Are Available
Email us here or call us at 703-659-0188 or 703-659-0188 today to learn more about how a consumer protection attorney can help you with your car dealer fraud case. We offer reduced fees for initial consultations